What you can learn from the zebra

Author: Britt Andreatta
Posted On: October 14, 2014

Think like a zebra


So I want you to think about how much you unnecessarily stress yourself out.   Our body is wired have this fight or flight response and is a wonderful thing. When we are in a truly life-threatening situation, it can help save our lives.  But often times we set itoff we don't need to.

So for example if you watch a lot of dramatic television or movies and really scary things, if you start to pay attention you'll notice your really tensed up during the scenes, your heart is racing your blood has flushed, your breath is quickened, it's elicited the fight or flight response in you and that's by design, Hollywood wants to have that experience only thing that's really good for you or not if you do not a lot is every night watching really dramatic stuff and listening to the radio and hearing really upsetting things you could be putting undue stress on your body.

So pay attention to your media intake and just be thoughtful about it. The other thing I want you to think about is how  we worry. This is what sets us apart from the animals who also have an amygdala that is part of the fight or flight response, but they don't set it off by worrying.

The zebra is on the plane and the lion start chasing after him and his amygdala will go off how the fight or flight response will help him run and afterwards his his whole system comes down much faster than ours.  There is  actually a blood test on zebras to see this difference.

The zebras not going to go home that night and say "oh my god, that was the worst day ever" I hope he doesn't come back tomorrow.  But we do that.  Something that happens at work and we ruminate on it, get pissed off again and frustrated again and then we worry about it the next day and it can happen again and again, and we keep stressing ourselves out.

And this is where mindfulness practices are really helpful. meditation, gratitude, just trying to be present and breathing and in the current moment, it helps us be more like the zebra.  So that were not stressing ourselves out about something that happened or might happen.  It's a pretty stressful world and we've got it do what we can counterbalance that.

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