Monday, October 29, 2012

Stress vs. arousal

I sometimes feel anxiety, the word I use for when I am on edge because I know I am about to do something important, as defined by having a potentially disproportionate or lasting effect on my life. It's not that I feel afraid, per se, or even stressed by things, but the stress of feeling on edge can take its toll on my body -- like too many late nights and too much caffeine will do. But I found this interesting article that not only describes the difference between interpreting your body's reactions to important performance situations as either stress or arousal, it also provides hope that everyone could train themselves and their bodies to have a reaction of arousal instead of stress. From Wray Herbert, author of On Second Though (and potential sociopath?).

Imagine that you are at the top of a ski slope, about to make a run. It’s a challenging slope, black diamond—steep and narrow, lots of trees. Plus it’s windy, and there’s that treacherous drop-off on the right. You’re an inexperienced skier, not a novice but not at all confident that you belong in such extreme terrain. Your heart is pounding and your gut is tight.

Now imagine that you’re on top of the very same slope, but you are a skilled downhill racer, an Olympic contender. You’re sure you know how to attack this slope—you’ve done it many times before—but even so, your heart is pounding and butterflies are fluttering in your gut.

Both of these hypothetical skiers are under stress, and feeling the arousal that comes with stress. But one is experiencing good stress, the other bad stress. They are both looking at the same slope, but one sees it as a threat, the other as a challenge. The expert knows that his skills are more than sufficient for the situation. The nervous learner has no such confidence.
***
Is it possible that stress is not all that bad, that in fact it may be tonic at times?

The key is how we think about stress and arousal. Those two skiers are in fact experiencing different bodily changes. Though both are feeling activation of the sympathetic nervous system, the fearful skier is feeling constriction of the vessels, which makes the heart work harder. The expert is actually experiencing more sympathetic arousal as he contemplates the challenge ahead, but the blood vessels are dilating, increasing cardiac efficiency. But they don’t know or care what’s going on inside them. They both simply feel edgy and aroused.

How to do it yourself?


Just prior to this event, some were instructed about the value of human stress response in high-level performance. They were encouraged to interpret any signs of arousal as a positive thing, a tool that would aid them in making a confident speech. The others were told to ignore their stress arousal, or they were told nothing at all.

The findings were clear. During the speech, those instructed in reappraisal were much more like the Olympian skier, showing what Jamieson calls “physiological toughness”: They experienced less blood vessel constriction and more cardiac output, as if they were attacking the slope. What’s more, immediately after the speech, these volunteers were less vigilant. In other words, they felt confident, not threatened.


53 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. And now you are congratulated by anonymous! Good job!

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  2. Reminds me of my daily life at work. Problems are always arising. Its not how bad the problem is, as much as it is "what can I do to solve the problem". I've learned and trained my self not to stress. In the end whats the point of stressing out. Love the examples that were used.

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  3. :) Good Morning Sociopathworld!!!! Good Morning Blades!

    How are you all doing today?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. BTW UPDATE- Today is day 30 of no weed smoking, and I gave myself an "at home" drug test and I STILL have THC in my freakin system!!!! I wonder how much longer it will take to leave my body!

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    2. 2months is no expetion for a havy user
      (i thik it can be even 3)
      do you have troble getting to sleep now 2
      and wierd dreams if you quit smoking?

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    3. Congratulations on 30 days, Rich!!!!

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    4. Anon- Yes I do. Especially since I have stopped drinking too. I told my methadone counselor about the dreams and he said " I bet your dreams are like Technicolor on steroids huh?" and I said "YES, Exactly!!!" and that is exactly what they are like!!!!


      Monica- Thank you so much!!!! Iam not gonna let it get me down Iam just disappointed it isint out of my system yet :(

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    5. Eat like a Auschwitz detainee and run like a madman. It will be out of your system pretty quick.

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  4. Hmmm… 30 days and NOT clean. That's interesting. Rich, what is you size again? Height, weight, and body fat %… if the last is hard a body frame description might help. THC is absorbed through fat cells and your metabolism can play a part in the length of time that THC stays in the body. Lots of fat, lower metabolism, longer times.

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    Replies
    1. Uh Yup! Better start sweatin' to the oldies, Rich.

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    2. LMAO @ Sweatin to the oldies.

      Virus- Iam 6'3 and 155 lbs, but the only sopts that are musuclar are mostly my legs and arms, like my upper arms (from the steroids). So it probably is sitting in my fat cells. But I have read it can take up to 90 days for heavy long term weed smokers, Iam just hoping it dosent take so long for me :)

      How are you today bud?

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    3. LMAO!!!! Sorry Virus,Iam 6'3 255 lbs!!!! LMAO! I would look like a stick figure if I weighed 155 @ 6'3!

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    4. yeah right Rich you're a sitting on your ass snacking your Mom's dinners doing nothing kinda dude sucking drugs. Fucked up man.

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    5. Rich get off your ass get out your family house, grow a pair of balls and stop crying. Seriously I hate you having issues but I hate worse the whining and crying. Get some Depends or man the fuck up.

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    6. Lunar, the only one who sounds like they are crying here is YOU! LOL! Go havea nice date with " Rosie Palms and her 5 friends" and loosen the fuck up!

      Instead of LUNAR your name should be LOSER!

      :)

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  5. Good Morning Rich, Virus and SW !!!!

    Rembrant
    I have been meditating on your post. Did you have bad childhood abuse?

