Monday, June 11, 2012

I'm teaching a class on The Neuroscience of Love, Happiness, and Wisdom, and, in the first chapter of our textbook, it says,
Neurons that fire together wire together.

In case you are allergic to the word "science," let me translate that statement into gardener's language:
"You reap what you sow."

In our stressed-out society (read: S.O.S.), we are all planting worry, anxiety, fear, irritation, and doubt. Of course, all of our inner gardens look different, but generally we harvest the same crops: stress and distress.

Our body-mind was built to respond to a sabertooth tiger once a week or once a day, not several times every minute. Our mind responds to its paper tigers with the same fight-or-flight-or-freeze response that our ancestors used for real, live tigers. The cortisol and adrenalin that squirts into our system activates our big muscle groups to get ready to fight or flee. To do this, it cheats our other systems of nourishment--our immune system, gastrointestinal system, cardiovascular system, and endocrine system. After a few decades, the cheated system starts to limp along with high blood pressure, colitis, or chronic fatigue.

Let's use our big muscle groups to take us out to the garden where we can relax our body and calm our mind. Give stress a vacation (for at least a few minutes). Sit on your deck and breathe.

Photo from

No comments:

Post a Comment