There IS an ideal amount of stress.

There IS an ideal amount of stress.

[00:00:00] **Aurooba Ahmed:** Well, hello! This is The Daily Five with Aurooba, that's me, where we reflect on creating our best lives a little bit every day. Here we go.

[00:00:15] I've got a real short one for you today, because I'm coming in right under the wire, getting this recorded, before the day ends. Have you ever watched those videos where people start off with some basic piece of wood and by the end they've shaped and bent it into the wildest positions to create some beautiful sculpture?

[00:00:37] I go through phases where I watch that a lot. You know, all wood varieties have a certain propensity towards flexibility. Certain pieces, certain types of wood bend a lot more than others. But regardless of their initial flexibility, we humans have found ways to enhance and increase it to our own advantage, prepping it with other materials and chemicals in order to make it do what we want.

[00:01:02] But if you bend a piece of unprepped wood too far, it'll snap or break. Human beings are like that too, and so are our systems. We can only twist and bend to a certain extent without preparation, without practice. And bending in odd ways that are not natural to us creates stress. Too much stress can make you snap.

[00:01:27] That's why, for example, quitting a bad habit cold turkey doesn't always work, like we talked about the other day, or creating a wildly new habit very suddenly, instead of working up to it incrementally, doesn't always work. You know, stress is good. A certain amount of stress is good. The easiest example I have around that is the fact that a certain amount of stress on our muscles, you know, lifting a certain amount of heavy weight, creates tiny tears in our muscles, and when our body repairs them, our muscles grow stronger, because it adds new muscle.

[00:02:05] But if you create tears that are way too big, now that's called an injury because it takes much longer to stitch that back together and it doesn't create necessarily very good new muscle. It can be difficult to know how much stress your habits and systems can handle. That's why it's an adaptive game.

[00:02:28] Add a little, take away a little, etc. Consider that as you challenge yourself. And even as you challenge others and their systems, perhaps more so then. Thanks for listening! Same time tomorrow?