It is a story that is built from the numerous day to day engagements of every man: Rising up early to beat the traffic snarl up, getting the children ready for school, leaving early for work, commuting from point A to B in a period as short as ten minutes, paying the overdue bills, attending board meetings that spill into the afternoon, being on time for the evening classes, passing through the library to do research for the night’s assignment and getting home worn out, fatigued and exhausted. It is a story shared by many across the world, rich and poor, sheltered and destitute, fed and hungry.
To a given extent, the times demand such lifestyles. The world is rapidly changing, activity around the cities of the world take place at an accelerated pace relative to the past presenting man with greater obligations and responsibilities to attend to in much less time. Lifestyles of this kind result in a state of mental and muscular exhaustion, inability to keenly concentrate and other physical reactions such as increased pulse rates and a lot periodic headaches. Once in such a state, one is said to be stressed. Stress has the effect of making one lethargic, demotivated hence significantly reducing their production capacity in any task. There are various ways that one can relieve stress. The use of a specific method of relieving stress is dependant upon one’s tastes and preferences in life, their personality and their passions. This is my way(McEwen, B. 2002).
My day commences as early as three thirty in the morning and runs till half past eleven o’clock in the evening. There is little, if any, time to relax apart from the four hour sleep; time is of great essence and the little that I have is spread from lecture halls, libraries, research, group discussions, work, analysis of the global financial markets, to interacting with family and friends. With the day and its baggage behind me, my mind and body are usually extremely tired; tired to the extent of experiencing severe head and muscular aches. My situation is usually compounded in the event that a misfortune occurs, for instance the loss of a loved one. This not only exhausts my mind and body but also plunges me into a state of sadness.
I derive a lot of strength from nature in its unadulterated form away from the noise of modernity. Sites of pristine beauty pacify my heart, refresh my mind and rejuvenate my strength. Whenever I feel stressed, I take a walk in the company of nothing but solitude through the woods. The distinct audibility of every possible sound of nature fills my heart with great pleasure: The whistling wind that gushes from the steep cliff permeating its way through the raffling leaves of the bush, the river water that meanders its way down the slopes of the hill, the almost baritone croaking of the frog as it basks in the rays of the setting sun, the symphony of the birds as they fly in orbits around their nests and the Rock Badger that gnaws its food in a munching silence(McEwen, B. 2002).
The freshness of the air in the woods is unthinkable in view of the pollution characteristic of the urban world. It is fresh and moist and leaves a therapeutic sensation in one’s body. It relaxes my muscles a lot. The evening horizon of the woods is so artistic, so beautiful: The green dome shaped hills with crests of scattered rocks, the setting sun that throws its golden red rays across the sky creating a geometry of rare beauty in the heavens and casting gigantic shadows of the trees and hills on the surface of the woods creating the impression of shading done by an artist of unparalleled skill and talent.
The distant heights that one can climb to and get the feeling of what a panoramic view of the world would feel like, scary yet again adventurous; the low depths that they may choose to explore, a world lost to humanity and found by animals. The ragged terrain of the cliffs is awesome and so enthralling. The flower strewn bushes, all by the work of nature, create an enriched assortment flowers that would stand unparalleled by any florist on earth. I relieve my stress in the woods; the scenic beauty, the sounds of nature, the serenity of wildlife, flora and fauna and the majesty of creation. It revives my desire to work; it rekindles my aptitude and wanes off the fatigue(McEwen, B. 2002).
Music and singing are equally relieving to me when stressed. I listen to classical music, slow in tempo yet rich in meaning or the Negro spirituals, old lyrics yet the message content conveys a new meaning every moment. I listen to either of the two, and slowly my mind unwinds. The blend of the various voices into one euphonic piece, the application of diverse instruments to resonate in one plausible sound, the depth of the message from ages gone and spanning into ages to come. It usually is such a relief from: all the pressures of modern life, the struggles of eking out a daily living, the depressions of inevitable failure, the pain of relationships gone sour and the sorrows of the frailty of man.
McEwen, Bruce. 2002. The End of Stress As We Know It. Washington, D.C: Joseph Henry Press.