I arrived at Fort George G. Meade yesterday evening, and today started the task of trying to settle my family into a new home and community. With this move coming at the end of my 6 month deployment to Kuwait my stress level has been through the roof. During the hours of driving cross country, I heard several individuals on talk radio describe the ideal life as one that is stress free. I also saw a sign outside a church proclaiming that wonderful idea that "I'm too blessed to be stressed." In our culture, we see stress as something to be avoided at all cost. And I have a hard time getting my head around that concept.
Stress is without doubt a killer if we have too much in our life. Only a couple of years ago, only a week before moving to Florida, I ended up in the hospital with ulcers. In retrospect stress had a lot to do with my condition. I was busy working on my Doctorate degree and in the middle of a massive project, and moving to another side of the country. But also in retrospect I have to admit that I was not taking care of myself. I was up to two and three in the morning and getting about 3 to 5 hours of sleep a night. My running...was...what...totally missing...and I ate poorly and on an irregularly pattern. But the key was that I was not managing and controlling my stress. Stress will do that to us, and we need to learn to manage that stress.
I once heard someone say that stress is that which helps us grow. Without stress we can’t grow. If you want to do something…or accomplish something, you will have to deal with your stress. Stress is the byproduct of living life.
Running is a stressor. You put on your running shoes and head outside, and you stress your body. Your heart rate rises, you spend calories. You cause wear and tear on your body…that is stress. But and I can’t figure this out…it also is a stress reducer. Running allows you to focus stress of things you can’t control into something to you can control. After a good mile or two run, you feel more in control and your stress level is reduced.
These individuals proclaiming a perfect life with no stress are kidding themselves and everyone listening to them. What we need to do is work on managing the stress. I’m not going to miss lead you…but if you are being blessed by God…you are going to be stressed…or you’re going to be dead and in heaven, and in that case stress isn't a player. So I’ve been managing my moving stress, with running and it has worked perfectly. So if you feel stressed out…then get out and run…it will actually help you cope better with the stress you can’t control.