Finding your “why” = finding why you are here. What are you meant to do? What do you want to do? What makes you excited to get out of bed in the morning and work all hours of the night pursuing?
The relationship between mental health and fitness is a beautiful one. Studies have likened the effects of exercise to those of drugs used to treat anxiety and depression, and many use fitness as a healthy way to cope with these ailments. It also helps that gym memberships are cheaper than therapy. However, when things get tough and you turn to fitness more and more to cope, this relationship can become harmful. Just because fitness is a healthy choice, doesn’t mean you can’t have too much of it.
Last Friday, I was on my way home from the gym when something very simple, yet out of the ordinary, caught my eye.
Keeping your mind and body healthy can be difficult when you can't workout. Working out while you're sick is not a good idea. Working out when your doctor tells you not to, is also not a good idea. In the past, I have ignored both and regretted it. So when I had my wisdom teeth removed last week, I decided to listen to the doctors.
They were right. My mouth was so swollen and so painful that working out would have been a terrible idea. But I was miserable. After the first two days of sleeping due to loads of meds, I wanted to go to the gym badly. Really, I just wanted to move. I was tired of being lazy, and depression started to set in. Working out is my way to keep myself on track mentally. When I can't do that, it's not good for anyone.
I’ve had some bad days at the gym. I’ve walked in angry, hammered out a workout, and walked out a much calmer and more peaceful version of myself. I’ve had fights with friends that totally threw me off, a lot, and the emotions don’t always make sense. But working out helps cleanse my mind, body, and soul of negative emotions so that I can think clearly.
When I was 18, I was told that I have an anxiety disorder. I don’t usually call it a “disorder.” I don’t usually call it anything. In most instances, I pretend it’s not there because I’ve learned how to manage it pretty well over the years. But put simply, a disorder is what it is. It’s the most concise way to explain it without giving you my whole life story. Needless to say, I have a lot of seemingly insignificant stressors in my life that I’ve had to learn how to deal with in some creative ways.