I love fall. The leaves are changing to brilliant colours of orange, green and red, and some of the trees look like they are on fire. I can’t help but be absorbed by the beauty of nature as I sit by the river to help de-stress myself from all my worries. There is something so amazing about the greens of nature, the grass, the trees, the fallen leaves, and the rushing water that just naturally lulls my mind into a natural state that my mind was supposed to be in. My mom told me that I am supposed to spend half an hour in nature every day. As a kid, that was easy, as I lived in an abundance of nature. I stepped out of my front door and I was surrounded by it every where I looked. I had less worries and gym class was outside. But now, as a university student, time is spent in front of this dreaded laptop, typing away, arguing away about some sort of thesis that I don’t actually give a crap about.
But since stress is so prevalent in everyone’s lives, and since stress actually has physically effects on my body, I need to find natural ways to calm my body down and figure out ways to tell my brain that everything is going to be alright. So, this past Tuesday after all my work I went and sat down on the grass and laid my jacket down like a make shift form of blanket. I set my backpack down that weighed like a small toddler, and then I finally sat down on my jacket and stared out at the water. The rushing sound of the water calmed every thought in my mind. Anything that was happening up there just completely shut up.
At one point I became completely immersed with how the waves were formed. It was fascinating. The colour of the water was beautiful too…I couldn’t help but notice it’s clarity. I looked around and notice that a bunch of my peers had the same idea as me. There was a guy close by to me laying on the grass, his head propped up on his backpack, just staring into the water. It was some form of meditation. I guess it was a way of clearing my head after all the garbage that came into my head throughout the day. After awhile I got chilly and so I had to put on my jacket and I decided to head home. Something about my nature experience my me feel refreshed. I felt almost relaxed and energized at the same time. I was more aware of my surroundings and wasn’t just walking around on autopilot, just bumping into people here and there. (Which, I might add, I am notorious for).
Maybe a way of coping with stress is going back to our roots-literally!! Be kind to yourself and give yourself time to unwind. If you are always out putting energy, how are you going to have time for yourself? That my friend, is what in part causes stress. I challenge you to notice the tiniest things in nature: a tiny leaf falling from a tree, a falling rain drop, a flying bird. This is a way of practising Mindfulness which will put you in the here and now, which will help reduce your stress. We can all benefit from a stress reduced life!