Enhance your mood, reduce anxiety and improve both mental and physical wellbeing.
Andrew Burnard, General Advice, Self-Help

Run from your problems


If you feel like you’re running in circles and struggling to get on top of your problems, then perhaps it’s time to find another way of getting back on the road to health and wellness…

Running Therapy is a relatively new method of counselling that involves talking about your problems one-on-one with a therapist while going for a walk or run. I covered the benefits of getting active in my previous blog, but running therapy in particular, is a highly effective means of enhancing your mood, reducing anxiety and improving both mental and physical wellbeing.

Whether you’re going through a divorce, dealing with the after-effects of a traumatic event, or simply struggling to cope with the more insidious effects of constant stress, getting moving physically (at a pace you’re comfortable with) really helps get things moving emotionally.

So, what is Running Therapy?

Well, in many respects it’s just like normal therapy in that it’s an opportunity to talk through whatever’s bothering you, but rather than sitting in an office, it takes place outdoors, and on the go.

Many people actually prefer running therapy to traditional methods because they don’t have to sit face-to-face with a therapist, which can be intimidating and reduce the likelihood of you opening up and sharing your thoughts and emotions. Instead, it puts you on the same level as your therapist, as you run (or walk) side by side all the way, which facilitates the non-confrontational flow of conversation.

Running therapy also gives people a great sense of accomplishment as they feel as if they are taking control of their lives again by literally “taking steps” to improve the situation they are in and therefore move forward in life.

And while we all know exercise is good for us, outdoors exercise in particular, has been shown to increase levels of serotonin and dopamine, which work to reduce stress and depression and can make people feel revitalised and more energetic.

As a runner myself, I know how beneficial it can be to my own mental health – it allows me time to clear my mind and run through whatever’s bothering me. Free from the daily stresses that often accompany our lives indoors, such as cell phones, TVs and computers, I can simply focus on putting one step in front of the next, and really take the time to connect with what’s going on in and around me. From focusing on my breathing, to taking in my surrounds, it’s quite a meditative process that leaves me feeling more connected to the world, more whole and more vital.

Running does require a certain level of commitment, which in itself can be a challenge when starting out, but every journey starts with the first step, and I’m ready to take it with you. As you start to reap the rewards of consistent physical progress, you’ll also reap the mental and emotional rewards of this path you’ve decided to walk.

So, if you can’t stand the thought of sitting still, or you’d like to try a new way of moving forward in life, then take the first step and get in touch with me to find out more.

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Usavolo Road, Kloof | Email: andrew@durbanpsychologist.co.za | Phone: +27 (0) 76 490 6704
M.A. Counselling Psychology (UKZN). HPCSA Reg: PS 0104299. Practice no: 0316091

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