Five Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Lose It

I am a runner. Even with a regular running routine and being in pretty good shape, there are many times during my runs where I start to feel like I am not going to make it. I start to panic a little bit, and I can feel the flood of negative thoughts threatening to overtake me. I know then that I have reached some kind of threshold for this exercise. 

But I don’t just quit. I look for ways to alleviate the stress I am feeling and look for a new way to move forward. I have found that this little questionnaire always reveals a way forward not only in running, but when I feel like I am losing it in life, too. 

Next time you are feeling like you’ve reached a threshold, you’re panicking or feeling overwhelmed, or you simply feel like you’re about to lose it completely, try going through this list of questions and making adjustments as necessary. It may just be the thing that helps you get through to the other side.

1. Are you looking up?

In other words, where is your focus? One of the hardest things I had to learn about running was to look up. My tendency was to look down, where my feet were landing, to make sure I didn’t make a misstep. Sound familiar?

How often do we scrutinize our steps in life so closely, that we don’t even realize we have taken our eyes off the goal ahead of us, and now we are stuck in the rocky terrain we are in? Looking up and looking ahead literally pulls you forward toward your goal. It also creates a more open posture, which leads us to the next checkpoint.

2. Are your shoulders open?

Posture is everything. In running, better

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Why your sleep and wake cycles affect your mood – Harvard Health Blog

It’s no accident that most people tend to sleep at night and are awake during the day. Our sleep-wake cycle is determined by our circadian rhythm, the body’s internal clock. Like old-time clocks, this internal clock needs to be reset every day, and is adjusted by first exposure to light in the morning.

How does circadian rhythm work?

Our circadian rhythms are controlled by multiple genes and are responsible for a variety of important functions, including daily fluctuations in wakefulness, body temperature, metabolism, digestion, and hunger. Circadian rhythm also controls memory consolidation (the formation of long-term memories occurs during sleep); the timing of hormone secretion (for example, the hormones controlling body growth work mostly at night); and body healing.

While the circadian sleep phase typically occurs at night, there are a range of times during which the sleep phase can occur, with some people programmed to sleep from early evening to early morning (known as morning larks), while others stay up late and sleep late (known as night owls). In addition to determining the timing of their sleep, a person’s circadian tendency can also affect their choice of emotional coping skills, such as assertiveness or rationalization, and their predisposition to psychological disorders.

How does your circadian rhythm impact your mood?

An irregular circadian rhythm can have a negative effect on a person’s ability to sleep and function properly, and can result in a number of health problems, including mood disorders such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and seasonal affective disorder.

A recent study suggested that the night-owl type might have a greater predisposition to psychological disturbances. The authors found that the different circadian types were likely to have different coping styles to emotional stressors, and the ones adopted by the morning larks seemed to result in better outcomes and

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