Why do we believe comfort will make us happy? We struggle far less than our ancestors. We have more leisure time. We are able to access all the world’s information in the palm of our hand. We don’t have to lift a finger if we don’t want to. Despite all of this, chronic health issues are rising at an astonishing rate. In today’s society, we are under chronic stress from work, the 24-hour news cycle, and poor nutrition habits, causing our bodies to break down. We have allowed ourselves to become fragile.
In his book, “Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder” Nassim Nicholas Taleb discusses the concept of antifragility. "Some things benefit from shocks; they thrive and grow when exposed to volatility, randomness, disorder, and stressors and love adventure, risk, and uncertainty. “Antifragility is beyond resilience or robustness. The resilient resists shocks and stays the same; the antifragile gets better." The human body has a process for creating antifragility called hormesis. Hormesis occurs when we apply stress to our system in small doses where higher doses would kill us, allowing our body to adapt and grow.
We don’t want to just be resilient, we want to be antifragile. To do this, we must test our bodies with the right amount of stress and then allow ourselves time to recover and adapt to that stress. Then, the next time we can go a little harder. This is why we get in ice baths, perform difficult workouts and challenge ourselves. You can take what you learn about yourself in these situations and apply it to all stressful situations in life, allowing you to handle it on your terms and avoid your emotions controlling your response. Don’t allow the modern world to turn you into a fragile person. Change your relationship with stress and become antifragile.