Something I am not good at dealing with, is change. I hate going into the unknown and not knowing exactly what is going to happen and how. Whilst I feel comfortable and happy at university, even the concept of starting my masters and going back after such a long and lovely time at home with my parents, is a scary thought.
When changes occur, I begin to feel anxious and stressed. In the past this would’ve resulted in me controlling what I ate, simply starting a much more destructive spiral of events. Whilst this wasn’t the best way to control how I felt, it was the only thing I could control at a time when I felt my life was out of control.
So, what do I do now to try and cope with the anxiety I experience at times of change?
There is no denying that you never completely get rid of the intrusive thoughts that once controlled you, but you do learn how to deal with them and control how they affect you. I can confidently say I will never let them control my behaviour, especially my eating, again. Whilst the thoughts may attempt to take control and try to lead me down a restrictive path, I am too strong to allow this to happen anymore, and I am too passionate about my running to let it hinder that again.
Instead, I focus on the things that are going well and I do have control over. I try to focus on the present moment. Although the concept of going back to university may be overwhelming, there is no benefit in spending the next 2 weeks dwelling over it. I will be love it once I am there, so for now I need to enjoy every minute spent at home. I can’t control what will happen in the future today, so I need to enjoy today for today, and be thankful for what I do have.
For me, writing is one of the most effective ways of expressing my emotions. When there are emotions and nervous thoughts trapped inside my mind, transcribing them into a poem allows me to free my thoughts. This way I have been able to release all the commotion held inside my head in a positive and constructive way. It is as though I am putting all my chaotic thoughts onto the page and permanently fixing them there. They are out of my head and on paper, so they can’t run riot in my mind anymore.
I personally feel, this is why it is so important to have a passion outside of running. One that allows you to escape the world and your thoughts momentarily, and also makes you happy. I have always found writing to be my form of therapy, and without it I really don’t know how I would be able to express how it feel. I find writing a lot more accurate in conveying how I feel than speaking.
So, how do you cope with times of stress, and what do you do to distract your mind?
I love to run and I love to write, so I write about running!