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Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers

Resilience: the power or ability to return to the original form, position,etc., 
after being bent, compressed, or stretched; elasticity.

This was the topic of discussion in a class I am taking. We were talking about how important it is for teachers to have it, and how important it is to teach our students this resilience thing. Being able to bounce back, to face a problem head on-deal with it-and move on. This is tough for kids.'s tough for anyone. We're dwellers, aren't we? Over analyzing, worrying, stressing, and wallowing in our issues. It's so easy to do. However, this is when it's up to us to make a choice. Positive or negative. Glass half full get it. 

As a teacher we are constantly being bent, compressed, and stretched to full capacity. It's hard not to caught up in the whirlwind of the negative. It's hard to sometimes return to our original form. [[This holds true in many professions, I'm sure! I'm only speaking from personal experience ;)]] But as we discussed in our class, it really comes down to a choice. 

Our choice...
To dwell or not. 
To worry or not. 
To over analyze a situation six ways from Sunday or not.  

After this class, I decided I'd like to be like a zebra. 

To those of you scratching your heads as to why I would want to be like this beautiful animal; no, it's not because of their fabulous color scheme. It's because I learned how resilient they are. How stress-free they are. And I would like to adapt their way of "dealing." 

Apparently zebras and humans share a common factor. We have the same set-up when it comes to our nervous system. The same sympathetic and the parasympathetic nervous system. The same rile you up and calm you down system. The difference lies in the way we use our system(s). 

You may be thinking exactly what I was. Well duh! We have so much more going on in our lives than zebras do. And yes, this is true. But when you think about it fundamentally, humans as a species stress-out, and freak-out over things that are out of our control. 

Below is the video that put it in perspective for me. Dr. Robert Sapolsky of Stanford University is the man behind the zebras. And yes, I don't think he could look more like a "scientist" if he tried. But he's got a point. Made an impact on me, maybe it will on you too.  

My husband is already a zebra, and I am jealous. Didn't think of him being a "zebra" specifically, but it's one of the reasons I married him. His ability to deal with issues head on- and move on keeps his [our] stress levels low. Not to say he never gets stressed [[traffic!]]...he just deals with it a lot better than I do. He balances out my sometimes control-freak, super-stressed status. And for that, I am grateful.

It's something I grew up with. My mother is the epitome of resilience. Pretty sure her face comes up when you Google it. My whole life I've watched her bounce back, make lemonade out of lemons life has handed her, all with a smile and wink. This quiet strength and will to return to her "original form" has helped shape who I am today. I've seen her fall hard...but bounce back harder. Resilience [[my mother]] has taught me my strong "if there is a will, there damn well is a way" attitude. And for that, I am humbled. 

Being like the zebra.
It's something I'm working on. 

Things that help...

typical chick stuff. 

power ballads by powerhouses. thank you, Jessie J. 

dancing it out [when possible]. or watching people-dance it out. 

books I lose myself in. 

remembering things like. 

And with that...I shall jump down from my soapbox, 
and jump into the stress-melting bubble bath that awaits. 

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At January 13, 2012 at 12:24 PM , Blogger Christine said...

I love this! What a great post and a great reminder. Thanks for sharing :)

At February 20, 2012 at 8:33 PM , Blogger masawye said...

Wow, you are so right Sando! Great post!


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