Blog

  • A Badger Abroad: How I’ve Changed

    alex

    Written by: Alex Pennington-Little

    In the nearly three months since my return from Scotland, I’ve found readjusting to be harder than adjusting in the first place. I miss everything, achingly so. That’s not to say I miss the days of homesickness, or the days I would do nothing but watch Netflix, or the days of loneliness or alienation. But in my hindsight view of my exchange, none of the mediocre or sad times even exist anymore. I have erased them, because I don’t need them. The things I miss are having a tight knit group to do everything with. I miss having a family that experienced the same things for the first time, all together. I miss adventure, and not caring about a crappy day because it all adds to the story in the end.

    I keep in touch with my friends by Facebook, Snapchat and WhatsApp. It’s crossed my mind that maybe this is why I struggle moving back to my old world – I keep trying to stay in Glasgow, from over 5000 km away. I would never give up being able to send a silly Snap to the best friends I may never see again.

    Recently I went to the pre-departure workshop for next years’ exchange students. Students who are anxious, wide-eyed and eager to start their own adventure. I remembered my workshop being loud and overwhelming and giving me a great deal of stress over whether I was making the right decision to uproot myself. Besides advice on where to buy cheap shampoo, whether the housing packages from GCU are worth it or not, and how to get from the airport to the school, there are a list of things I learned from my exchange that I though was important to relay. Most of these lessons are brand-new, and I still struggle to remember them now that I’m not living an adventure anymore. I learned a lot about myself, and about what I’m capable of that I wouldn’t have learned at home.

    I’m not afraid to be alone. As a people person, I’ve always needed other people around me. I’ve been dependent on other people around me to give me courage and comfort. In the first weeks of my living in Glasgow, I would have passed up an opportunity just because I didn’t have anyone to go with (because friends don’t materialize on their own). I missed days of adventure because I didn’t think I could have an adventure by myself. In the final two weeks of my stay, I had yet to see London. I would be devastated if I returned from the UK without ever seeing the big city. Two days from the first time the thought crossed my mind, I had booked a flight and arranged to stay with family friends outside London. I travelled solo by bus, plane, and train to stay with a family I had never met for three nights. I learned the city bus, train, and tube alone simply by doing it. I went to exhibits and museums and a theatre show completely autonomously, and I enjoyed all of it. Before my semester abroad, I never would have thought myself capable of travelling alone.

    I can find pleasure in a bad situation. I learned this when my flatmate Holly and I planned our day trip to Loch Lomond. The morning of it was drizzling, cloudy and cold. We got as far as the Glasgow train station (to take us to Balloch) when I confessed that I wasn’t sure I wanted to go today, not in this weather. Holly taught me the lesson to let others push your boundaries. She insisted, and I conceded, and we had a marvelous adventure on the banks and hills in the national park. Not only did we push on through the wet fog, we were laughing about it together, at the time and continue to do so as we enjoy the memory.

    The authority to handle a problem.
     GCU is a mess of administrational hiccups. I first encountered the Scottish attitude of “it’ll work itself out” weeks before I left Canada, when I was waiting frantically for confirmation of residence placement. Once I had settled residency and arrived, I was faced with registration problems. After two weeks of battling to clear up my registration (alone in a foreign country), I was misplaced and overlooked in my classes. The fire alarm in my residence went haywire, whining for three consecutive days and nights. I chased down administrators and professors, sat in meetings and wrote a million emails. I teamed up with Holly to get the attention of someone, anyone who would listen to our fire alarm torture without laughing and walking away. I learned to be an independent problem-solver because I had to, or the whole thing was a bust.

    The confidence to step out of my comfort zone. Being far away from home with no one tying you to presuppositions of who you are lets you explore who you could be. It is a fearful thing, to be cast into solitude amidst a massive city bustling with life. The best way I found to make use of the daunting situation was to throw myself into it. I used to be a relatively conservative partier – drinks on the weekends, usually leaving the bar before the taxi wars broke out. I learned to negotiate the self I thought I was with the self I was now allowed to be. I went to dinner with people I didn’t know, and we became best friends. I invited myself to a flat party on Facebook, and the people in that flat became my family. I tagged along to a sidestreet club and discovered a nightlife way better than the promotional student clubs whose flyers littered our residence. I learned that I liked being someone I didn’t think I was. I’m currently in the process of introducing that person to this life.

