Killing Me Softly With Drama

Weekly Opinion by Mark DeLap on the subject "drama."

Opinion by Mark DeLap

Killing me softly with drama

Everyone has a story. Everyone has an opinion. Whether they express it or not.

And it seems that the world is held together with the glue of drama. Drama in the family, in relationships, on the job, in the coffee shop and on the entertainment screens. It is the “tale” that wags the dog.

Stories. There are always three sides. First, the side of the defense, second, the side of the prosecution and third, the truth. The third side often gets thrown under the wheels when the need to be right, vindicated or seen in a better light demands a seat at the front of the bus. And there are some who simply have to know every detail of every circumstance or everyone else’s life.

People who say that they are not competitive in athletics can be competitive in other areas. It’s human nature. Whether it is in relationships, with people you work with or simply driving the car in traffic. Our innate sense of having to be right and having to be the first to know everything is what makes us part of the food chain.

Let’s face it, nobody wants to be wrong, or outdone in anything. And God forbid that we are labeled as “the last to know.” But battles that take their toll to cause you to win the war on being right or in the know, can be downright unhealthy.

And our love affair with things that kill us continues. Too many of the wrong foods that cause high cholesterol, alcohol that pickles our liver and kills off multiple brain cells, and having to watch the drama unfold on television, movies and media reports from all corners of the globe.

Why doesn’t the media just quit reporting on all the drama?  Why can’t the producers just eliminate the tense and awkward things that cause a spike in our blood pressure levels?

It’s a common case of supply and demand. Drama. We crave it. We demand it. We are addicted to it. Many learn it growing up and it becomes a steady staple of our diets. Without it, what would there be to talk about at the water cooler during business hours?

And the old saying rings true in what we watch, what we experience and what we ingest. We become what we eat. We get caught up in the drama of those around us and sometimes we are the drama to those around us.

We have become a society that has lost the innocence and the desire to diffuse conflict. Our mindsets have been forever changed. We are living on the edge and we are living with a driving force that includes bottled-up anger, road rage, the need to control every situation. There’s a chance that we could die. And we’ve become a society that says, “bring it on, at least things are never boring.”

According to Dr. Joshua Gowin writing an article for Psychology Today, drama changes the brain.

“Fights can be a major source of distress,” he writes. “The outcome can affect our workload, relationships and control over resources, but also, it can lastingly alter our brains. How you handle the fray can impact your memory, mood and even your lifespan.

“Scientists have studied conflict in tree shrews, a small mammal, closely related to primates, that spends much of its time defending its territory. In the lab, when two tree shrews are put in the same cage, they fight to establish dominance. If a clear plastic wall is then placed in the cage to divide them, the mere sight of the dominant shrew is enough to stress the subordinate, persistently elevating its heart rate and cortisol levels. Its arteries deteriorate, its circadian rhythm is disrupted and many subordinates die within two weeks. They literally "worry to death."

Perhaps that is why more and more people are finding things like isolation chambers, meditation gardens and prayer rooms. There is an inner cry from the heart that says, “you’re killing me.”

And what’s worse, the drama you share is killing others. It’s time for a paradigm shift and a fresh wave of education for the human body to maintain, sustain and abstain.

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