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    Replies
    1. Uhm, no, not really. Why do you ask?

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    2. I lost my post. When people cannot stand a certain trait, such as weakness, for example, it is, often, because they were abused when they were weak i.e a child.
      Something in them died from the abuse. Hence, when they see this trait in others or themselves, they get angry or want to hurt the person with the trait.


      I heard that hating of weakness, in you.

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    3. Cute and cool... you must really like me, lol ;p
      Too bad it's hard for me to relate because I never watched this cartoon:(

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    4. Themes does not explain himself, but he will make an exception. You try to be so tough, but you are a little baby ~

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    5. You accuse me of trying to be tough but I don't think that laughing from people indicates maturity. Also you can read comments in previous blog post to understand my pov about victim stuff and abuse. I live in similar in a way environment and I don't care. Tough? Maybe :/
      I'm young and I think that it is good that I'm in this place now when I can actually learn something, so stop whining~

      Anyway, I appteciate your sharing and I always wanted to get a glimpse of your thinking :)

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  6. It's bad enough that Rich has to to stop smoking, and now he has to exercise. That's so sad.

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    Replies
    1. You are fat ugly drug addict and your tooth hurts? Thanks to Amanda Tod you have a solution. It is the new revolutionary product made by NASA - Bleach. Bleach will help you lose weight in less than a week! Easily visible changes will be seen after day three! It also makes you immune to drugs and brightens your teeth as well. And it reduces stress! Bleach was tested on many volunteers and none of them complained! Order now and it will cost you only 3.92$

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    2. Bad pup!!!
      No yipping at the nice people. Where the hell is that rolled up newspaper?

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    3. LOL @ Anon, While I have a bunch of Anabolic steroids and I just went out and bought a bike this weekend to start off my exercise.

      I have a vial of 10mL of Testosterone Cypionate 200mg's per 1mL, A vial of 4mL of testosterone Cypoinate 100mg's per mL, and a vial of 9mL of Trenbolone Acetate (the strongest steroid know to man) 100mg's per 1 mL.

      So I can get lean quick, I just gotta put my mind to it ;)

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    4. You Rich are a seriously impaired Nutter NOT Mee. You're weak. He's not.

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    5. I agree. So what?

      Im sure you arent too mentally healthy either. Do you have a personality disorder?

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    6. Lunar, I believe he was trying to break the ice. That's common act among empaths and among disordered people as well. Normally saying "you're nuts" is saying your joke was funny but if I say it in that way people will think that I like your dark humour piece and my friends may not be supportive. I could go on, but I think I made my point.

      Once I went smoking with some friends and I finished my cigarette while others were half way. So I said "Paul give me another one" but then Mary said "no Mee, we only smoke one during a break" I was like "fuck it". And that's how my career as a sworn smoker that might have developed into drug addiction ended. But I do bond with pain medication though.

      Anon 223, I peed on that paper, try catching me now, fucker :*

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    7. Uh I almost forgot, Rich, post a brief report about yourself. Write your disorders flavor (if you have a pd or sth), why you are here, when your addiction started and sth else you think we might be interested in. Do not over expand.

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  7. Replies
    1. I hate Rembrandt misspelled - one of my idiosyncrasies, The artist name is spelled Rembrandt NOT Rembrant. You annoy the hell out of me.

      Oh and my boyfriend was especially irritating tonight. We had a fight. Again. I am kicking that asshole to the curb two of us are like North ends of a magnet. But damn I like sex with his 6' 7" ass. I love how he ties me up with chains and spanks me but I'm not impressed with his inability to be Real in The Big Real.

      Coming in here after a drinking night. My turn to sound crazy.

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  8. putting the fear of god in neurotypicals always gives me a raging boner. (that and a good workout)

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    Replies
    1. Good workout from fondling the flagpole? Lubricating the love monkey? Taunting the one eyed weasel?

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    2. Jerkin' the gherkin? Beating the bishop? Tickle the pickle? Slake the snake? Palmela Handerson??

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  9. Abusing the wicked stick? Hitchhiking to heaven? Arm wrestling the purple headed warrior? Strip mining with the spaghetti man?

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  10. What up? Why is it so dead in this bitch?
    What's up Haven! If you're around...

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  11. Just posted this question under the blog entry: Breaking up is hard to do. Thought it might have a better chance of getting a reply under this newer entry...


    Sociopaths, what would irritate you most when running into an ex who had left you?

    Seeing him/her smile at you warmly then walk away completely unperturbed by the happen-chance spotting? Having the other person ignore you completely? Seeing the person happy and successful without you?

    And, just for safe measure, what would your recourse be? Try to get them back? Or try to hurt them?

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  12. This story is blowing up on the blogosphere the past hour. Also, blowing up across twitter. Has anyone out there seen or heard this reported on any Major News Outlets, either Television or Radio?

    "U.S. General Arrested for Activating Special Forces Teams; Ignoring Libya Stand-Down Order

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2951989/posts

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  13. ME, when's the last time you felt truly alive?

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  14. Why the pic of James Holmes? Is it a throw back to our society allowing these sick people to hide in plain sight or what's going on here? Bit confused

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    ReplyDelete
  16. This includes reduced immune function, increased inflammation, high blood pressure, and alterations in your brain chemistry, blood sugar levels and hormonal balance, just to name a few. mindfulnessmavericks.co.uk

    ReplyDelete

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