Can Caring Build Courage?

A few years ago I was going through a particularly stressful time.  It must have showed, because during class, one of my students rose her hand and asked a question: “Dr. DiMeo, do you know how stress can save your life?”

Minutes later; the whole class was watching a TED Talk she shared with me, as an answer to her own (rhetorical) question:
How to make stress your friend by Kelly McGonigal

If you have 15 minutes, take it to watch Kelly get down to the science of how attitude towards stress is a life or death decision.  This attitude can capitalize on a natural biological response that encourages us to be more caring and to face challenges with courage.

Spring training is underway…  and with baseball on the mind, I’m recalling this morning a couple of coaching mantras:

  • Control what you can control
  • There’s two things you can control: Attitude and Effort
  • Look forward…, it’s about the next play

Maybe you hit a home run, extended your lead, relaxed and took the foot off the pedal…, only to find yourself falling behind later in the game.

Maybe you struck out, got frustrated, and made an error the next inning in the field.

These mantras in baseball are about not letting the past, whether good or bad experiences, impact the future.  We can’t control the past.  We also can’t control the future.  But what we can control is our attitude and effort, which could impact our next play…, impact the future.

Attitude Impacts Outcome

What might be intuitive to the mental game of baseball is what led to this morning’s aha moment.

I saw Kelly’s talk years ago…, and I believe it.  Our attitude towards stress has health, caring and courageous implications.

The aha moment  is the part where “Attitude” is one of those things we CAN control.  That, combined with the other thing we can control, “Effort” – gives us tools to choose, proactively, making our world a healthier and happier place for all.

Control what you can: Attitude and Effort

A student in a class choosing an attitude that stress is a healthy human response, took the effort to help another person.  She certainly changed my life forever.

Choosing an attitude that is positive…
Making efforts that are helpful…
…have a physiological effect on our body that is healthy, makes us more empathetic, more caring, and more courageous to meet life’s daily challenges, whether in baseball or in business; in school or social settings; and with family, friends, neighbors, and strangers.

Health & Happiness for All

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