exercise in general helps with my mental health issues, but one of the biggest things related to running that has helped has been the large support network of friends I've met since I started running.
but during my bad episodes exercise, either swimming, running, walking or cycling is a life line as (once I'm out of the really dark period) it motivates me to get out of the house and helps give me breathing space
Yes, as most have said, I think running can be a part of the jig saw leading to good mental health.
Other things I've found hugely helpful is just trying to lead a simpler, ethical life, dealing with my past in a constructive way, being part of a like-minded community, meditation and helping others. I'm a long time sober recovered alcoholic, which is classed as a mental health problem.
I feel pretty well sorted these days - I have good mental health - I'm happy and have a good general sense of well being. As I say, running is part of the jig saw, but I do not think it's the total solution. I've had to do the other stuff that I've listed too.
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