    Don’t let small excuses change your big ideas.
    If you want to hike in Scotland, hike in the rain or don’t hike at all. It would be folly to visit Scotland with no intention to spend a day roaming the beauty. It would be  disappointing to let the person you believe yourself to be, suppress the person who can emerge in a time of change. It would be tragic to let anxiety stop you from going after a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and irresponsible to let a botched communication destroy the validity of your exchange experience. When it comes down to it, all excuses are too small against something magnificent that you really want.

    If any student at Brock has the means and the opportunity to step away from Canada, I don’t think there is a good enough reason not to go abroad. Even if you think it’s not for you or you won’t love it – you will.

    Post Categorie(s): Community, Culture, Featured Post, Growth, Leadership, Spirit
  • A Badger Abroad: Check-up

    alex2

    Written by Alex Pennington-Little

    I never appreciated how wonderful Brock is until I had the chance to step away from home. At the opportunity to fly across the ocean and settle into a new city, school, and world for four full months, I barely hesitated to jump through the necessary hoops. It’s been about six or seven weeks since my arrival in Glasgow, and adjusting has been slower going than I had imagined.

    I thought of writing this post this morning, when a professor of mine asked me how I’m finding Scotland, etc, and he asked me what the biggest difference between here and home is to me. I didn’t have a proper answer for him, and so I think I came off a bit unobservant or non-participatory in some way, as if I haven’t noticed any difference at all. But truthfully, I had to take a moment to think of a real answer to the question.
    There are many differences, and many similarities. But to answer my prof’s question, I think optimism is the biggest cultural difference. Maybe I don’t know what I’m talking about – but the Scots seems  a perpetually positive people. Aside from shop clerks and baristas, who are consistently upbeat, the people on the street and in the university offices have the same positive attitude. Nothing seems to be worth stressing over – to some frustration on my end, when half the printers on campus are out of order and nobody seems bothered about rushing to fix them.
    I was delightfully surprised when, by another spectacular failure on GCU’s part I was overlooked when placing  students into workshop groups and am now four weeks behind on coursework. I went to meet with my program advisor, who went over the module expectations with me and said to just show up to the next class. Now, I am a chronic worrier and automatically spin into panic mode when everything isn’t sunshine and rainbows, so I asked him outright: is this going to be a problem that I should be worried about?
    He laughed. No, he chuckled with glee or something wonderful like that, and said “Nah man, it’s cool!”

    So I suppose to answer the question, the biggest difference to me has been attitude. People seem happier when everything isn’t dependent on perfection all the time and place faith that the problems will get resolved in their own time. My frustration with GCU’s administration, while justified by my organized, anti-chaos Canadian culture is actually standard procedure when you take the approach that everything will work itself out. I’ll try to get used to it. But it is difficult when half the facilities on campus are broken and not fixed for weeks on end, or when the fire alarm in my building is broken and it’s a long weekend, so the squealing goes on for three days before someone is reminded to fix it.

    I have been getting annoyed with a lot of the workings of GCU, and most of the time try to chalk it up to the cultural difference instead of getting upset. I will pose a question and for whatever reason, it rarely gets understood correctly and the respondent will spend an unnecessary length of time explaining something to me that is irrelevant. For example, when I asked my seminar leader about how exactly to begin my essay, he proceeded to explain the importance of title pages, paragraphs, citations, etc. as if I have never written a university paper ever before. When I emailed another lecturer about the same topic, asking the same question, he rudely responded that it was inappropriate to ask for help over email and to discuss my problem in seminar. Maybe it’s just me that found his response impolite and brash, but I am still quite put out about it. No matter how many times I’ve sought out help on my own, nobody seems to be able to give me the guidance I’m looking for. It makes my anxiety about succeeding in classes worsen, and a lot of the time I feel like I’m just on my own to figure it out. The program leaders are adamant about being available for anyone with questions, but at the moment their help seems useless to me.

