Hi, friends. I’ve mentioned before that I’m very reflective–bordering on obsessive. Especially when a situation either stresses me out or upsets me, certain thoughts run through my mind over and over again, sometimes for more than a day.
The recurring thoughts may be hypothetical conversations or statements that were actually said. Regardless, it’s annoying and kind of miserable to continuously dwell on the same negative thoughts. The activities you’d think would help clear my head like getting lost in a book become next to impossible thanks to my mental distraction.
So, on to the point…a great way to (at least temporarily) remove recurring thoughts from my mind is to exercise.
I literally cannot think about anything while I exercise.
Since I use a wheelchair, the primary reason this works is probably that exercise is incredibly difficult for me. Even walking across the room (while holding my trainer’s hand of course) is exercise.
So, for this idea to work with able-bodied people, casually walking on the treadmill at a slow pace probably won’t cut it…you’re going to have to exercise hard to stop replaying the negative thoughts. Run on the elliptical. Lift weights in sets, going heavier each time. Go for cardio and strength-training. Anything to get your heart pumping and your sweat flowing.
Though casual exercise is productive and healthy, intense exercise may be more effective at clearing the clutter in your mind.
VERY IMPORTANT: Don’t look at your phone between machines.
If you find yourself desperately needing a mental break, go for a run or go to the gym. Get out of your own head! Science says that exercise helps with depression, and though I don’t exactly know how, I assume this idea somehow connects to that.
Thanks for reading! Does exercise have therapeutic benefits for you?