I have suffered from anxiety for years. It’s the kind of anxiety that I can usually keep at
bay. Most people won’t realize I have it because I hide it relatively well. Instead of thinking: Oh, she’s anxious; people probably just think: Huh. She’s a bit of an odd one.
Sport has played a huge role in helping me manage my anxiety. No matter how bad I’m feeling, if I can just get myself out that door and go on a run, for example, I know that my anxiety or stress will almost immediately dissipate.
I have found that the rhythm of sport—of running, of cycling, of hiking, of swimming—puts my mind almost magically at ease. Sport and my daily prayers are my form of meditation. They are how I cut myself off from the daily grind and tear myself away from one screen or the other, if even for a few minutes, to clear my head and start anew.
There’s a “but” coming up.
But, recently, as I’ve felt myself less and less able to manage my stress and anxiety as successfully as I have at times in the past, I’ve been reviewing my lifestyle choices to try to find ways to improve things. (more…)