Arousal. Good, Bad or ?
Pamela Dennison (c) September 2015
Ive been talking about arousal for years. There is good arousal and bad arousal. However, theyre not different coins – theyre really just opposite sides of the same one.
There are times in everyones life that bad arousal takes hold and manifests itself into an oftentime painful physical reaction. However, good arousal can also display in the same way.
I had first hand experience with it yesterday. I was high as a kite with excitement that my new book will have many homes in different countries. Just the fact that after a year and a half, its finally coming to fruition as my first self published book, was enough to send me to the moon.
I couldnt sleep last night, couldnt calm my mind and woke up to a mild bout of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I could barely stand up and in fact, I had to take a nap before I could actually function – both mentally and physically.
A few years ago, I was presenting my R.E.W.A.R .D. Zone seminar for aggressive & reactive dogs and someone asked me how I kept my Border collie Shadow* exercised. Dont you have to play with him all day long to keep him calm?
Rather than try to explain why I didnt play with him that often, (that I did more mental stimulation than the typical must tug and throw the ball 24/7 for Border collies mindset) I brought him out of the van to demonstrate. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words.
I had the entire group look at his face; smooth and calm, eyes were serene, and ears and body were completely relaxed.
Then I threw the frisbee for him about 10 times.
I asked the group to look at him again. His face was tight and wrinkled, eyes wild, ears back, body stiff. I asked, Is this the face and body of a calm dog? It was not.
Good arousal is as exhausting and physically stressful as bad arousal. It put Shadow (and me) into the same state as bad arousal would have done.
Interesting, isnt it? ☺
*Shadow was my human aggressive dog. FMI on Shadow, click here.