Let’s just say since last Friday, it has been a bit stressful around the Shaw house!
Dad’s heart attack, cardiac cath with three stents, having to drive almost two hours one-way to visit (I am not too thrilled by a lot of driving nowadays) and the usual events that continue to keep going even though your mind is not really there.
You know the little things like what is wrong with the dog, he keeps limping around the house, getting time to get the car repaired, the Internet not working for almost a day at the house, my blog theme crashing and a myriad of other little things that are just part of life, but when compounded, just add so much to your overall stress levels.
How have I managed to keep a fairly decent attitude, not get overly wound up over all this stressful stuff (the major and the minor)?
It is that plain and simple when I start getting stressed out over a situation or have eaten stress burgers – I go for a run.
This simple little act of getting out and putting one foot in front of the other does wonders for my psyche. It also makes me a lot easier to get along with – well usually, sometimes I can just be an old fart and not be very patient about something.
No I am not going to go into the scientific research about how running increases the endorphin levels, it helps treat depression/other mental health problems and all that blah, blah, blah that we have heard so much and so often from the scientists and others pushing this or that theory, article, book or cause.
I really don’t care about that stuff now, I just know that when I run, I feel better.
When injured not the same
When I have been injured and can’t run, I know that I react differently to stress. I tend to get short-tempered, don’t have much patience, have a difficult time focusing, feeling overwhelmed a lot more easily and I just am not the same person. That is how I got during that period I was injured from Feb 2010 to last June and looking back, I over-reacted to many things that when I run, are not a big deal.
Running gives me the opportunity to clear my head, think through situations or problems that are bothering me and give all those adrenaline (stress) burgers that I have eaten, a physical outlet, so I don’t bottle everything up inside.
Other forms of exercise do not do the same thing for me and I know that I have tried – only running seems meet my needs in this stress management. I really believe that for me running is a major part of how I positively handle the stress of day-to-day life and those big ones that get thrown our way every so often. Without being able to run, I don’t handle those stressors the same way.
Running is so much more than that.
Running is not simply an add-on to my life or something I do to simply lose weight (although it helps with that too), get out of the house, a sport to spend money on or a way meet other people.
Quite honestly I need to run to be me – the person that I like and enjoy being around and hopefully other do as well. Running keeps me grounded, healthy and believe it or not a little wiser. I slows me down and lets me think things through and be more reflective about what is going on in my life.
How about you, how do you handle stress in your life, is it a healthy way or do you self-destruct and then pay the consequences for that?