#598 – Little Initiatives and Challenges

#598 – Little Initiatives and Challenges

Rectangular basket filled with balls of yarn in different colours and a pair of knitting needles.
Picture by Jan Haerer from Pixabay.

Little initiatives and challenges preserve me transferring ahead.

I like occurring adventures and having distinctive experiences, however life with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) has reined that in to a sure extent. In fact, the pandemic has lots to reply for, too.

Along with ache, irritation and incapacity, RA imposes a surcharge on way of life. Expectations might have to be modified. Adventures and experiences curtailed.

These of you who’ve been following my weblog know that when the pool closed in 2020, I started OND (Operation North Delta). I loved it a lot that I went on to stroll each residential road in White Rock (OWR), Tsawwassen (OT) and Ladner (OL).

Within the fall, I started Operation New Westminster (ONW). By my estimation, I’ve ten extra outings. Then I can take off my sneakers for that specific journey.

I had the pleasure to be interviewed by Donna White for Bayview Journal: Marianna Paulson: The Auntie Stress of Anti-Stress.

Nonetheless, typically the mission is nearer to residence.


Knitting pattern, knitting needles, yarn and one completed panel for an afghan project.For the previous couple of months, I yearned to choose up my knitting needles and work on my long-ago discarded knitting mission. My fingers aren’t in nice form, so I assumed it finest to depart it alone.

Then, I had an epiphany. I haven’t got to work on it for hours at a time; I can do a row or three, then set it apart. I can apply the identical precept that I take advantage of after I go on my strolling initiatives. Little by little, knit by purl, I can inch my means by the mission. I’ve no deadline to satisfy, simply the enjoyment and satisfaction I get from doing one thing with my fingers. One thing inventive and, ultimately, one thing helpful.

About These Molecules

As is commonly the case, there’s a hyperlink between what I am studying and what I am writing. The Molecule of Extra primarily discusses the position dopamine performs in our reside.

“Creativity is a superb technique to combine collectively dopamine and H&N [Here and Now molecules]… However there are extra abnormal types of creativity that anybody can apply, acts of creation that promote steadiness, somewhat than dopaminergic dominance.

Woodworking, knitting, portray, adorning, and stitching are old style actions that do not get a lot consideration in our trendy world- which is strictly the purpose. These actions do not require smartphone apps or high-speed web. They require brains and fingers working collectively to create one thing new. Our creativeness conceives the mission. We develop a plan to hold it out. Then our fingers make it actual.” – Daniel Z. Lieberman and Michael E. Lengthy, p. 220

Right here and Now Neurotransmitters

H&N neurotransmitters embrace serotonin (the calming chemical), oxytocin (the love hormone), endorphins (mind’s model of morphine) and endocannabinoids (mind’s model of marijuana). H&N neurotransmitters contribute to emotions of pleasure, bliss and delight.


Dopamine (the anticipation molecule or feel-good neurotransmitter) enjoys the joys of the hunt, somewhat than efficiently searching. Dopamine needs “extra” however can change into dissatisfied as soon as it has attained what it needs.

Nonetheless, when dopamine runs amok, it is a driver of addictive behaviours. It could actually push individuals into having affairs. It could actually additionally clarify why some individuals have issue appreciating what they’ve; there’s at all times one thing higher on the horizon.

Within the Dopamine Nation, Anna Lemke, MD, offers visuals that specify the shut relationship between ache and pleasure and what occurs on the dopamine “teeter-totter.”

“We have all skilled craving within the aftermath of delight. Whether or not it is reaching for a second potato chip or clicking the hyperlink for an additional spherical of video video games, it is pure to wish to re-create these good emotions or attempt to not allow them to fade away. The easy resolution is to maintain consuming, or enjoying, or watching, or studying. However there’s an issue with that.

With repeated publicity to the identical or comparable pleasure stimulus, the preliminary deviation to the facet of delight will get shorter and the after-response to the facet of ache will get stronger and longer, a course of scientists name neuroadaptation. That’s, with repetition, our gremlins get larger, quicker, and extra quite a few, and we’d like extra of our drug of option to get the identical impact.

Needing extra of a substance to really feel pleasure, or experiencing much less pleasure at a given dose, is named tolerance. Tolerance is a crucial issue within the improvement of dependancy.” – Anna Lembke, p. 53

Discovering Pleasure

Eric Weiner discusses pleasure in a chapter fittingly referred to as “The best way to Get pleasure from,” in The Socrates Categorical (a pleasant guide, by the best way). In essence, I consider that this hints at a dopaminergic response.

He says:

“Past a sure level, Epicurus believed, pleasure can’t be elevated – simply as vibrant sky can’t get any brighter – however solely various.That new pair of sneakers or good watch represents pleasure various, not elevated. But our whole shopper tradition is based on the idea that pleasure various equals pleasure elevated. This defective equation causes useless struggling…

…The Epicureans, ensconced behind their backyard partitions, lived a easy life however one punctuated by lavish feasts. They knew that luxurious is finest loved intermittently, and welcomed no matter goodness got here their means.Epicureanism is a philosophy of acceptance, and its shut cousin, gratitude. After we settle for one thing, actually settle for it, we won’t assist however really feel gratitude.” – Eric Weiner, p. 110

By cultivating a wholesome feeling of appreciation you might be in your technique to addressing and undressing your stress, as effectively.

What’s Up and Down with Dopamine, Anyway?

Dr. Andrew Huberman explains how dopamine inspired our forebears to depart the “consolation” of “residence” with the intention to forage, collect and/or hunt. While you perceive this, I consider that you’ve  a greater deal with on make higher use of it at the moment.

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