Commercials are constantly selling us on ways to relieve stress these days. There is a gigantic market of people begging to be told how they can stop feeling what they are currently feeling. The market will always go where the most people are. However, the market wants to make money, rather than cure the problem. The cure is always dangled in plain sight, but just beyond grasping. The truth is, we have everything we already need to bust that stress to smithereens; we just need to take advantage of the things that were naturally created to do just that.
For instance, in ads, the background is almost always outdoors highlighting the amazing wonders of creation. That’s the actual cure. It’s not that sports drink turning the advertised body all kinds of funky colors as it spreads through the system. It’s the fresh air. The mountain vistas. The bright green and the awe-inspiring blue. It’s all free, and it’s all right there for us to breathe into our being. We were created to be stewards of it all, and it was created to be enough to sustain us fully in all ways.
If you are looking for ways to relieve stress, look no further than right outside your own window. [Tweet This] Here are some ideas of things we can do that help us fully appreciate nature and its wondrous healing ability.
Get away from the things that are causing your stress and breathe with purpose in solitude. This article was partially inspired by my pastor’s advice. He said, “Breathe out the junk and then breathe in the majesty.” It may take some time to breathe out the “junk” that is causing our angst, but it’s important to let it all go. Consider it and remove it. When you are ready, breathe deeply in the majesty of creation and renew your soul.
2. No Technology Walking
Leave all technology at home and start walking. Whether you live in a country setting, a suburban neighborhood, or urban area, there is so much to take in when we are looking through the right lens. Observe your surroundings as you literally walk away from your stress. Find the contrasts, the beauty, and the majesty that we normally block out. In the movie, Forrest Gump, what does he do when he finally gets overwhelmed? He moves and doesn’t stop until he’s healed. That’s an extreme movie example, but the same idea. “I just felt like running.”
3. Get in the Dirt
These days it seems like most parents look at the ground…the dirt…and see bacteria and danger. There’s some truth in that, I suppose, but it’s far outweighed by the tremendous healing powers in that earth. You might choose to plant a garden, throw a ball around with your son, or roll around playing with your daughter, but get yourself in that dirt. The smile on your face will be wide and natural, and the stress will fly off like a dandelion blowing in the wind.
4. Photo Hunting
Many years ago, there was a television show based in Alaska called Northern Lights. One of the characters was this crusty old mountain man who was a master hunter. Over time, he had become weary with killing so many animals. So he replaced his gun with a camera. He took great joy in hunting the same way he had always done, but the “kill shot” was a click of his camera. That character has stuck with me and I’ve emulated it in my own way. The cell phone camera truly liberated this idea for me. I find the beauty, the quirky, the essence in my life, and I capture it with my camera. It’s a tremendous way to see and find purpose.
The most natural way to relieve stress? Simply pray. [Tweet This] Get on your knees, humble your heart, and talk to God. If you don’t know what to pray, just pray the Lord’s Prayer. It covers everything. Prayer is our direct connection to the Creator of everything.
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your family tonight and plan an outdoor family adventure. Go camping, go hiking, just go!