    Another note about my exchange: the classes offered at GCU are unlike any classes I’ve ever seen at Brock. I’m taking Creative Advertising in which we are given a brief each week and must pitch ideas to our professor, which is so stimulating and creative in a way unlike anything I’ve done at Brock. I’m also taking Radio Production in which we write and produce a full-length radio episode.These opportunities aren’t available for credit at Brock in my experience. The opportunity to explore and exercise these tasks and skills is worth the cultural frustrations… so far!

    Post Categorie(s): Community, Culture, Featured Post, Growth, Leadership, Spirit
  • What is Cope Care Connect?

    ccc

    I’m sure you’ve seen posters on the walls, people in bright green shirts, and the display tables on campus…but you may be wondering, what does Cope Care Connect mean? How does it benefit me? Where can I find Cope Care Connect?

    Cope Care Connect is a students-for-students campaign, run in conjunction with Student Health Services; this means Brock University students (just like yourself) developed this campaign in order to benefit you, and Student Health Services is in support of the campaign. So, why is the campaign titled Cope Care Connect? The aims of this campaign include providing students with positive coping strategies, helping them to acknowledge the harmful effects of negative coping strategies, knowing that Brock faculty has a genuine invested interest in you, and providing the necessary means to connect with Brock University staff and the student population. Cope Care Connect was selected because the campaign aims to help students cope, acknowledge that others care about them, and inform them of the importance of connecting with others at Brock University.

    The Cope Care Connect campaign aims to benefit all students at Brock University. Developing positive coping strategies and straying away from negative coping strategies, acknowledging resources on campus, and creating friendly networks are relevant to every student during their academic career. With that being said, it is definitely beneficial to have a campaign catered to helping students to cope, care, and connect within the Brock community.

    This campaign focuses on improving your empowerment and resiliency through enabling you to develop positive coping strategies, acknowledging norms that all students experience stress and loneliness, encouraging connections between Brock students and faculty members (in addition to realizing that staff do care about your success in university), and finally through providing ways for students to feel as though they are making a positive difference in their peers lives.

    The Cope Care Connect campaign is located everywhere around the Brock University campus; there are posters on various bulletin boards, postcards on tables, students promoting the campaign (keep an eye out for green shirts), and display tables located in Guernsey Market and Mackenzie Chown. However, there are some other places you can find the campaign! The campaign has been featured on the 2Day FM app, Snap’d, Brock University radio (103.7 CFBU), Brock Press, and Brock TV. Additionally, you can access information pertaining to the campaign (including contests) on the Cope Care Connect website and Facebook page (www.copecareconnect.ca and www.facebook.com/copecareconnect).

    Cope Care Connect aims to reach all students at Brock University through multiple social media outlets, and advertisements around campus. As a students-for-students campaign, Cope Care Connect was developed in order to assist students with the stresses of university. Since this campaign is in its last week, we would like to invite all Brock University students to check out the website, Facebook page, Brock TV and YouTube videos, Brock Press article and advertisements…or even keep an eye out around campus for posters and postcards!

     

    Post Categorie(s): Community, Culture, Growth, Leadership, Spirit
  • Alternative Reading Week Adventure

    hbbb

    Written by: Rebecca Spary

    Hey there!

    I’m here to tell you about my latest adventure: spending my time volunteering with Habitat for Humanity as a member of the Brock Cares Alternative Reading Week program. I travelled down to Sumter, South Carolina with 26 like-minded Brock students and two staff leaders to build a home for a family in need.

    Before the trip began I will confess that I definitely had my anxieties. I was worried that I wouldn’t have the right work skills, that I would be more of hindrance than help, that I wouldn’t make any friends etc. I considered backing out of the trip up a couple of times but fortunately I didn’t!

