Everyone has stress, it's a natural occurrence in nature, it's what makes things change and happen, its what gives us that push to go above and beyond what we would normally do. In certain times of your life you'll find that the amount of stress increases due to outside sources, internal pressure, and various other things that are going on in the semi organized chaos that we call life. How you handle the excess stress can make all the difference when it comes to physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. Give yourself an outlet to work it off without padding your waistline by using exercise!
Currently, I'm finding myself under a good amount of stress. Wedding planning is way more stressful than you would think it would be, add in stressors at work and some family drama and you can get a vague picture of what's going on with my emotions. In the past I was always an emotional eater, whenever I couldn't deal with things I would either eat my feelings or not eat at all... neither of which is healthy, productive, or satisfying. Last week I found myself in an emotional state to the point where I felt like I was going to explode and implode simultaneously (not that that's even possible), so I found myself out on the pavement with my headphones on and a good sweat running down my back.
During my run I was both running from my problems and confronting them head on, this was my way of coming to terms with the things that I could not change, and figuring out tactics for the things that I could change. About a mile out from the house I came upon my old nemesis- a truely steep and unforgiving hill that I've trudged up many a time before. Usually by the time I reach the top I'm sucking wind and wishing that I had chosen a different route. Today was different, this I could conquer, this I could do and no one could argue with me about it. So I found the spot where the hill increased in incline pretty quickly and I sprinted, as fast as I could until my legs felt like they were going to combust and my lungs were burning. I walked the rest of the way to the top and jogged down. Strangely satisfying, I decided that instead of the 4 miler that I had set out to complete, I would instead do hill repeats. I made the goal of 5 repeats, and continued, each time trying to push a little farther before I had to walk.
I made it 4 times, my legs began to feel rubbery and uncoordinated so I called it quits and jogged back home. As I made the final strides to the end of the route I felt lighter, all the anxiety that had been muddling my thoughts and bringing me down had subsided and I could look at things for what they were. Life is beautiful, even when you feel like it's taking you down in a choke hold. Take the time to appreciate what you do have going for you. If you can change the things that are troubling you, then do what you need to do to fix it, and if it's out of your hands, do your best to let it go (this coming from a Type A personality, where nothing is easily let go).