Walk On The Wild Side

What can we do to fix the stress, to ease the mind?

When the unrelenting demands of relationships, work and school diminish our energy. When the everyday workload of life seems to become too extensive. When we feel anxious, tired or frightened of the unknown future ahead of us. When your frame of mind begins to transform as the dark, damp, winter weather clouds charge in.

Explore. Explore in the woods. Explore on the beaches. Explore the in the forest and the mountains. Explore alone. Explore with others. Just get outside! I was told as little girl that “Nature is cheaper than therapy” and this philosophy has stayed with me, tucked away in my congested mind as times get hard.

Mental health is as important as physical health! So take care of your mind. Take care of your body and take care of your soul. Step outside, out of your comfort zone and release your endorphins. To see, feel, smell, touch and hear. To see the great outdoors that are filled with massive, vibrant evergreens that tower above your head. To feel the arctic waters numb your toes, as you wade into the ocean of the Pacific Northwest. To smell the fresh, crisp air of the alpines. To touch the glowing, velvety moss that grow on the rocks and trees around you. To hear absolutely nothing except the inhales and exhales from your body. Explore to experience and tranquilize. Explore because it is meditation in itself.

Explore to the beach to see the supermoon and stars illuminate the sky above while listening to the ocean’s rhythm, as your tucked into a sleeping bag. Explore the dense rain forest filled with unique plants of all kinds! Explore to see the glorious sunrise that spills colors of blue, orange and pink over the peak of Mt.Shuksan!

In pushing one’s limits in the face of the wonders of the wilderness, you measure your own humanistic abilities not in a way that is draining and petty like outside the natural world, but in a way that is clarifying and eye-opening in the way that you are presented with what in this life is truly pure. When you greet the ocean, and the jagged peaks of the North Cascades, you are at once aligning yourself with the natural elements inside of you, as you, too, belong to the natural world. Moreover, you are reminding yourself that mundane worries of what others think of you, how you are perceived, and other sources of anxiety, are obsolete in the wake of the honesty of nature.

How can you live a life worth living without stepping outside of your comfort zone? To walk, to explore, to sit, to see, to feel, to smell to touch to hear. We all find daily doses of stress that crash into our minds like powerful waves do on shore. Nature has the ability to open the mind, open our eyes, open our senses to let the worries fade. It has the power to recharge. So, get outside, go explore, go adventure, and never forget that nature is cheaper than therapy.

Sabrina Patton

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