    While we were in Sumter we spent our days on the worksite in the Habitat community putting together the wood framing for the house. We built corners and t’s, windowsills and headers, we toenailed, regular nailed, and put up walls. We actually got to work alongside the family that will be moving into the house once its complete, and seeing how strong and happy they are to have this opportunity brought tears to my eyes.Their positive energy and attitude was truly inspiring and infectious! An abundance of love and care was put into the building of the house. Every little bit helped: hammering one nail, cutting a single piece of wood, smiling and laughing with the family and making new friends. It all made a difference!

    We spent our evenings reflecting on our lives and experiences in Sumter, taking the time to learn about each other and ourselves. Playing many a game of Nine Square, cooking and organizing meals for each other, and having a blast! It was essentially the best summer camp with the most magnificent group of individuals I could ever have dream off! I cannot wait until my friends from home get sick of me rambling about how much I loved my experience!

    At the end of the week we had to come up with one word to summarize our experience and my word was ‘change’. This is because my mind, body, and soul had all been changed for the better because of my involvement in Habitat. Making a positive difference in someone else’s life is inexplicably beautiful. One of my main reflections from my trip was aided by our Habitat for Humanity leader, a brilliant and caring man named Bob, who described the experience as a beautiful scar. Meaning that, although we return to our ‘normal’ lives, getting absorbed into the daily grind, the experience and the memories of our time volunteering will stay with us forever, a beautiful reminder of the lives we’ve touched.

    The adventure of volunteering with Habitat for Humanity alongside my fellow Brock Badgers changed my mind, body, and soul for the better. I cannot recommend the experience of participating in any one of the Brock Cares Alternative Reading Week programs enough! Trust me, you won’t regret it!

    Now, lets wrap up this post the same way we ended all of our group meetings throughout the week, with our signature chant.

    Who are you? Brock U. Who are you? Brock U. Who are you? Brock U. Who are we? BROCK UNIVERSITY!

     

    Post Categorie(s): Community, Culture, Growth, Leadership, Spirit, Volunteer
  • A Badger Abroad – Getting My Footing

    alex

    Written by Alex Pennington-Little

    Almost three weeks in Scotland and I’m finally feeling like I’m getting my feet under me. I’ve got a pretty good group of friends, all of us international students experiencing Glasgow together. Last night we all got together for dinner to celebrate Taylor’s birthday away from home. I’ve figured out where to buy the cheapest groceries, best times to have my meals, and have even got two trips planned. Our flat is almost full, we’ve still got one empty room and not one single Scottish roommate. We are a completely international flat: Canada, USA, Spain, Brazil, and Colombia! As you can imagine there’s a lot of Spanish flying around as well as English.

    Our building’s fire detection system went haywire three days ago and provided us with a relentless high-pitched peep that went on and on for 48 hours (much to the amusement of the Caley Court security office apparently), until Holly and I went to the Accomodations Office and played them a recording of the sound! Right away the amazing and beautiful Robert Stevenson saved us by calling someone to come and at least shut the system off until it can get fixed. So, no more incessant whine, but we are without a fire alarm system in the whole building. I shut my heater off, because it smells like the wrong end of a very very old hair dryer.

    Laundry is quite an ordeal in Caley Court. It’s £1.60 per forty-minute wash load, and 20p for every 12 minutes in the dryer. The dryer I unfortunately chose today wasn’t emitting any heat, so after I waited my 36 minutes and found my clothes cold and damp, it was another 24 in a different machine before I could go home and eat dinner! Experiencing rez life all over again at least makes me appreciate my cozy 2 bedroom apartment back home.

