Friday, 25 November 2016

Information, and fathoming stress

To a certain extent anyway.
The information part of this post refers to Ted Talks.

                                              
I'd forgotten about these marvels until friend Kim reminded me via a Facebook link to one such mini-lecture on the cheering subject of Hitler.
So, the last few days during any fairly mindless activity: washing up, going through  bills, etc I've loaded up a Ted Talk and have learned and/or certainly deepened any previous knowledge I had acquired on a variety of subjects: why sugar is so bad for us, sleep behaviour, how the brain synthesises happiness, neurosurgical implants to combat depression, environment issues . . . so many talks, so many subjects.
The one I was listening to this morning while clearing up the kitchen was about Stress - not avoiding it as such, more how to look at it. Rather than assuming stress is totally a bad thing, the speaker (who was an eminent psychologist in this field) was describing what happens in our bodies if we learn to accept stress and know that we are in fact equipped to deal with it. So, rather than panicking and feeling we are about to do damage to ourselves during a stressful situation, we should understand  that our heart is beating harder for a reason; breathing faster, important, as we are sending more oxygen to the brain in order to rise to whatever the challenge is. Er . . . probably not so well explained (but then I'm not an eminent scientist, more of a muddled muser). Anyway I thought I'd try out these theories this morning on a dog walk - often fairly stressful as at the sight of even a pathetically small squirrel will send them into a frenzy with me desperately hanging on to their leads.
We went 'up the hill' and as usual one of the local cats was sitting in the middle of the lane, smirking at our approach. The dogs shriek-barked, gyrated, pulled and did all the usual stuff they do and the cat continued sitting and smirking.
Normally at this point I will swear a lot, get very cross and become anxious about what might happen to my back, arms, etc, and what might happen if the dogs slipped their collars. This time I thought about dog-stress. These dogs have been bred to chase and probably maul furry creatures; their bodies were reacting as they should, I was reacting to their stress and that was OK. I could deal with it and I wouldn't die (hopefully).
I let them shout a lot, and studied the morning's spectacular clouds rather than swearing and when the cat finally went off to find something to be stressed about itself, we peacefully continued the walk.
I'm sure I'll forget these rather Zen thoughts when a particularly appalling bank statement arrives or whatever but . . . maybe not.
Right; in -tray and a lecture on Space, I think.

                                                 

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