Stress and Society

  • February 28, 2014 · 7:00 PM
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Nearly 80 years ago, another Montreal researcher Hans Selye made an important discovery: that a hormone, released from the adrenal gland, marked the balancing act of a body adjusting itself to any noxious assault. In the 1968, it was discovered that this 'stress' hormone could particularly wreak havoc in the brain, especially in structures that coordinate species memories, fear conditioning and social behavior. With over half a century of inquiry, and a tremendous volume of data converging on the conclusion that social hierarchy and poverty give rise to social and health adversity, we are left asking how/whether these findings have influenced our culture and policy/politics.

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  • Olivier

    Thanks Naj for the interesting presentation.

    1 · March 5, 2014

  • Naj

    Came across this book. does anyone know this author? Her views seem related to our discussion. http://www.amazon.ca/dp/0312658850/ref=rdr_ext_tmb

    March 5, 2014

    • Christine

      Hi Naj. TMI offers a number of university-level courses, focusing on the liberal arts, using the Socratic method of instruction (readings, class discussions). I have taken a few courses, and volunteer there. Info online at www.thomasmore.qc.ca and on Facebook - maybe I will see you at a course!

      1 · March 5, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      New York Times review of the Ehrenreich book: http://www.nytimes.co...­ I do not see it a particularly relevant although I do find it interesting. I have always found pollyannas difficult to be around. Positive is nice. REfusin to view anything as negative is, imo, counter-productive. "Oh dear, your husband of 50 years just died. Isn't that wonderful! Now you can...." Her book addresses the dangers of ridiculous "positive" thinking which is truly negative in effect.

      1 · March 5, 2014

  • Barbara M.

    Sorry Naj - I won’t be able to attend after all :-( I have missed a couple of sessions and I’m missing the intellectual stimulation! Looking forward to next week’s sugar fix lol

    February 27, 2014

    • Naj

      We will miss you!

      February 28, 2014

    • Barbara M.

      So glad I was able to make it - and apologies for my dippiness regarding my schedule!!!

      1 · March 1, 2014

  • Olivier

    I went to see the fire after the meetup. It was still burning, the flames were hight and they had at least 5 big hoses pouring water into it from every direction. I asked the fireman if he knew the cause of the fire but he didn't. He said it had been burning for 5 hours. The building looked badly damaged.

    1 · February 28, 2014

    • Barbara M.

      According to the CBC scrolling news headline today, arson is suspected...

      March 1, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    http://frickthoughts.wordpress.com/2014/02/18/your-fragrance-hurts-my-brain/

    Ada's comment on hypnosis is interesting. I wonder if it can convince my neurons not to be affected by toxic substances. I shall give it consideration. About 40 years ago, I underwent hypnosis by a dentist so the drilling would not stress me. It was very simple and worked perfectly as long as I went to that dentist. I moved away from geographical area and was again afraid to go to the dentist. As I sat in the office trembling with the horror of anticipation, I suddenly realized that if the dentist could hypnotize me, I could do the same. I sat there repeating to myself the phrases the former dentist had used. It worked fine and I have had no problems since.

    March 1, 2014

  • Alex Z.

    Very interesting and stimulating discussion - looking forward to the continuation(s)!

    1 · March 1, 2014

  • Ada

    last night I mentioned to some of you The Story of Stuff; I find this informational and ... stressful! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLBE5QAYXp8 Also, speaking of the difference between the Dutch and the American lifestyle, I have just got this from a friend! :) http://stuffdutchpeoplelike.com/2012/03/20/not-working/

    March 1, 2014

    • Naj

      Re the Dutch working hours: that is absolutely true. You see, the philosophy is that life is more important that 'stuff'. They live simple, no frill, no-exhibition lives; and also, there is a philosophy that it is healthier for a society to give everyone self-worth by providing them a job. So you will not get fired for not working! And many work only 4 days a week, or 6 hours a day. Their healthcare system is superior to America (but not superior to Canada); and the doctors I dealt with were rather sloppy. They are not as paranoid about 'germs' and illness as Americans of German neighbors. And yet, this is one of the healthiest countries in the world. I can go on and on ...

      1 · March 1, 2014

    • Naj

      Watching the video; … yes that STRESS is not what we can directly handle with mindfulness, but mindfulness will perhaps make us more aware of the stress we put on ourselves by complicity and complacence.

      1 · March 1, 2014

  • Caroline K.

    I had a last minute impossibility to make it yesterday.Now I see you have been talking about the dutch lifestyle. My origins are from there and I have a son now living there...I will watch Ada's video suggestion. I knew the page on stuff...is really fun. If any other resources were suggested, please write so I can catch up.

    1 · March 1, 2014

  • Naj

    Hi all, thanks for coming out despite the cold and the fire! Here's a link to the cool video I showed: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6402QJp52M

    By the way, I realized I have scheduled the next meeting in less than a week. Don't know about you, but for me, it would be a bit hard to do :) So I will shift everything a bit.

    2 · February 28, 2014

  • Taio

    Always good

    1 · February 28, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    "that a hormone, released from the adrenal gland, marked the balancing act of a body adjusting itself to any noxious assault." The term "noxious assault" triggers in me the need to remind, or inform, that the noxious assault can be toxins in the environment - air, water, food - which can be severe stressors that may cause individuals to respond in highly negative ways. I recently published a blog (wordpress) about the effect of fragrances on my brain/behaviour. I am able to control my anger because I know it is caused by the fragrance. Those who have not yet learned this, may react violently to this assault on their neurons. Other noxious assaults can result in depression or a large variety of "illnesses", some of which present as "mental health" issues. There is a great deal to be learned in this area of stressors. They affect: social behaviour, financial status, and every other aspect of our lives - individually and as a society.

