I began running as a method of stress relief at a very difficult time in my life. I was way way overweight, diabetic, on the verge of a heart attack, no health insurance and going through a divorce... it was sink or swim time! So I began to run at first to try to lose weight and get the diabetes under control. I figured out pretty quickly that it also helped with stress... a LOT!
I began calling it "purging the demons" as that's what I would do as I ran, purge all the stress demons from my body and mind! I wound up losing, well, a lot of weight. I was running between 4 and 5 miles a day with my new partner, now my wife!
I only do 2 miles a day now and the occasional 5k. But I do it every day with my new partner, my dog Dixie. It's my peaceful time. It's my zen time. It's my "just me and my dog" time and "the rest of the world goes away" time!