Can we make stress our friend?

decrease font size  Resize text   increase font size       Printer-friendly version of this article Printer-friendly version of this article

Editor’s note: The following article was first published by the Miner Institute Farm Report, available here.

Who does not have some amount of stress in their life that they would love to get rid of? Additionally who would not want to make that stress a positive aspect of their life?

Sounds a bit like an infomercial, but I recently watched a TED talk by Kelly McGonigal on “How to make stress your friend” after admittedly being hooked by the title. McGonigal highlighted that we could make stress our friend with the help of a little science.

In a recent study, 30,000 adults in the U.S. were followed after filling out a survey asking them the amount of stress they had experienced the preceding year and if they believed that experiencing stress had negative impacts on their health.

People that reported experiencing a lot of stress had a 43% greater chance of dying, but only if they believed that stress negatively impacted their health. In fact over the course of the 8 years the study was conducted, 182,000 deaths in the United States could be estimated to have been attributed to believing that stress negatively impacts health.

Meanwhile, those people that had high levels of stress but did not believe it had negative impacts on health had some of the lowest death rates. What this study, along with others, tells us is that through changing our outlook on stress we may be able to make it our friend.

As with cows, humans release oxytocin in response to outside triggers such as a baby crying or to stress! Oxytocin is released from the pituitary gland in response to stress much like adrenaline is released to enable the fight or flight response.

Oxytocin has also been dubbed the “cuddle hormone” in popular press articles as it is what fine tunes our social behavior. This means that oxytocin is a hormone that drives humans to talk to other humans in an attempt to strengthen interpersonal relationships.

When oxytocin levels are high in dairy cows, lying and rumination time increase, feed seeking behavior decreases, and social interaction between cows increases. Oxytocin also has anti-inflammatory properties and aids in heart cell regeneration from stress-induced damage. These beneficial properties of oxytocin are enhanced in caring social situations particularly when you are able to help others via human connection.

In another study, the link between giving and stress was assessed in order to determine if social support buffered the detrimental effects of stress.

Participants were asked to rank their stress level over the preceding year as well as the amount of time they spent helping or giving to others.

The researchers concluded that while stressful events increased the risk of dying by 30%, those that helped and cared for others while still experiencing stress had no increased risk.

These researchers also evaluated the “dose-response” of helping on stress and observed that caring for others less than 20 hours over one year tended to have the strongest ability to buffer the negative impacts of stress regardless of socioeconomic factor, health variables, personality, or demographics.

What this means is that even though we all experience some amount of stress during the year, if we choose to look at stress positively we can change our fate.

Additionally, through helping others for as little as 30 minutes a week, we force biology to kick in and protect our heart from the damage of stress and enrich our lives further.

So with the holiday season approaching, think of what cows have taught us: wake up in a happy mooo-d, stick with the herd, and when stress hits just go with the flow…of milk.


Buyers Guide

Doyle Equipment Manufacturing Co.
Doyle Equipment Manufacturing prides themselves as being “The King of the Rotary’s” with their Direct Drive Rotary Blend Systems. With numerous setup possibilities and sizes, ranging from a  more...
A.J. Sackett Sons & Company
Sackett Blend Towers feature the H.I.M, High Intensity Mixer, the next generation of blending and coating technology which supports Precision Fertilizer Blending®. Its unique design allows  more...
R&R Manufacturing Inc.
The R&R Minuteman Blend System is the original proven performer. Fast, precise blending with a compact foot print. Significantly lower horsepower requirement. Low inload height with large  more...
Junge Control Inc.
Junge Control Inc. creates state-of-the-art product blending and measuring solutions that allow you to totally maximize operating efficiency with amazing accuracy and repeatability, superior  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The flagship blending system for the Layco product line is the fully automated Layco DW System™. The advanced technology of the Layco DW (Declining Weight) system results in a blending  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The LAYCOTE™ Automated Coating System provides a new level of coating accuracy for a stand-alone coating system or for coating (impregnating) in an automated blending system. The unique  more...
John Deere
The DN345 Drawn Dry Spreader can carry more than 12 tons of fertilizer and 17.5 tons of lime. Designed to operate at field speeds up to 20 MPH with full loads and the G4 spreader uniformly  more...
Force Unlimited
The Pro-Force is a multi-purpose spreader with a wider apron and steeper sides. Our Pro-Force has the most aggressive 30” spinner on the market, and is capable of spreading higher rates of  more...
BBI Spreaders
MagnaSpread 2 & MagnaSpread 3 — With BBI’s patented multi-bin technology, these spreaders operate multiple hoppers guided by independent, variable-rate technology. These models are built on  more...


Comments (0) Leave a comment 

Name
e-Mail (required)
Location

Comment:

characters left


Smooth Wall Grain Bins

Meridian’s SmoothWall bins are the ultimate storage bins, used to handle and store fertilizer, grain, feed and seed, and extend ... Read More

View all Products in this segment

View All Buyers Guides

Feedback Form
Feedback Form