    As fascinating as I’m sure hearing about my laundry room escapades must be, I’m actually very excited to finally be finding my center here. Mostly I can’t wait to get started travelling, with only three classes to contend with at GCU. Next Friday I’m off to Paris with Holly, Shayna and Taylor for two days – lots to see and fit in before our flight home on the Sunday! I also bought a UK Railcard yesterday to save 1/3 of any train ticket to travel the UK. In November we’re going to take a train to London to see the Harry Potter set at Leavesden Studios (I lose myself at movie studios… Paramount in LA was a dream come true) and probably spend the weekend seeing the sights. I hope to get up to Stirling and Falkirk in not too long, and can’t wait to start planning our trip to Ireland! Things are starting to feel more like the way I thought this exchange would be like.
    Stay tuned for more  A Badger Abroad or find the full blog at  http://www.brockbadgerabroad.blogspot.ca/

     

    Post Categorie(s): Culture, Growth, Leadership, Spirit
  • D&D at Brock

    dice2

    Written by Cara Eaton

    You may have heard the rumors, or known a friend of a friend who’s in the course, but yes there is currently a Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) class running at Brock University.

    Now you may jump to conclusions - why is there a course on D&D? What could be learned from a semester long D&D campaign? As a Communications student I am quick to defend the class, not only as a study in fandom and audiences, but also one of fantasy and creative narratives.

    Although valuable and applicable to my degree I feel I’ve also gained something unexpected from the course. I feel like I’ve begun to challenge my assumptions about fantasy and reality. Which as a graduating student is something I probably should have a handle on by now—allow me to explain further.

    Think of the many roles we play every day – whether it’s as a student, TA, community member or any other category you place yourself in – how many are real and how many are fantasy? Some would say we just role-play in the various aspects of our lives.

    For example: I am Canadian, and I study at Brock University. However how much are nationalities and student stereotypes real, and how much are they fantasy roles we’ve been taught to play? What would have happened if my parents raised me to be a vengeful orc blacksmith, who was yet to be convinced that orcs could NOT exist?

    For 17 years I’ve been playing the role of student and now reflecting on my up and coming alumni status I wonder what role I’ll play next? So many graduates feel like they must get a job, gain experience in their work field, or apply for another degree. This D&D class has reminded me that in  my game, I can play any role I want.

    Take the idea of graduating and go on an adventure—whether its in another country, city, or in a basement with your Blue Box D&D set. I challenge students to look at this summer as an opportunity to try new roles and to consider that the differences between fantasy and reality are not so far apart.

    Perhaps you too may find you’ve got a lot more fantasy in your life and that you’re ready for more in the times to come. Adventure awaits!

    -Fighter, Niablufin

    Post Categorie(s): Community, Culture, Growth, Spirit
  • #ILoveBrock

    Print

    Written By: Brian DiCarlo

    When people think of their duties as a student, they don’t seem too great.  Pay tuition.  Show up to class.  Keep an average.  Graduate.  Those four things alone make university life seem pretty boring.

    One duty that students often overlook is to be an ambassador for your school.  Ok so that sounds kinda weird and doesn’t make sense.  You’re only a student, and you aren’t paid.  How can you be a school ambassador?  Give me a minute to explain.

    When someone you know, from wherever you may be from, thinks about Brock, what do they think?  If they haven’t done their research, how can they know about the beautiful campus, great professors, or tight knit community?  The answer is, they can’t.

    That is where you come in.  I’m not talking about shameless self promotion of the school (This isn’t Western haha), I’m leaning more towards the subtle things that they will see through your social media and daily life.

    This idea of creating a buzz around Brock came to me shortly after publishing my last blog postI was browsing facebook, and saw that same post.  Somehow, my mom had seen it, shared it on her profile and got comments from like 10 of her friends.  Now that may not be the exact audience I was targeting, but it is still effective.

    Those other mothers are reading my blog that contained positive comments about Brock.  These are the same mothers who are going to start conversations at their dinner table with phrases like, “Have you heard what they’re doing at Brock”, and “Would you consider going to Brock?”

    It doesn’t stop there.  People see you rocking a Brock sweater when you’re walking around your hometown…  Positive buzz for Brock.  You tweet something about how much fun you had at Isaac’s last Thursday… Positive buzz for Brock.  You instagram a picture of the view from the library windows… You guessed it, more positive buzz for Brock.

