The #1 way to reduce stress in your life

It is long overdue for a post on this blog diving into the nutrition realm, but I felt compelled to write a bit about stress relief after getting back from a recent rock climbing trip. I didn’t realize how sucked into the tech world most of us live in (myself included) until I went on this trip. Like most people, I spend a significant amount of time each day on my Blackberry, I-Phone, Laptop, Listening to Music, etc.  In fact, I didn’t even think twice about bringing my Blackberry on my recent rock climbing vacation to West Virginia. Afterall, I usually have boat loads of e-mails, text messages, voice mails, and Facebook Messages to respond to on a daily basis. So my trusty cell phone and it’s charger were of course the first thing that got thrown into my packed bags. Ironically, I decided on the drive down to New River Gorge, which is one of the sport climbing mecca’s of the East Coast, that I would leave my phone in the glove box of my car and not check all the usual stuff. I can’t remember that last day where I didn’t use my phone. So, did this experiment work you might ask? To be perfectly honest, it made me appreciate on a completely different level the good ole days.  You know the days I’m talking about. The days before the age of technology. The days where cell phones didn’t even exist. If someone did have a portable phone, it looked like something straight out of a Hum- V during Operation Desert Storm. The antenna was about 2 feet long and came in a large box about the size of a small cat. Of course, Facebook didn’t even exist during this era and text messages were a thing of the future.

Anyway, back to present time, I couldn’t believe how relaxing it was to be separated from all of these things that so many of us have become accustom to. During this rock climbing trip, my only worries were what food I was going to pack, how much water did I need for the endless miles of climbing walls we would be hiking to and how big of a dinner we were going to cook on our primitive stove at the end of the day. (Yes it is funny that even when I am camping I feel obligated to cook a professional chef inspired meal). Back to my point, I could not get over how relaxed I felt during this trip with the absence of modern-day gadgets. The apples seemed to taste crisper than usual. The warmth of the afternoon sun seemed to tan your skin by the second. The feeling of my bare feet on the West Virginia dirt felt unusually soft.  The warm summer breezes rustled the leaves in the trees. The sound of my climbing partner at the top of the cliff shouting at the top his lungs, “OFF BELAY”!

I came back from this trip with a new appreciation for the outdoors and the beauty of what Mother Nature has given us millions of years ago. Most importantly, it felt great to not have a single care in the entire world. For many of us, the feeling of “Not a Single Care in the World” is something that has long been forgotten. It is something we have not experienced since childhood. So my point here is this. Try to find some time each week to put away all of life’s distractions and just simply be. Turn off your computer, silence your cell phones, unplug the radio from the wall, put your watch in the jewelry box and try to do something appreciating its pure simplicity. Go for a walk through a park. Go for a run down a really long road. Go for an evening swim at the beach. Go sit in the sun and read a book. Whatever it is you choose to do, make sure that you try to do a little bit of it every single day of your life. I guarantee the feeling of peace you will get by finding a relaxing activity, one where you are separated from all of life’s distractions, will be more pleasurable than any text message, phone call or “Tweet”. Learn to appreciate the simplicity and overall excitement of life that awaits each new day……..

Not a care in the world except how to get to the top of this splitter crack!

Location: Rock Shelter Cave

Bridge Buttress

New River Gorge, West Virginia

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