How to Escape the Darkness: Why Exercise is Powerful Medicine For the Mind with Dr. J.M. Thompson

Untreated child traumas in life, depression, and alike usually either form from deep-rooted causes or spark from very early experiences that start during childhood. For that reason, these issues aren't the type one can take a break from nor run away from. Yes, you can't run away from it. But you can still try running! How? In this episode of The Fit Mess, Dr. J.M. Thompson talks about why exercise is a powerful medicine for the mind, how one can train tolerance and endurance through running, and what he tells about in his book Running Is a Kind of Dreaming: A Memoir.

Find out how you can adopt new practices in life in this episode of The Fit Mess with Dr. J.M. Thompson!

How Running Works Against Mental Issues

When the mind struggles with mental disorders, it becomes challenging to stay in the here and now of life. For individuals who experience these and other mental conditions, the mind tends to preoccupy feelings and emotions of the past. It weighs it down. And as the mind gets busy with before issues, this is when you tend to lose a sense of where you are in the world. For the individuals that become victims of this, the predictability of things gets lost.

For Dr. J.M. Thompson, author of Running is a Kind of Dreaming, endurance activities is a proven counter for these types of issue. From experience, Dr. Thompson speaks of running as a form of grounding. It becomes one's coming into the right now of the moment. Like any other physical activity, it helps create predictability and presence of mind. It also creates a strong connection between your brain and body and denies you the option of isolation.

Listen more to how Dr. J.M. Thompson explains the benefits of endurance activities to mental health in this episode of The Fit Mess!

About Dr. J.M. Thompson:

J.M. Thompson was born in England. He holds a BA in English literature from Oxford University and a doctorate in clinical psychology. He completed his psychology training at the University of California, San Francisco, where he conducted research on the brain mechanisms of meditation and the physiology of trauma.

He is also an ordained Zen practitioner and certified yoga teacher. He has finished over 40 ultramarathons, and multiple solo adventures runs in the Sierra Nevada, the Grand Canyon, and Death Valley. Thompson currently serves as a staff psychologist at the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. He lives in San Francisco with his wife and two children.

Outline of the Episode:

[01:22] Zach – on running for an early-out from work

[02:27] Moving your body can move so many things in your life

[05:18] Athletic Greens for more energy, better gut health, and an optimized immune system!

[07:06] Dr. J.M. Thompson – on running before it's too late

[10:53] What is it about endurance activities that work so well on our mentality?

[12:12] An unhealthy mental state can result in a loss of predictability

[16:02] The difference between accessing your flow state in a gym and outdoors

[19:25] Your experience is your experience, and it's worthy of care

[22:13] How does one simply pick up a new practice?

[24:05] Dr. J.M. Thompson – on recovery, healing, and the experience of his book Running is a Kind of Dreaming: A Memoir

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