Running To Ease Anxiety Symptoms (Stress / Benefits / 3 Actionable Steps)

This is a horizontal drawing of a black man getting anxiety and going running

KEvin Maynard

Running To Ease Anxiety Symptoms

Kevin Maynard is a personal trainer and model in Vancouver, Canada. He has recently created his Inner Circle, where he works with clients anywhere in the world through his online community.

But nothing great starts without overcoming adversity.

Today I’m going to share with you exactly why I chose running to ease anxiety.
At the start of the pandemic, I was unhappy with my career path and wondered if I could stay in my industry.
By the end of this post, you’ll discover how I used running as a tool to launch and grow my dream business. All while COVID-19 created unstoppable momentum.
Let’s dive right in.
My journey with mental health struggles began in the home.
Before I go on, let me say that I don’t believe that my story is a particularly traumatic one. Compared to so many out there who have suffered horrible abuses, my heart goes out to you. I wish you healing and happiness.
Growing up in Caribbean culture, spankings were normalized. I know that I did not always feel physically or emotionally safe in the home.

Kevin talks about how COVID allowed for him to step away from his work that wasn’t a source or pure happiness.

One of the more tame examples came in the 5th grade when I wanted to join a sports team. Sports didn’t align with “family values,” so in reply I got a stern no. I didn’t ask again because I knew what would happen if I pressed the issue too far.
That was a very stressful time, all I wanted was to play and didn’t understand why I was wrong for having that desire. The confusion coupled with the spankings may have been the start of my self-doubt and anxiety. But, those specifics are not the point of this article, and more time in therapy will help to clear all that up.
It’s crucial to not make this seem like it’s all mom and dad’s fault. Parents do the best they can base on how they were brought up and what they knew at the time. Eventually, mine came around, and I went on to have a very successful athletic career. I competed as a national level track athlete and college football player.
After my athletic career, I started coaching pro athletes. It was a smooth transition with my background. Soon, I realized my passion landed with the less elite. Helping guide those who were looking for a significant life change with a focus on losing weight.
Weight loss is a big topic that I’m obsessed with. By taking complex, overwhelming subjects and breaking them down. We can find a few core principles, that people then can utilize.
I’ve gotten very good at doing this and am humbled by the opportunities and recognition I have received. Yet, I still had this nagging feeling that something wasn’t right.
Like so many achievers, I label fear as stress.
Even with the external recognition of being named one of Vancouver’s top personal trainers by Narcity Magazine. Also Impact Magazines nominee for top Canadian trainer in 2020, I was deeply insecure about taking the next step in my career. An action that I wanted deep down, but all that kept coming up was doubt and fear.
My anxiety may very well be the cause of years of not feeling safe at home. But I’m a man now, and I want to grow. So one day, sitting quietly, I asked myself, “what would it take for me to feel less uneasy and stressed?” The answer that came back was: “run more and change your work schedule.” Now I know it might sound strange talking to yourself, but isn’t that what thinking is? Isn’t thinking just a series of questions we ask ourselves?
The cool thing is that when that answer came back, I felt a little anxious (haha) but also massively sure. I had to keep asking in different ways until I got an answer that made me feel sure. It wasn’t an easy answer or a comfortable one, but it felt so right that I knew I had to give it a shot.

Running To Ease Anxiety

So, how has running helped me reduce my anxiety? Well, are you familiar with the term self-efficacy?
Selfefficacy refers to an individual’s belief in his or her capacity to execute behaviours necessary to produce specific performance attainments (Bandura, 1977, 1986, 1997).
And we now have the context for how running helps lower anxiety. The truth is, it’s not about the runs.
Every run is more than a run, it is supporting evidence that …
I am capable.
I am able to follow through.
I am stronger than I think.
I am tougher than I think and becoming more robust.
I am able to take care of myself, so I can continue to run.
I am progressing.
I am doing what is right for me.
And as a result of running, I’ve taken on new challenges, asked for more help and launched my dream business. Helping people lose weight through my inner circle is a passion project, and we have such a wonderful community.
Ok, I’m all about the action, so let us get to it!
I want to share a framework for you if a running challenge seems right for you. But it doesn’t have to be running, any consistency challenge will have an incredible effect on your ability to trust yourself.
Here’s how to do it:
  1. Choose your lowest criteria for daily success. For me, it was a 3km minimum per day.
  2. Choose your length of challenge. I chose 90 days because I wanted to see physical changes to my body.
  3. Let go of performance and just let completion be your criteria for success. So many people get tripped up by thinking things need to be done well to count. Let go of perfect and watch yourself get more done than ever.
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Running To Ease Anxiety Symptoms ( Stress / Benefits / 3 Actionable Steps ) - YouTube Interview

If you found this blog informational, then you will really enjoy this 26 minute interview I had with Kevin.

We dive deeper into his past and how it is affecting him now, also the multitude of positives running has given him.

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