Let me start by saying that I am not a doctor, everything that follows is anecdotal and is not based on science.

I’ve taken to watching Outlander with my wife when we are home weekends. We will binge watch the adventures of Claire and Jamie while we munch on way too many chips. She has read the books and is more in tune with the story than I am. In fact, when she started watching the show, I wasn’t really interested. I thought it was just a love story and much as I enjoy romances, I wasn’t hooked. I caught an episode here or there while she was watching, but I didn’t watch the entire first season, at least to start with.

By the time my wife finished the first season, she was reading the second book and eager to start the second season.

Then, when she started the second season I began to get interested. As she raced through the second season, I started watching more and more. But I couldn’t just jump in the middle without watching the first season; there was too much going on. I couldn’t follow the story.

So, we went back and binged the first two seasons. I enjoyed the story, but I enjoyed the setting even more so. The show takes place mostly in 18th century Scotland during the Jacobite rebellion.

I’m not as much of a history buff as I would like to be, but I know the world was much different in 1745. I’m sure the show takes liberties with different historical events and people, but nonetheless there is the one undeniable truth, that life was much more difficult 200 years ago.

More work was done by hand and less by machine. Many of conveniences we often take for granted would have been unheard-of.

Just in the course of everyday living, people in the 1700s endured many more challenges than we face. Hot water is a turn of the faucet today, whereas 200 years ago, people had to get the water from the river or the well and then boil it over a fire. I’m not even talking about ancient history, 200 years ago is nothing in the grand scheme of things. Can you imagine life 2,000 years ago?

So where am I going with this? Well, lately I have tried to introduce small stressors, little things like a cold shower or a walk out in the January wind. They may not amount to much, but I find by adding a dose of discomfort to my day, I am better able to handle the obstacles that face me at work or in daily living.

I think of it kind of like this: if you are comfortable all the time it wouldn’t take much to upset that balance. If it was perfect 70 degrees and sunshine all the time, the freezing cold of January would seem like the end of the world. But, if you are used to the cold you don’t have to adjust.

I’ll conclude by saying that I am not a doctor. Small stressors might not actually do anything and this whole thing could be a placebo effect.

Josh Magnotta is a reporter, author, conversationalist and armchair sports enthusiast.