I recently watched a documentary on the Vietnam War. I vividly remember the images on black and white TV in the Sixties when it was happening. A pointless war where thousands died and the effects are still being felt today on both sides. One thing the documentary taught me was that wars are started by governments in earnest for mostly self interest, paranoia or profit without regard for the soldiers or civilians involved. I am firmly in the make love, not war camp.
That said, these are issues that are too big to comprehend and much valuable time can be spent ruminating on such subjects, especially as there are many wars being fought at present for the same reasons.
I have always held the opinion that it is always more functional to confine thoughts mostly to issues that we can truly do something about. Excessive rumination achieves very little and is the main reason for a feeling of being ‘stuck’. In this situation, people generally look around and outside themselves for the reasons why they are not moving forward when it usually lies squarely at their door. It is all a question of awareness and facing issues head on. Something that some people are not able or willing to do.
I also firmly believe that to be in the position to find perspective in your life, you need to be grounded and in the present moment. This is the only place where influence can be had to the extent that change is possible. The question is just how do we stay in the present enough to gain benefit? Many people find joy in meditation, quiet thought or other relaxation techniques. However, I am here to draw attention to the biggest, free resource we have on this planet, nature itself.
I am an avid hiker and walker and I love the great outdoors. When I go through a period when I am not out as much as I would like, I never feel quite the same. Nature brings a balance to my life that I just cannot get from the gym or other forms of relaxation. Come rain or shine, I feel I just cannot be unhappy outdoors and any issues I have at that time are always put into perspective. Nature also brings a consistency that our world as it stands cannot. You just know mostly what you are going to get at any given time of the year. It is not without reason that studies suggest that abused children often see nature as their higher power.
Just look at the scene used a the featured image on this article. It conjures up all kinds of positive images and possibly memories too. I can just imagine myself walking that trail and it makes me feel good just thinking about it.
So next time you are down, stuck in the city or generally just in need of focussing in the moment, don’t forget that being outside costs nothing and will bring more joy than you can imagine!