Here we are! The running blog part 2…
But before we get to the main body of the blog, I’d like to just mention something that happened to me today (22nd May) when I went to a popular local supermarket chain to get some provisions. As I walked into the shop, I said hello to the Security Guard (as I always do) then went around the shop. I don’t particularly enjoy shopping so I tend to walk around at a brisk pace as I know where everything is. After a minute or two, I noticed that the guard was following me. I politely enquired as to why. He told me I was acting suspiciously. I was intrigued by this, as I didn’t feel that I was. When I asked him if he could define my suspicious activity, he said “You were smiling and spoke to me. Not many people do that.” Interesting eh? I’m not sure how this can be considered suspicious, but I could’ve taken offence to what he said. Instead I wanted to learn more about what he meant.
Sometimes we get used to things being a certain way and if something changes, it can seem weird…or suspicious. It doesn’t mean the new way of doing things is wrong though…Just because not many people do something, doesn’t mean there is no value in it. I had a good chat with the Guard as he still followed me around. When I started asking his advice on tomato sauce, he soon shuffled away, probably as he also realised I wasn’t about to do a runner without paying. (Or he doesn’t like tomato sauce like I do). It can be fun to think about why people criticise, and what it might really be about.
The supermarket experience does link into running, because as mentioned in my first running blog, over the years, I’ve had people shout out things at me. Now, I never take this personally, as I run in my Arsenal football top and shorts, so 99% of the comments are to do with Arsenal and not me. (Well, that’s what I tell myself 😉 ) I play a game in my head whereby I pretend the run is a football match and every negative comment about Arsenal is “a goal” to the opposition and every positive comment “is a goal” to Arsenal. I keep the results as I run. As with the real Arsenal, the stats over the years have been very inconsistent. My last run a few days ago was 2-0 to Arsenal though. Sometimes I’ll get a “Running’s no good for you!” or a “Keep going!”, which I consider to be negative and positive comments respectively.
The point I want to make here is to try to not take criticism too personally. Very often it might be about the person giving the feedback, not you. Occasionally you get some funny comments too. If the comments are too unimaginative I sometimes shout “Can I ask you for more constructive feedback please?” but I rarely get any. Another thing about this experience is that if you have something to do you don’t particularly enjoy, why not make it into a game? I actually enjoy running, but when I first started running, I tried to let my mind wander, and use the running time for my brain to declutter itself. Due to the mind-body connection, sometimes you need some time for the unconscious to process things that are on your mind. Running to me is like my meditation…Sometimes I will have some great ideas during or just after a run. This is where running to me is about so much more than the physical aspect. Nowadays I have what I call my “running trance” mode, where my body is doing the physical work, and my mind is off doing its thing, subconsciously filing away and sorting through things that are on my mind. If we don’t give the mind time to do it’s sorting out, like getting exercise or good quality sleep, you can become stressed or eventually burnt out. Of course you don’t have to run. A walk or any other type of activity where you don’t need to think too much can help. Being out in nature can only help too.
A few months ago I achieved a dissociated type of out of body experience where I was kind of watching myself running from above as I ran. This was a really energising experience and I found the run time went really quickly. Dissociating is one type of trance work we do in Cognitive Hypnotherapy on clients who might want to reduce pain or distance themselves from a tough situation e.g. perhaps presenting to a group, if they struggle with presenting.
The value of physical exercise not only helps your physical body, but can stimulate your unconscious to sort through all its material.
If you want to talk to me about dealing with criticism, managing pain, helping your unconscious in the right direction to accomplish something, or anything else, please get in touch to arrange your free, no commitment consultation here:
Stay tuned for more blogs soon, and keep saying hello to people, especially Security Guards at shops!