How I Prevent Myself From Being a Debbie Downer

27 Sep

It’s not very difficult for me to get depressed, or anxious or stressed.  I believe that this is the case for a lot of people.  You know the feeling when you wake up in the morning and either feel annoyed, bored or bummed out for no good reason? That feeling of anxiety that simmers in your belly all day and you’re not even sure what you’re really anxious about?  When I don’t work out, I find myself feeling that way 50% of the time.  I don’t think this is something I need to be seriously concerned about.  We all have  routines that feel mundane once in a while, or maybe we allow ourselves go for too long without taking a vacation and don’t have anything exciting to look forward to.  In general, I believe there are very few people who pop out of bed feeling content, excited and energetic yet calm, every single day.  However, I have always believed and have recently recommitted to the idea that working out can make us feel this good.  Okay, maybe you won’t leap out of bed and begin tap dancing to nerve shattering sounds of your alarm clock…but you will feel balanced.  Content.  

It’s common knowledge that working out release endorphins, regulates blood sugar and stabilizes your mood.  I felt the effects of this when I was in high school.  When I was on the track team, I had 2 hour workouts after school, 4 days a week.  Though I was busier than ever, I easily woke, without an alarm, and felt completely refreshed every morning. I felt very calm and organized about finishing my homework each night after dinner. I had happy, strong friendships and laughed more than I can ever remember in my life.  When I stopped working out so regularly after high school, I saw a dramatic drop in my mood.  I realize there are numerous other factors that could have effected my mood. But now that I’m really focusing on working out again, I feel that relaxed, happy mood becoming my personality again. 

I truly believe that if anyone works out pretty intensely a few times a week, they will begin feel a dramatic change in the way they view the world.  I sleep more deeply, wake easier, handle stress better, and take on challenges with a much more positive outlook.  The biggest change I’ve observed is how I feel in the mornings.  When I haven’t worked out in a few days, I wake up feeling a little bummed out, not necessarily depressed, just kind of dull and  less rested.  When I’ve had amazing work-outs like I have for the past two days, I wake up excited to take on a new day! (Please don’t vomit, I’m sorry if that was too chipper.)  This morning, I woke up with out wanting to beat the shit out of my alarm clock, hopped in the shower, sang along to country music while I lathered up my hair and even had time to stop chat with my Starbucks barista after ordering my usual iced coffee- because I wasn’t running behind.

Here I am, gettin' my run on! Last night @ CHUZE fitness. It's blurry cuz I'm running that damn fast...lol

This idea that working out is a natural mood elevator or a pharmaceutical free anti-depressant, is a powerful one.  I now know thatI can’t NOT work out.  And this has nothing to do with weight loss or training for a 5K.  If I stop working out- I’ll feel shittier.  So all I have to do is keep working out and I’ll be happy with my life in general? Yes. Am I more patient, empathetic and smiley when I run and dance? Yes. Crazy right?

If I feel like I want to flake on the gym or feel myself losing motivation, I now know it’s about more than fitness.  Physical activity is powerful happy pill. So not only does the treadmill make me look hott, it makes me feel hott too.  Holy shit!  I only wish it hadn’t taken me 26 years to commit to this idea.

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