Being that I bike ride nearly every evening, you’d think I’d see the same things each day while on the same trail.
However, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Through a ‘mindful’ course I’ve been taking, it’s really taught me to focus on something specific. And this special trait has me seeing the bike trail in all new ways each time I hit it.
Learning the art of focus can really ease stress in a big way.
It’s really a form of meditation with a different twist.
My most recent class had us filling out a sheet.
Monday through Friday was listed horizontally.
Under each day, using a scale of 1-5, you were to first write how stressed you started out at during a particular moment, then do an activity you enjoy right away.
Then jot down how stressed you felt after the activity.
Can you guess how I made out?
Each time I filled out the after, my stress was down to zero!
It’s also been noted that when many feel down or depressed for long lengths of time, they don’t have an active feel-good list to work off of. I found that really insightful!
Think about it. Say we lived in a world where there was nothing fun to do. How would we view things?
Because my own life is filled with so many things I love, I’ve always attacked one of them to help bring me up again. I just have never viewed it as ‘a thing’.
But it’s most certainly a really BIG thing.
And that thing can be anything you enjoy, whether it’s extravagant or free.
Here’s a few on the list that we were to circle if they applied to us: some of them I would have never thought of!
Soaking in a tub, spending time with friends, movies, walks, music, reading, dancing, fixing things around the house, having a quiet night, cooking good food, pets, swimming, writing, drawing, sports, attending a party, talking with friends, working out, singing, beach, playing music, making a gift, dinner out, baking, buying something, getting a hair cut, your fav beverage, manicure, bike ride (heh), looking at photos, dressing up, nature walks, noticing birds and trees (bingo), surprising someone with a favor, completing something, bowling, saying I Love You, putting on your fav clothing, noticing a storm approaching… etc.
On another list, we were to circle what we loved doing with our kids.
And that list was even more eye opening. Because when you are struggling with a bored kiddo no matter what age, it’s ammunition to bond while doing them good in other ways.
We all deserve to live our best life, no matter what our circumstances are. While some transpirings are out of our control, we can control what we do with OURSELVES from that point on.
So… wanna get happier? Here’s how it worked for me…
I just had a very busy day filled with appointments, some rather intense meetings and getting some very overdue shopping done that I didn’t particularly enjoy doing. Some of the shopping ended up being failures, resulting in needed returns. Very disappointing!
That led me down other detrimental feelings that instantly hit replay. I overthought what I said and what I did all day long, replaying each moment of the day. Did I do it right? Should I have done something differently? Down-down-down.
Do you ever incessantly rethink all you did and said in a given day? Oy, my head! It accomplishes absolutely nothing. I needed OUT!
Time to hit the trails for a good-mood reset.
The photos don’t begin to capture how majestic these areas are, by the way. You’ll just have to pretend the trees are as tall as forever.
I love how these two trees crossed each other, creating an archway or portal of sorts. I break out into a smile every time I coast through them.
This moss covered tree was fascinating. It was as if it was selected to be the only one that wore this coat, cloaked with new sprouts in just the mossy areas. Cool! Like a tree plant.
The tall tree to the right immediately grabbed my eye. It was cloaked with hanging vines just on one side of the trunk.
I’ve ridden this bike path a bazillion times, but never before have I noticed all the traits of these trees until I made that my focus.
Other things I like to focus on are colours, bird sounds, the crunch of gravel, the tones of the gravel, the way roots form, flowers, the sky, water ponds, and how winding the path is.
It’s all the same area. Every day. But it can appear so much different if we only focus.
You can find some other Therapy 101 posts HERE
And other bike ride adventures HERE