I felt so honored recently to have been asked to speak to two groups of students at ASU. I was asked to speak on how to use exercise as a way to manage stress. As I got into the car to drive to the classes, I noticed my right rear tire was nearly flat. Thankfully my wonderful wife Nadine switched cars with me and I was on my way. Knowing that she had only a small distance to go to the tire repair shop, I was able to relax and concentrate on my presentation as I drove. I parked in the recommended lot of the ASU faculty, paid my fare, and began to walk. Except for I walked the wrong way. I walked the opposite way of the university and did not realize it for ¼ of a mile. The classroom where I was supposed to present at was approximately ¾ of a mile from my parking space which made it a full mile from where I was at. And I was late already. And my feet hurt. And then I got lost and could not find the building where I was supposed to speak at. I was becoming more stressed inside of myself. After wandering around aimlessly for several minutes, I finally let go of my male genetics and asked an ASU employee for help. He didn’t know where the building was either. I became irritated and started to laugh at myself. Yes started to laugh at myself. I was the most stressed out person on the campus and going to teach students how to manage stress. It was funny and I knew that it was my natural and autopilot reaction to stress. I work with many people who work and live stressful lives. Each has his or own personal story of why they experience or perceive stress in the way that they do. But all are learning how to manage the stress with healthier alternatives. They realize that they have two options: 1) They can try to change the environments and the world that they are in or 2) they can change the way they respond to the environment they are in. It is healthy to accept the world and those around you and to change the way you respond to all of the external events and people in your life. If you are allowing the external events of your life to control the internal events of your emotions, perceptions, belief systems, and behaviors you will find it very difficult to manage stress. To be happy and healthy, the internal must be heard over the external. But how does that happen? We are taught from early in life that jobs, money, food, drugs, alcohol, people, cars, and other external things will be the path to happiness. But this is not true and numerous forms of research agree. Creating true happiness will also create better health and research agrees with that also but how is that done? Everyone is an individual but the people at Harvard who study true internal happiness have compiled a list of qualities that make up someone who is truly happy.
- They have or have created optimism in life. The happy person sees life through a lens of sincere gratitude and appreciates the beauty of people and natural things. Be thankful.
- They all examine themselves for growth and betterment and do not place that responsibility on others in their life.
- They all EXERCISE. Physical exercise changes the way that not only the body looks and works but also the brain. The body loves to be moved, the brain releases ‘happy stuff” when the body is moved.
- They do some form of meditation or prayer. Focusing yourself on internal thoughts will lead to a better ability to set boundaries with stressful external events and people in life. The internal cues become more developed than the external.
- They see stressors as a challenge and not as a barrier. Again viewpoint and outlook matters.
I eventually made it to the ASU function and shared with the group about the stressful adventure on my way there. After a good laugh at my expense I had one of the greatest times ever presenting to the class. More than likely stress will never be eliminated in most of our lives. For your health it is most important to develop internal methods to deal with external madness of the world. Many have done it and you can too. You deserve to be as healthy and as happy as you can be during this life. It is never what happens to us in life that matters, only HOW WE RESPOND. Respond with peace, control, and good health. BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!
Miracles of Phoenix Fitness Owner Coe Kirby combines evidence based behavioral health research with 12+ years as a personal trainer to provide the most extensive lifestyle modification program for mental and physical wellbeing in America. He has helped hundreds of people overcome self-defeating behaviors and achieve goals of all levels. His unique style and skill set as a personal trainer and life coach make him comfortable to be open with while pursuing the growth or change you desire. Knowing that each individual is different with where they are in the change process, he guides the client on a journey of self-discovery that helps the individual learn his or her own method to success while giving strong support and proven tools to assist them. His two books, Your Health is Your Wealth: Working Out the Inner Self For a Fit Outer Self and Rebuilding Your Temple From the Inside Out have helped people from all walks of life learn how to create healthier lifestyles for themselves and their families. Both books are available through http://www.miraclesofphoenixfitness.com. Good luck on your health journey!