Not a Good Idea + A Current Collective + Do You Feel It Now?
Good Morning from Warren Grove, Prince Edward Island
We love our Millie, a two-year-old Australian Shepherd.
She celebrated her second birthday this week. I forgot to take photos but here she is at 10 weeks.
I am curious how many pet owners there are reading today. What does owning a pet do for you?
I am thinking about contagion due to the news out of South Africa. It started me thinking about what is the opposite of stress. So I pulled this thread at 5:30 am this morning. Here we go.
"Brain cells create ideas. Stress kills brain cells. Stress is not a good idea" ~ Arthur Frederick Saunders
I went to Dr. Google and typed in the question. What is the opposite of stress?
After 3 pages of dictionary responses, I found a Stress Management article posted by Villanova University.
"Stress is an ignorant state. It believes that everything is an emergency."
~ Natalie Goldberg
What is Stress?
“There are two ways you can look at stress - you can change the stressor or you can change the way you look at it.
Stress is a feeling that's created when we react to particular events. It's the body's way of rising to a challenge and preparing to meet a tough situation with focus, strength, stamina, and heightened alertness.
The events that provoke stress are called stressors. They cover a whole range of situations. Everything from outright physical danger to speaking in public.
The human body responds to stressors by activating the nervous system and specific hormones. For example, the hypothalamus signals the adrenal glands to produce more of the hormones adrenaline and cortisol and release them into the bloodstream. These hormones speed up heart rate, breathing rate, blood pressure, and metabolism. Blood vessels open wider to let more blood flow to large muscle groups, alerting our muscles. Pupils dilate to improve vision. The liver releases some of its stored glucose to increase the body's energy. And sweat is produced to cool the body. These physical changes prepare a person to react quickly and effectively to handle the pressure of the moment.
This natural reaction is known as the stress response. When working correctly, the body's stress response enhances a person's ability to perform well under pressure. But the stress response can also cause problems when it overreacts or fails to turn off and reset itself properly.”
How do I turn my back on stress?
As a man of faith, I am fortunate ‘when’ I surrender to the peace of God, stress is not so much an issue. But the real trick is in surrendering.
While talking with Dr. Google, I discovered kindness is also highly contagious.
"Love and kindness are never wasted. They always make a difference. They bless the one who receives them, and they bless you, the giver."
~ Barbara De Angelis
Scientists at Harvard and Yale measured the contagiousness of kindness out to three social steps.
When you are kind to someone, that person will be kind or kinder to someone else (1 social step from you), because of how you made the person feel, and the recipient of that kindness will be kind or kinder to someone else. (2 social steps from you), and the recipient of that kindness will be kind or kinder to someone else (3 social steps from you).
In practice, kindness is ‘circularly contagious’, like the way a wave travels outwards in a circle when you drop a pebble in water.
"Imagine you are walking in the woods and you see a small dog sitting by a tree. As you approach it, itsuddenlylunges at you, teeth bared. Youare frightenedand angry. But then you notice that one of its legsis caughtin a trap.Immediately your mood shifts from anger to concern: You see that the dog's aggression is coming from a place of vulnerability and pain. This applies toall ofus. When we behave in hurtful ways, it is because weare caughtin some kind of trap.The more we look through the eyes of wisdom at ourselves and one another, the more we cultivate a compassionate heart." ~ Tara Brach
We feel happier when we act in service to others.
“No act of kindness,howeversmall, is ever wasted.” ~ Aesop
A recent study reported on how people felt after performing or observing kind acts every day for seven days. Participants were randomly assigned to carry out at least one more kind act than usual for someone close to them, an acquaintance or stranger, or themselves, or to try to actively observe kind acts. Happiness was measured before and after the seven days of kindness. The researchers found that being kind to ourselves or to anyone else — yes, even a stranger — or actively observing kindness around us boosted happiness.
I love the story of how Evan Bisnauth makes animated videos with the dogs to help them get adopted. I love his passion and his kindness towards the animals who can’t speak for themselves. How one 11-year-old is assisting hard-to-place dogs to in shelters get attention and find homes is a beautiful thing. Read the Washington Post story here.
Have you seen our newest blog, by our graphic designer and photographer, Katherine MacLaine? She captures Prince Edward Island's beauty with her camera like no one else. Check out A Current Collective.
A Quote I am Thinking About
"Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop." - Ovid
I love silly clean humour. This guy is a comic genius
Ok, I hope you had a laugh. Now let’s Dance. Wiggle and Giggle Time.
"Be The Peace You Wish To See In The World!" ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
With love from Prince Edward Island.
Bruce + Millie
ps. Your Morning Smile
My wife yelled from the bedroom, asking, “Do you ever get a shooting pain across your body like someone’s got a voodoo doll of you, and they’re stabbing it?”