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Stress & Anxiety - A Personal Perspective

posted Mar 14, 2015, 12:57 PM by Walk Strong Calgary
- by Nancy G Ehle

I had a chat with my doctor a few years ago about the impact stress and anxiety were having on my body. At the time, I opted not to take medication. He was fine with that, but said one thing: “Promise me that you will come in before your family drags you in for help.” He assumed it was going to get worse instead of better, and the truth is… he was right.

It took some time, but I did get to a point where medical intervention was coming, and soon. I was waking up every single morning with negative thoughts about myself… and they never went away. It was extremely frightening, mostly because I felt I had no control and nothing I tried helped. I had morphed into someone I didn’t want to be and certainly didn’t love. It was the darkest time of my life, and I felt as though I was in a deep pit and sinking deeper and deeper and deeper.

Thankfully, one day in Nov. 2011, something radical happened. I popped a Leslie Sansone DVD in and walked my first three miles with her… and something instantly changed. I had a joy come upon me that went right down into my bones. I had never experienced anything like it – not to this degree.

And it didn’t go away… the next day it was stronger. I couldn’t wait to get home after work to do another walk with Leslie, and over the course of several weeks experienced inner healing every single time I walked in front of my TV. People at work began to ask what happened to me – the change was extremely evident – it was a night and day difference. I went from walking with my shoulders hunched forward, unable to hold my head up and staring at the floor when walking down the halls to standing tall, walking with confidence, and exuding happiness. The stress was still there… but it was bouncing off me like water off a duck’s back and I felt as though I could take on the world. The inner strength I found was amazing and the Lord continued to do a profound work in me. All through something as simple as walking… and without medication.

Now I’m not against medication at all – there are definitely times when we need it. I will always refer a client to his or her doc when it comes to starting, reducing, or stopping meds of any kind – I would be irresponsible if I didn’t. I can’t and won’t advise on medication. I’m just thankful that I found an alternative, the side effects of which are the best you could hope for – stronger heart, toned muscle, improved memory, better endurance, stronger immune system, the ability to handle stress better, and on and on. 

If you’re on medication for stress and/or anxiety currently, don’t stop taking it. Start walking. If you’re out of shape, start with short walks and work your way up. A 15-minute brisk walk is about a mile. My coaching program may be the perfect thing to get you started if you need accountability and ongoing encouragement let alone having someone schedule your exercise routine for you. 

Whatever you decide to do, stick with it and see how you feel as you progress. Talk to your doc about what you’re doing and how you’re feeling. Work directly with him or her – over time, meds may be reduced or even eliminated, but only with your doctor’s supervision. 

Find a Walk Live class in your area – the class environment is a great place for encouragement and camaraderie as you get to know people. You may be amazed to discover how many people are also dealing with similar issues. You will come away feeling so much better about life! 

Keep calm and Walk On!

Nancy Ehle is a Certified WALK Leader under Leslie Sansone's Walk Leader program as well as a Health Coach and ACE Group Fitness Instructor. Her business, Witness 4 Fitness, offers fitness programs for all stages of life, all shapes and sizes, and all fitness levels. She is also an accomplished writer, and dabbles in photography and art.