What Do The Boston Marathon And Stress Have In Common? (It’s Not What You Think!)

by Doc Orman, M.D.

Boston MarathonToday marks the 118th running of the Boston Marathon. Today’s race is occurring just a little more than a year following the 2013 race, which was marred by two lethal bomb explosions near the finish line.

So when someone asks what the Boston Marathon and stress have in common, the first thing that naturally comes to mind is all the stress and suffering that resulted from the 2013 race and the new level of heightened anxiety surrounding today’s competition.

A Different Type Of Connection

I’d like to point out a different type of connection, however.  You see, I ran in the Boston Marathon twice, back in the early 1980s.  This was quite a radical accomplishment for me, since for the first 30 years of my life I absolutely hated running.  Also for the first 30 years of my life I was terrible at dealing with stress. I was angry, anxious, tense and irritable much of the time. At around this same time (early 1980s) I also had a major transformation in my ability to deal with stress.

Do you think these two dramatic changes in my life, both occurring at roughly the same period in time, were unrelated?   Well, they were not.  I was able to accomplish them both through the same basic process.

The Exercise-Stress Connection

Now obviously when somebody starts exercising more regularly and, in my case running 5-7 miles most days of the week, there will definitely be a lowering of stress levels just from the beneficial physiologic effects of exercise.  But the changes that occurred in my ability to deal with stress were far more extensive in the cognitive domain.  So too were the changes that occurred in my ability to enjoy running and to adjust my running mechanics to make them more efficient.

In both of these areas of life—running and stress relief—I consciously changed myself from having very little in skills and ability to having a massive amount of competence and success.

I went from being a person who hated exercising, detested running and had very little exercise discipline or will power into a person who thoroughly enjoys exercising regularly, who completed five full marathons and who went on to develop highly successful training programs to teach others how to enjoy both exercising and running.

I also went from a person with very little ability to reduce or eliminate stress into a person who has been an accomplished expert in this field for more than 30 years, who has written more than ten popular self-help books on how to successfully deal with stress, and who has designed and delivered hundreds of powerful seminars and workshops on how to master stress.

Same Personal Change Process

And the thing that connects these two major transformations in my life was the very same personal change process that I used to accomplish both.  In my next two blog posts this week, I’ll shed some light on this very successful process.

NOTE: For more information about my unique approach to eliminating stress, please visit http://stressmasteryacademy.com

 

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