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Threat Or Challenge

I'm listening to more of this human emotion podcast from Yale University while I'm outside working on the mulching and weeding and lawn cutting and picking up sticks that fell from the trees over the winter...

And they discussed stress.  Turns out, and I had no idea before listening to this podcast, that if you perceive stress as a challenge instead of a threat, you are able to deal with it much better.

It's interesting, so if we look at whatever is causing stress in our lives as a challenge, a few things change.  You actually get more blood flow to your heart, your brain, and your organs and muscles.  Your body releases the same chemicals that it would right before you would compete.  So, that means your body amps up.

If you look at it as a threat, your body does the opposite.  It preserves blood flow and only delivers it where it thinks it might be needed and withdrawals it from places it thinks aren't needed for the fight or flight response that it's preparing for.

Now, it didn't say HOW to look at stress as a challenge instead of a threat, but I guess that's kind of the trick.  But they took two groups of individuals and they found that the one common survey question among people who were able to fair better in a stressful situation, such as right before they were about to take a test or something like that, or about to go into a job interview, or going on a first date... Or about to give a talk of some sort for work.

The people who did better, looked at all those stressful situations, like moving to a new place, or even a new apartment or buying a house... or going to a work convention for the weekend to give a big presentation...

They viewed it as a challenge.

So, that's kind of neat.  What I found also interesting is that according to the studies cited, it turns out that stress events isolated actually drive us to be more creative and to sort of become better people.  That is, having events in our live that produce stress that we then come up with ways to handle it... Lead us to changing ourselves.

So, individual stressful events are actually good.

What's not good is chronic stress.  So what we do need are breaks of relaxation.  So, if you have an event happen, but then you relax after that even is resolved... That's good.  Just having constant stress though is very bad.

People who have stress events followed by breaks and relaxation have better immune response to colds, but the opposite is true for constant stress.

Interesting stuff.

The last thing they mentioned was that people who are hopeful and curious seem to have less chronic diseases than people who are not.

SO if you look at everything as a challenge and remain hopeful and curious about everything.  You do better overall than if you view everything as a threat and are not hopeful and don't care to know more about things.

Well anyways, I got more lawn work and mulching done.  I'm remulching the plant beds.  What I did so far looks pretty good.

I really want to get one of those cut in half whiskey barrels from Lowe's and fill it with potting soil and plant something in it to put on top of this stump I have in my yard.  I think that will look good.  There's a tree stump from a tree that was cut down a few years ago.

I have so many projects though.  I want to re-do the vents around the house with these fancy ones I saw at Lowe's and I also want to get a new screen door.

I want to put in one of those wood overhangs on the back porch, maybe.  We had one growing up in California and I thought it was cool.  It's just planks of wood that are over the porch.



Patio overhang.  One of those would be cool off the back of my house I think.  We'll see.  I do need to pay this obnoxious tax bill first.  And I want a drum set.  And my iPhone is old as dirt.

My portfolio manager is supposed to talk to me in the next couple weeks to start setting up a monthly or quarterly payout from the trust income.  I've decided that I want 50 percent pay out and 50 percent reinvested.

I have my own portfolio too, I'll be getting 53 bucks in dividends on Monday!  So, that's cool.

I really am considering using some of my money to buy property, maybe a condo, and then start AirBNBing it.  The thing is, anything I do of that nature takes away from music time... Which is the whole goal of my life is to be able to make it so that I change my life and figure out a way to do more music.  Not less.

Which is why I'll probably just continue to put money into dividend stocks.

It's a challenge!  To figure out how to get my life setup and geared towards making more music.

Well anyways, so, the next time you have something in your life that is stressful... Try to view it as a challenge instead of a threat!  At least that's what the science people at Yale say to do.

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