Our brain is designed to conserve energy and seek pleasure and therefore puts everything on autopilot by creating a neural pathway. A neural pathway is a habit loop. Everything is a habit.
When we get amped up on work stress over and over again, it creates a neural pathway that our brain wants us to follow. Our brain is quite sneaky in the thoughts that it throws up to get us to do what is easy and pleasurable. We call these urges and it’s your brain’s way of convincing you to do the thing that’s on autopilot.
Your brain doesn’t care whether things are true or good for you. It only cares that it’s been repeated.
So do you have a habit of seeking stress? Are you doing things that cause stress like procrastinating, overworking, or doing things that add pressure?
I sure did. I really think the fast-paced environment in Tech is a stress-addiction waiting to happen. You get lots of dopamine and adrenaline in this kind of environment.
Once I got really curious, I found most of the triggers/choice points where I was automatically feeling stressed even though I really didn’t need to (or want to).
Step number one is to get really curious. What specific scenario have you had in the past few days where you felt stressed, pressured or worried at work? What did you see or hear right before you felt that way? That is the trigger/choice point that you want to focus on.
Step number two is to get up and dance or shake for a minute. Do some jumping jacks…just move.
Step number three is to ask yourself how do I want to feel instead? Really see it and feel it.
Step number four is to think about the trigger/choice point again and ask yourself how you feel now.
Repeat steps 3 and 4 several times. Really see or hear what that’s going to be like when you respond that way.
This approach works because it’s using neuroscience to manipulate your neural pathway.
Give it a try. You’ll thank me for this magic.
PS. I help people stop overworking. I went from 80 hours a week to 30. I can help you do it too. It’s just a matter of reprogramming some inefficient work habits. Get to know me here.