    We love Brock, and we want people to know why.  That is why this week a few colleagues of mine are running the I Heart Brock campaign.  This campaign gives out candy and compliments, while encouraging students to tweet or instagram with the hashtag #ILoveBrock.  We want to know why you love Brock, and we want to share it with others.

     

    Visit the #ILoveBrock booth on your way into Mac Chown, just up the stairs from the front of the school. 10-3 today! (Feb.13th)

    If you can’t make the visit, make sure to tell us why you love Brock with the hashtag #ILoveBrock.

    Have a great reading week Badgers!

    Post Categorie(s): Community, Culture, Growth, Leadership, Spirit, Volunteer
  • Prom Project 2014

    emily prom 2

    Written By: Emily Sigrist

    When I found out I was going to help plan and promote Prom Project 2014, I was so excited! I know how important this event is, and yet so over looked.  Graduating high school is a big deal and what better way to celebrate this than with Prom? Unfortunately, many students cannot afford the expensive attire needed to attend such a celebration.  I know so many people who regretted not being able to go to their Prom. When I found out that my sister’s friend might be in this situation I knew I had to do something. My old prom dress was just sitting in my closet, collecting dust. I asked myself, “Will I ever wear this again?” My answer was no.  So many people had already seen me in this dress and there were so many photos of me wearing it all over Facebook. I didn’t need it anymore, but she did.  When I told her she could have my dress for her prom, the look on her face was pure joy! She would now get to experience an event that every high school student should! I was so glad that I could make someone so happy it filled me with joy!

    From now until April 23rd, bring in your dresses, suits, shoes, and jewelry to SLIC (MC A-204).  All donations will be used to help send students in the Niagara Region to prom!

    Thanks for your help!

    Post Categorie(s): Community, Culture, Growth, Leadership, Spirit, Volunteer
  • Valentine’s Day 101

    coby

    Written by Coby Stalteri-Fewings

    For those of you that will be sharing your day with that special someone or maybe taking the next step with a new valentine I will go over some of the tips I’ve been building for over 8 years with my now fiancée.

     

    DO

    1. Let them feel the caring and friendship that Valentines should be all about.

    2. Surprise them with something romantic you know they will enjoy.

    3. Make something simple like a heart shaped card (the effort of making something really shows you care). *Also a good way to save money for cash conscious students

    4. Have whatever gift you are giving delivered or deliver it yourself (this shows that extra bit of effort and pleasant surprises go along way).

    5. Maybe this year you can forget the gifts, as a student this can be an expense you cannot afford and instead cook your Valentine a nice dinner. See BrockTV’s Broke & Hungry for cheap recipe ideas.

     

    DONT 

    1. If this is not your first Valentines with your Valentine try not to repeat what you did last year. After all variety is the spice of life.

    2. Don’t be too practical. I am not saying spend $600 I just mean this is not the occasion to buy your secret admirer a toilet plunger.

    3. Don’t overspend, you wouldn’t want to overshadow your partner’s efforts (Another reason why homemade gifts are great).

    4. If you find yourself without a valentine this February 14th, don’t fret just treat yourself to a nice relaxing Friday and let the love come to you.

    5. Don’t be overly mushy in public settings on Feb 14th this is what gives the day itself and all the love birds a bad name.

     

    And now a couple personal stories of my own personal Valentines success.

    Last year around this time I was finishing up midterms and starting to think about my spring break trip to Florida, the first day that we landed into Florida happened to be  the day before Valentines day and I was not sure how to go about surprising my Valentine (Keep in mind this was our 8th Valentines together) we had decided that we weren?t going to get each other anything since we were already spending money to be on a trip. This gave me the perfect opportunity to surprise her, so I got the address of the place we were staying and had flowers delivered on the morning of Valentines. Needless to say she was very surprised and happy.

