A Lesson in Anger Management From a Chicken

Inevitably, there are things in our lives that bring us stress and we often carry this stress around with us until we explode on someone or something or, maybe worse, we harbor it 'til we get sick. Long term stress can cause degenerative diseases. Stress plays a big role in our overall health and we must come up with ways to overcome it. This is easier said than done.

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The mind is a powerful thing. If the mind is constantly feeling it is under attack due to whatever stresses you, your immune system is being compromised. If someone is threatening to fight you, your adrenalin pumps, and even if the fight never happens your body has gone into protection mode and all the cells in your body were ready for fight or flight. Or if you are constantly worrying about money or love or if your boss is going to fire you, all the cells in your body feel this and take precautionary measures.

If you are constantly under stress, your body is in defense mode and will not be able to protect you from something that could have been avoided if your head was straight. In most cases, we are worrying about what might happen before it even happens.

The Chicken

I make it a point not to just drop food and leave when feeding the animals on the farm. Sometimes I will stop working altogether and just watch how they interact together. When seed is tossed out in front of the chickens at feeding time, they go into a frenzy scratching and pecking to get every last seed. On occasion they run into each other, sometimes they don't notice and keep eating and sometimes it turns into a brawl. The chickens will fluff up their feathers, stand up tall, and begin what I think looks like a dance. They will circle each other, swiftly shuffling their feet, trying to catch the other off guard so they can jump up and attack the other chicken. This will happen for about 5-10 seconds, so fast I often have trouble figuring out who won the duel. Then, when the fight is over, they shake their bodies, walk away, and go right back to scratching and pecking for seeds, like nothing ever happened. The shaking off right after looks as though they are shaking off the tension from the conflict, but it is probably just to get the feathers to lie back down properly. The chicken's little brain probably doesn't understand the complexity of the human emotions associated with a fight, but either way, when they are done fighting, that is it! They don't go tell their friends or look for revenge. When we get stressed by something we have to talk about it after and tell people details or plot revenge, each time getting yourself stressed as you relive the moment.

Obviously it would be best to be able to shake off any stress before anything becomes a problem and fighting is never the answer. So next time you are worried, scared, angry, sad, or stressed, no need to employ a shrink, just think about what would the chicken do. Whatever you do not listen to the pig for anger advise. (For results of pig anger management see jump - unless you faint at the sight of blood.)

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