June 28, 2011
Scientists allowed one group of rats to run. Another set of rodents was not allowed to exercise. Then all of the rats swam in cold water, which they don’t like to do. Afterward, the scientists examined the animals’ brains. They found that the stress of the swimming activated neurons in all of the brains…. But the youngest brain cells in the running rats, the cells that the scientists assumed were created by running, were less likely to express the (stress). They generally remained quiet. The “cells born from running,” the researchers concluded, appeared to have been “specifically buffered from exposure to a stressful experience.” The rats had created, through running, a brain that seemed biochemically, molecularly, calm…. “It looks more and more like the positive stress of exercise prepares cells and structures and pathways within the brain so that they’re more equipped to handle stress in other forms.” – From the NY Times
Contrary to previous research, the study found that people who engage in behaviors that increase competency, for example at work, school or the gym, experience decreased happiness in the moment, lower levels of enjoyment and higher levels of momentary stress. Despite the negative effects felt on an hourly basis, participants reported that these same activities made them feel happy and satisfied when they looked back on their day as a whole. This surprising find suggests that in the process of becoming proficient at something, individuals may need to endure temporary stress to reap the happiness benefits associated with increased competency. – From Science Daily
Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are. — Chinese Proverb
To exert control, you must create a solid place of tension from which to generate that force. Feel this in your mind and body when you try to “take control” of something. And in fact, this solidification may lead to change in the world. But, “know the male, yet keep to the female“, holding that force in place will not hold the change in place. This is to confuse cause with effect.