    February 28, 2014

    • Naj

      Dorothy, please share your blog post with us. I would love to read. I would also love if you came and gave a presentation. I can try booking another room.

      February 28, 2014

    • Ada

      I recommend hypnosis; it can change perceptions, including the perception of pollutants, fragrances etc.

      February 28, 2014

  • Mahaya

    I'm sorry I won't be able to make it... my schedule seems to change without notice these past weeks.
    have a good meetup!

    February 28, 2014

    • Naj

      Thanks for letting me know Mahaya, hope to see you at the Stress&Sweet, which would be a followup to today's meeting.

      February 28, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I will be listening to my fav blues musicians this evening. However, I am having trouble understanding how the second part of the above paragraph relates to the first part. First: it refers to a "stress hormone" and how that affects individuals and, of course, society. It then skips to what to me is a totally different subject: does the social .... influence... "Whether" is, to me, an obvious, unequivocal, yes! "How" is a topic for several weeks of interesting discussion! It is a great leap from the first which is also good for a lengthy, but very different, discussion.

    1 · February 28, 2014

  • Hatim

    Hi! Looks interesting to me

    1 · February 28, 2014

  • Marianne

    Very interesting topic and too bad I can't make it on Friday. Have a wonderful( as always) meetup!!!!

    February 3, 2014

    • Naj

      I think you would have enjoyed this. Have a great weekend!

      February 28, 2014

  • Naj

    Take a test (Canadian mental health association): are you stressed?
    http://www.cmha.ca/mental_health/whats-your-stress-index/#.UxDBSvRdV4Q

    February 28, 2014

  • Taio

    I will attend

    1 · February 28, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    The two posts below are out of order, the first being the second part of the second one.

    February 2, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Also, recognize toxins in your environment and avoid them or make accommodations to reduce their effect. Hence I will not attend meetings in that toxic room where I cannot understand anyone because of the noise. My new mask with activated charcoal filter can help the airborne toxins but not the noise level nor the lack of consideration. I will be attending music at our fav cafe where consideration is given and the sound man asks me if the volume is OK. Where I wear my mask because I have realized that the reason I get grumpy is that the kitchen vent system is inadequate and the air is affecting my brain. Every one of the environmental stressors that affect me, affect our entire culture, and beyond. They affect how people interact. They produce anger when none need exist, creating situations which range from personal crises to international ones, depending on whose brain is being affected.

    1 · February 2, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hans Selye's work on stress and how it affects us is top of the line. No question about the physiological effects of stress, nor that it affects every aspect of our lives, individually and and as a society/culture/sub-culture. Unfortunately, Selye's work is not mainstream as it could be. His book, the Stress of My Life, is easily readable and helpful. His thesis that it is not the stress that hurts us but the manner in which we respond to the stressors, could be a helpful lesson for everyone. His call for "altruistic self-centredness", I have used repeatedly in helping people recognize the need for self care - if we do not take care of self, we cannot take care of others. Dealing with stress can be a simple as eat when you are hungry - appropriately!; sleep before you are exhausted. These simple stressors, dealt with adequately could save a lot of trouble long term, and short term.

    1 · February 2, 2014

  • Carol A.

    unfortunately i can't make it after all. I enjoyed the Ted Talk. Interesting research....I do believe that how we view our stress can effect biological change. On a personal level, like anything, it probably takes some training to be able to practice this. I'll test it out next time I have to do a presentation.

    February 2, 2014

  • Taio

    I will attend

    1 · January 23, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Cannot answer this without a date and time. But there is no choice given. My brain does not like this lack of forethought! I do not do Sunday or Monday so shall miss a couple interesting sessions. It might be helpful to choose a consistent day.

    August 1, 2013

    • Naj

      Dear Dorothy

      Thank you for letting me know about your unavailability. Please note that I will be away until Sept 20th and there will be no meetings in the mean time.

      Again, I am sorry about posting events without a date. I do certainly understand the "stress" caused by uncertainty and shifting goals. This is expected at the beginning as our group is so young! I do my best to accommodate everyone's special needs and setting a fixed date is an excellent idea. I have asked people to vote on what they are suitable for them. No "data" yet :)

      I hope we stay away from abstract intellectual pondering, but, I assure you that ANYONE who tells you they KNOW HOW our brains work from day to day, they are hoaxes. As stated before, the offer is still on for you to give us a presentation yourself. You choose the title and I will pick a date that suits your schedule.

      Regards
      Naj

      1 · August 1, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I do not seem to be able to function very well in this confused system. It is not helpful, in the least, to post a subject without a date. Then ask for RSVP without a way to say "maybe". Maybe that "stress" hormone is wreaking havoc in my addled brain. The failure to choose a specific day of the week is frustrating. I attended a lecture by Hans Selye; a monumental person. Read a couple of his books. Still have at least one. Maybe this group is too caught up with intellectual ponderings to look realistically at the brain in real life? I do not consider "tremendous volume of data" useful. That does not help me understand how people operate, how each individual brain is affected by the individual environment or the real nitty gritty of how our brains are affected every minute of every day by the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, the practicalities of every day life.

    1 · August 1, 2013

    • Naj

      Dear Dorothy; you are absolutely correct. But please note that it is the automatic system of the "meet up" web site that is sending you these messages asking for RSVP. You can disable or limit notification to avoid confusion.

      The reason why I am posting topics without a date is to give the current and the potential members a glimpse into what this group is about.

      1 · August 1, 2013

  • Naj

    August 1, 2013

27 went

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