    On the other hand my favourite gift that I ever received on Valentines happened 8 years prior to the flowers in Florida story. My Valentine had put together a photo album of all the memories that had been captured in the first year of our relationship (Maybe the best part was a caption in the back that said something along the line of ?There is empty pages for the many more memories to come?. This gift is a great example of a homemade gift that shows a lot of thought and doesn?t have to break the bank.

    These are just a couple of examples of very successful Valentines experiences. Hope everyone has a happy healthy Valentines day!

    Signed the benevolent Badger!

     

    Post Categorie(s): Culture, Featured Event, Growth, Spirit
  • Stress is Subjective

    cope

    Written by Stephanie Klok

    Stress is subjective. The level of stress felt is dependent how we evaluate a stressful situation, if there are coping resources available, how controlled we feel over a situation and if we have a strong or weak social support system.

    I cannot even count the number of times at Brock that I have over heard the words,  “I AM SO STRESSED,” something I am also guilty of!  I hear this phrase and variations of it on almost a daily, constant basis and there’s data to back me up on this:

    A Brock University wide study was done last year to assess a range of health-related behaviours & attitudes amongst Brock students. The results showed that 28% of females and 18% of males have felt overwhelming anxiety in the last 2 weeks. The study also showed that 62.8% of females and 46% of males reported feeling overwhelmed within the last 2 weeks. Feelings of ANXIETY and feeling OVERWHELMED are mediators for stress. These percentages are quite high, but are they not understandable? Given the WORKLOAD we face in university, exams, tests, labs, financial strain, relationships, being away from home, family problems, sickness, extra-curricular activities, varsity sports, and workplace stressors it’s no wonder we are overwhelmed. These daily stressors build within us, whether we realize it or not and can cause reduced immunity and increase our risk of illness.

    In the video link provided below, Kelly McGonigal, a health psychologist, describes several ways to make stress your friend. McGonigal quotes an American stress study that reported those who believe that stress is harmful to their health had a 43% increase risk of dying. However those people who noted feeling moderate levels of daily stress but did not believe it was harmful to their health had the lowest risk of dying compared to everyone else in the study! She then goes on to state “believing stress is bad for you” could actually be the 15th top cause of death in America—that is huge!

    McGonigal states that if we can change our mind about stress, we can change our body’s response to stress:
    “…We interpret these physical changes as anxiety or signs that we aren’t coping very well with the pressure. But what if you viewed them instead in that your body is energized; your body is preparing you to meet this challenge… That pounding heart is preparing you for action. If you’re breathing faster, it’s no problem. It’s getting more oxygen to your brain. Participants who learned to view the stress response as helpful to their performance felt less anxious, less stressed-out, more confident….” (McGonigal, 5:06)

    Through this interpretation, a biological change was seen in individual’s cardiovascular response. McGonigal explains that this one biological change may be the difference between someone who suffers a fatal heart attack in their fifties or lives well into old age.

    I was wondering how those who likely experience more stress than the average Canadian, those on the streets, those with mental illness, who are in solitude and isolated from an outside world either due to choice or chance—what about these individuals? I truly think more initiatives driven towards the powerful human connection could solve this problem or at least help to alleviate chronic stress these individuals are faced with. If we all reached out to just ONE person in need a day, a week, a month even. How much stress would then be reduced for both parties? I am seeing a kind of “pay it forward” domino effect in the future– we can hope.

    The speaker discusses another study that showed that individuals who helped and caredfor others in times of need showed no increase in death due to stress related ailments. How we think and act can indeed change our stress response, especially when we choose to connect to others under stress—
     I believe
    compassion goes a long way.


    I encourage you to check out the video I am referencing, there are so many other important points touched upon there.  Maybe you will benefit during this stressful next couple of weeks.
    Remember, you don’t have to sweat stress!
    TEDTalks: “Kelly McGonigal: How to Make Stress Your Friend”:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RcGyVTAoXEU

    For more resources, check out:
    www.facebook.com/CopeCareConnect
    www.CopeCareConnect.ca
    www.youtube.com/CopeCareConnect

    Post Categorie(s): Growth, Leadership, Spirit