What’s the root of daily stress? Why is it such a major factor in our lives?
Is it just the way we’re made?
Kind of, yes. Your brain, my brain, everyone’s brain is wired to do these three things:
- Go negative
We are predisposed to look at the worse case, predict negative ‘what-ifs’, and stress about shit on the daily because our minds think they need to protect us and keep us safe from danger (perceived or real).
The mind naturally automates experiences and emotions and lumps discomfort (perceived or real) into a big vat of ‘Whoa! don’t go there it might be dangerous! Let me protect you!’ shit soup.
Example: You know you need to have a difficult conversation with your boss and as you think about it you start tensing up. Your brain registers this discomfort and assigns the emotion you've got on speed dial — stress — and begins its process of keeping you safe from this perceived danger.
It makes up negative ‘what ifs’ that you might make the situation worse if you speak up or that you may even get fired. Your mind (Inner Critic) makes this a very strong and believable case.
So instead of having the conversation you spend weeks stressing about it, losing sleep, emotional eating, and feeling worn out.
Here’s the absolute great news:
Your brain is totally malleable and can be rewired to:
- Naturally go to the positive
- Distinguish what you actually need protection from
- Automate positive and healthy responses to stress and discomfort
Knowing this about your brain gives you superpowers to combat stress and remove the majority of it without work-around systems and (often negative) coping mechanisms.
Want to start rewiring how your brain views stress? Answer these questions and take action!
What stress loop do you have on repeat?
Is your brain stressing about a) a negative perceived threat or b) an actual physical danger happening in the moment?
If it’s A do this:
- Recognize the discomfort and ask yourself better questions. Based on the example I gave above you may ask yourself questions like these:
- Is continuing to avoid this conversation really keeping me safe or is it stalling me out from growing/getting a raise/ gaining clarity/making things better?
- Is this stress just my automatic response to discomfort?
- What are some positive ‘what ifs’ that could happen when I have this conversation?
- Visualize the situation going right. Are you prepared? Confident? At ease? Asking for what you need? What does that look and feel like?
- Take action! Do the thing!
If it’s B do this:
- Get the hell out of there fast ;) !!
Re-wiring your brain is absolutely within your power and with regular practice you will start producing positive and lasting shifts in as little as 30 days. Sure, you may have some discomfort along the way but what's better -- finite discomfort while re-wiring your brain or infinite discomfort by allowing your brain to keep you stressed and stuck?
Want to be in on a pilot brain-shifting workshop that moves you away from stress? Email me.