• Brenda Kress

Reduce Stress - Change a Thought!

Getting ready to take my walk this morning I began the hunt for my Bluetooth earbuds. I couldn’t find them anywhere. Super frustrated yet knowing if I spent all morning looking for them, I wouldn’t end up taking a walk. Darn it – the outing was just not going to be the same without my Zen music!

Such a true statement. It was not the same.

We live in a neighborhood in Elk Grove, a couple miles east of Hwy 99. Nestled between neighborhoods is a bike and pedestrian pathway that travels along a small creek bed. I headed in that direction knowing I wanted to get as close to nature as I could without having to drive a distance.

The first thing that happened was I spotted a hawk in a tree above me. Next came pairs of ducks that would take off in flight as I walked by. I could hear doves cooing in the distance. The air was brisk and clean; the skies blue and clear. A beautiful morning!

For a brief moment, I thought I heard the wind blowing through the treetops and such a feeling of peace, freedom and connection coursed through me. I looked at the creek, watched the duckies paddling along, felt the cool breeze around me and was so transported into nature that I would have sworn I was in the woods.

Then, my head kicked in and reminded me that, no, the sound I was hearing was freeway noise. Nothing more. That feeling I was experiencing left just as suddenly as that thought came in. Darn it, I had been feeling so good.

Then I had another thought. Why can’t I imagine the sound being the wind moving among the trees? So, I pictured a time I was in Montana when I had experienced that deep serene feeling of listening to the wind as it moved and meandered among the trees. I looked at my little creek bed and imagined I was walking along a stream in Montana (if you don’t know yet, you may now – I love Montana. My personal belief is that it is one of God’s finest masterpieces). The feeling of peace and connection returned. My shoulders relaxed and I enjoyed the rest of my walk.

From then forward, my entire attitude changed. I was no longer walking to get my exercise in for the day. I was enjoying a brisk stroll in nature. Even looking at each house I passed I spent time noticing how families express themselves with their lawn art or landscape (the picture in this blog was taken during my walk). My gratitude and joy of just “being” expanded and my heart felt full.

My opportunity now is this: can I take that feeling with me throughout the day? It only takes a shift in thought to change how we view things and what we then experience! Just imagine. . .

A find on my walk!

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