Natural Stress Management refers to engaging nature as a method to help reduce our stress. I experienced Natural Stress Management personally when I visited friend’s once summer in Wakefield, Mass., a working class town started with a hearty breakfast at the local diner. The smiles and greetings of the friendly waitress and re-affirmation of my breakfast choice already had me feeling relaxed and cheerful. A few minutes later, Steve and I were walking around the town lake as we looked at geese and the sail boat house off in the distance. Water has always been known for its calming effect and the beautiful sunny day only enhanced it for us.
Next, we took the 90 minute drive to Newport Rhode Island. The Cliff walk was amazing: beautiful mansions to the right and breathtaking views of the ocean and sailboats to our right. Afterwards we shared a double lobster roll from the beach. A 15 minute drive and we were in Portsmouth, at the home of my long time friends Bertreund and Catherine. Although I hadn’t seen them in 15 years, after 5 minutes, it was as if it was only yesterday. As we sipped wine on the porch of their beautifully restored cottage, Catherine brought us some freshly picked small tomatoes from the garden to munch on. I remember Bertruend used to practice his golf by hitting balls from his yard over the cliffs into the ocean. At low tide, he would walk down to the sea and collect them along with some clams to make as a snack with dinner. Tonight, we went for a swim in ocean. The protected cove was quiet and peaceful. The water was cool and refreshing and the smell of the salt air, delicious. Stress was the furthest thing on my mind. The natural surroundings were breath taking and the simple pleasures my friend continued to enjoy was a breath of fresh air. As we sat down to dinner the warmth and simplicity of the home was immediately apparent. Catherine whipped together grilled shrimp apetizers and a delicious pork loin dinner with ease. We reminiced about our past exploits together as young men in Virginia and two hours seemed like two minutes. The company of good friends, enjoyment of simple pleasures and beauty of nature provided a natural stress reduction experience beyond compare. I slept like a baby last night!