So much is going on! I felt a big surge of worry. I've learned sitting in the feeling of worry brings more worry. So, its time to move. Next, I ask an important question, So what is going to be helpful in this moment?

For me it was getting outside and feeling grateful for what is happening right now. I started with my mindful breathing exercise: I took a deep breathe in .... with that feeling of worry and then took a long deep exhale out while imagining the feeling of peace. I know when my mind is less overwhelmed I'm more capable of problem solving. Stress hormones limits our creativity and not to mention our immune system.

My daughter and I walked down to the creek again in our neighborhood. I sat on a big rock and watched the water while I did the above breathing meditation for about 5 minutes. Then focused my attention on rocks. (written prior to our ice storm)

Another objective on this walk was to find rocks. On our walk we found a few rocks that caught our eye. My daughter explored the creek and found several that felt good to her. As we searched for our rocks, we made an attempt to be mindful of simply looking for rocks. We limited our conversations for that moment while searching in the creek water and in the dirt. No other busy thoughts inside my mind, but when thoughts did arise I simply focused my attention on noticing what was right in front of me. I had to redirect my inside chatter several times! But I did it. It takes practice.

Next, when we arrived home, my son and I got busy painting our rocks. The idea is that every time we look at our rocks its a reminder to feel grateful. You can carry this rock around in your pocket, leave it on your desk where you will see it throughout your day. I will place mine on my desk.

Whenever you see it or touch it, pause to think about at least one thing you are grateful for or something that brings you joy. Whether it’s something as small as the sun is out today or something big as I have a nice home to live in everyday. ​ It will bring you out of your head and into the present moment, giving you something to focus your attention on. It can also act as a switch to more positive thinking. Enjoy.

To the point: Managing how you respond to your thoughts and feelings will directly impact your mental and physical health. Our thoughts and feelings can activate our stress response system. You can manage how you respond and deactivate the stress response in your body. The Mindfulness and gratefulness exercises are 2 simple ways to manage your stress. Read more here.

​Photos: Thankful for the blue sky today!! Neighborhood creek, son and I painting our rocks

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