Think about your happy place…
What is that place or activity that makes you feel happy and at peace and can make your stress melt away?
Your “happy place” can be doing something athletic like running, yoga, mountain climbing, etc. or something completely different like petting your dog or crocheting, whatever gets you “off that ledge” and makes you feel balanced again
Recent studies have shown that taking a walk in the park can do wonders for relieving stress. I’m guessing that if they measured the effects of paddleboarding on stress it would make a walk in the park seem, like well…a walk in the park.
We all know that exercise is great for reducing stress. It releases endorphins. And endorphins are wonderful little neurotransmitters that ease stress and make you feel good. That’s why so many people find relief from some type of intense activity. Take exercise’s ability to ease stress, add the healing effects of water, and then add the sensation of walking on top of that water and you just found my happy place. Paddleboarding.
We have all had those days when everything seems kind of annoying. Even being in our own company can be annoying. What do you do when that hits? I go paddling. The first few times we rented standup paddleboards were fun. We were learning to turn and move around on the board and Mark and I were together. When we got our own boards and I suddenly found myself with a lot of time on my hands while Mark worked, I paddled – A LOT.
What I learned in those solo paddles was huge. I learned that paddleboarding balances me. It inspires me. It is gentle though it can be as intense or not as you want. It is fluid. And it is subject to nature’s whims…glassy one day, choppy the next. Discovering that paddleboarding is my place of clarity was one of the biggest gifts I have gotten from it. Many of the plans for Neverbored hatched on the water.
I love how it is never the same experience twice and how it opens my mind and heart to my surroundings. The sun is never quite in the same place, the wind is always slightly different. The water lilies can be more or less open or pink. Where is the swan family on any given day? If things start to get stale, I will go around the lake in the opposite direction. But regardless of the direction I choose, paddleboarding provides a connection with the environment that lets me pay attention to all of these things and more. It allows me to really engage with my surroundings and appreciate how I fit in with the environment.
I’m not trying to get all metaphysical, but next time you are in your happy place…notice how you become more open to everything around you and how much more attune you become to your environment and your place in it. If you haven’t tried paddleboarding, get out on a board and see where it can take you if you open yourself up to the experience. Maybe…just maybe you will find a new happy place. But even if it doesn’t have the same affect on you, you will have fun and maybe when you go back to your own happy place, the colors will be a little sharper and the air will be a little sweeter, you will feel a little freer and you will be a little happier.
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