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Happy, Happy, Run, Run

Natalie Moore

There is a running revolution going on in our streets and parks everywhere. Runners are taking over our footpaths, tracks and trails in epic proportions. On the flip side to this, stress, depression and anxiety is also taking over our lives. Life is getting busier, crazier and causing more stress.

But still people throw on their active wear and line the streets, consumed by the music in their ears. People are attending Fun Runs and Charity Runs weekly. We've seen the birth of the pram runner, park runners, the well known "running mum" term is synonymous with women across the country - no matter what sort of running you do, there is a name for it. Running bears no boundary and it is serving as the ideal way for people to get fit and stay healthy.

I am taking it one step further though and claiming that running is a great way for people to feel great happiness. One definition of happiness, refers to it as the "feeling that comes over you when you know life is good and you can't help but smile". That's what running does for me. Running serves as a non-traditional form of meditation, where we are using our body, mind and soul to challenge our existence, strive for great achievements, centre our breath, exercise our mental toughness but most of all enjoy our surrounds and our ability to just put one foot in front of the other.  

3,000 people recently took part in the Melbourne Wanderlust event, which is a 5km run, an hour yoga session and a relaxing 30 minute meditation. It reiterated to me that being outside, being active surrounded by beautiful friends and complete strangers provides the opportunity to connect with ourselves and feel utter happiness. I have recently completed a short course, around Understanding Stress and the research into the effects of it is quite mind blowing. It goes without saying that we know stress is no good, no matter what form but it is a condition which is affecting so many without people actually realising that they are feeling stressed. Running events and one like Wanderlust allows inhibitions to be put aside as people connect with strangers, judgements are non existent and adrenaline shared as we pound through the run.

Stress is all around us in so many forms, but there are also so many options to counteract that stress. Running is a brilliant exercise, activity or practise which can assist in the effects of such insidious conditions and I want to spread the message of the benefits of it. Since becoming a mum and having had experienced stress, sleeplessness, fatigue, guilt it is running that has kept me sane, balanced and healthy. It has made me a better mum, woman, wife, daughter because I have challenged myself outside of everyday life, I have pushed my body and mind to limits I thought were impossible and I have achieved goals and experiences that are my own.

No matter how far or slow a person runs, there will always be a strong sense of self-achievement which comes with running. It is great form of physical activity, it encourages you to step outside of your comfort zone and it makes you connect with people you may not have, through running groups and events. Together we can all #runasone and get more people running and running happy!

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