Don’t worry Wilson, I’ll do all the paddling. You just hang on.

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Ever been stuck on a desert island, by yourself, after your plane fell out of the sky? No? Well, It sucks. Sitting on the beach under the sun is supposed to be relaxing, not when there are chunks of airplane around you! Also, you are all wet because you just landed in the ocean, and now you have no towel. A package washes up on shore a few days after your plane crash, it is a volleyball. Really? A volleyball…out of everything that could have washed up from the wreckage, you get a volleyball, that is exactly what you need to save your life. Well, if you are resourceful, and happen to cut your hand trying to start a fire, super high-five the volleyball with your bloody hand, carefully carve a face into the ball and then come up with a clever name for him. “Wilson!” you jump up and shout. Well guess what, Wilson just became the source of managing your stress and just increased your chances of getting of that island alive. By creating a friend, you have also just created a way to combat stress. You just created a Social Support Network.
Social Support gives you a sense of belonging. Spending time with people helps ward off loneliness. Whether it’s other new moms, dog lovers, fishing buddies or siblings, just knowing you’re not alone can go a long way toward coping with stress. Social Support gives you a increased sense of self-worth; having people who call you a friend reinforces the idea that you’re a good person to be around. Social Support also gives you a feeling of security; your social network gives you access to information, advice, guidance and other types of assistance should you need them. It’s comforting to know that you have people you can turn to in time of need.

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/social-support/SR00033

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5 Responses to “Don’t worry Wilson, I’ll do all the paddling. You just hang on.”


  1. 1 rmb2 May 10, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    I could not imagine having this happen to me. In reality I feel as though friends do lower your stress response levels because they keep you in an engaged environment most of the time.

    If I were stuck on an island I think the first thing I would do would be to make a friends out of sticks, or even weeds. I would just need someone to talk to and feel as though I was safe from most dangers on the island.

  2. 2 kristenlyon May 10, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    haha I love the first-person narration. This makes me think about felons who are put into solitary confinement. You see it all the time on law shows where they go crazy and dread having to go in. On Law and Order SVU (which I understand is far-fetched), Elliott went into solitary confinement for only a few days and he thought he was in there for weeks. He made friends with a bug. Personally, I get bored and lonely when I am not in contact with people for a couple of hours. Socialization is more than just a stress relief and an outlet. It is practically mandatory for sanity.

  3. 3 whitneyroberts May 11, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    I agree, social support is vital for helping lower your stress levels. Sometimes you don’t even necessarily need to TALK to someone, just the fact that there actually IS someone who cares about you and that you can depend on is enough, and sometimes simply sitting together without saying a word is all you need to know that you don’t have to face your problems alone.

  4. 4 treyh43 May 11, 2011 at 11:55 pm

    First off I want to say that Castaway is a great movie and I think that this is a clever way to look at social support. I also think there are other aspects of this movie that are intruiging to look at through the psychobiology of stress window. You could talk about how killing something a cooking it gives you a greater satisfaction then if someone did the killing for you. This can be seen once he is discovered and taken home and given a buffet of seafood to eat. I think that in Castaway, Wilson was the main reason that the main character survived. Without any glimpse of hope Tom Hanks was able to look to Wilson for support. Wilson was there and not only gave support, but kept Tom Hanks from going insane.

  5. 5 carimalakoff May 16, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    Having a social support system is very important to me. I am fortunate in having the support of my parents and older sister in which I know I can always turn to them when I need help or as Sapolsky describes in his book, “a shoulder to lean or cry on.” Whenever I am very stressed, I know that by talking to them and venting will help me in which I know they will always be there and positively encourage me. Also, my friends are also a great social support both at school and those at other colleges. I know I can always call my best friend since middle school if I had a bad day, need advice, or just to say hi to help in taking my mind off a stressful day. I completely agree with this post in which social support allows me to a feel a sense of security and guidance whenever I need it. It is definitely comforting to know that I can rely on both my friends and family.


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