Running through your grief, not from it

Posted on January 31st, 2019

New Year’s resolutions often revolve around fitness. The ‘New Year New Me’ hypothesis frequently involves being healthier, losing weight or trying something new. The new year provides a perfect excuse to try something new or an opportunity to pick back up something that you had perhaps previously enjoyed.

Exercising whilst grieving

These concepts may seem a pair you wouldn’t want to put together; with a loss of energy and low moods from losing a loved one, exercising may be at the bottom of your list of things to do.  It can, however be a great new way to help you through a difficult time. A small work out, going for a run or even meditating is known to help release positive energy and endorphins into your body.

Going for a run or for a brisk walk is also a great way to get some fresh air, whether on your own or with someone invited to join you. It can give you time to yourself, an hour to focus your mind or time to talk with someone close to you about what you’re going through. A new environment to do this will provide a refreshing feel and a sense of routine with a dedicated, healthy space to explore your grief.

The science

Exercising releases endorphins which are hormones within the brain and nervous system and are responsible for what is known as the “runner’s high”. Endorphins block pain receptors and trigger positive feelings within the body, meaning working out is directly linked to lifting your mood. This doesn’t mean you need to become a marathon runner or do an intense work out every day for the foreseeable future, but a small work out or run can help you feel more positive about your day.

Scientists and mental health experts have linked a lack of endorphins to depression and an easy way to increase them is with exercise. You also get the same release of these positive hormones when eating certain foods. Spicy foods, some fruits and chocolate can be responsible for a release of endorphins, along with exercise these few occasional additions to your diet can also give you a more positive feel, helping you through grief.

When grieving for someone it can be a difficult time and a feeling of positivity can become a rarity. The smallest change can help pick you up and help you getting back on your feet and exercising can certainly assist. With the science behind it and mixing it with a new year’s resolution, a simple exercise can kick start the year with positivity.

Here at Freedom Funerals, we talk to a lot of grieving people and are always available for a chat if you need to talk on 01206 862963.