what is stress
There is a theory that when looking after wild animals, a certain amount of stress is potentially not a bad thing. An expert in animal care was relating a story to me today about a man who was breeding birds as part of a conservation project. Over time his breeding program was perfected, and then, there was suddenly a lack of success. The optimal conditions were looked at. Nothing could improve what was occuring. So, a decision was taken to try and "stress" the birds a little. The man rigged up a bird of prey dummy to swoop over the nesting areas once a day, making scary noises. Enough to scare the breeding pairs. It was not long before breeding improved. The conclusion to the exercise was that a little stress is not a bad thing.
I think there may be a different way to relate this conclusion. In solitary confinment, people do not thrive. Babies that are not held and comforted don't grow as fast as those who are. Same is true for animals. We are on this planet to experience ourselves. The most effective way of doing this is to experience ourselves in relation to another.
In optimal conditions, the birds were physically cared for and nurtured, and essentially in a solitary confimenent situation. When the predator thought threatened them, they huddled together, formed safety in numbers, and related more to each other. They were using their natural senses and instincts. They felt alive. And that inspired breeding.
It is a common fact that people who survive trauma together are closer. And it does not even have to be trauma. Anything that makes us feel alive. Like galloping on horseback. When we are relating to our world with our natural given senses, we are thriving.