Is stress a habit and how do we undo being used to it?

ΠHow does stress become a habit? The stressful thinking that is triggered puts us in the process of over-analysis, thoughts and anxiety trying to have some control over the situation.

In the next 3 minutes you will learn:
-How we change habits.
-The 3 steps to break the circle.

What was the first thing you did this morning? Did you look at your cell phone, make coffee, get your tablet and go to the bathroom? Whatever you did the chances are that you do the same, in the same way and order every day! Why; Because that's how most of us work.

We are creatures of habit
Our habits, good or bad, play a huge role in our physical and mental health, in the quality of our relationships, in our personal and professional success. So the habits, as everyone who has tried to quit (smoking, junk food, social media) know, do not change easily, as they are registered in our brain and cells. Neurons that are activated at the same time make synapses and this creates a pattern that is established by repetition. So changing a habit does not mean that I can erase it but I can learn a new one that will replace it. That is, to create new synapses that go beyond the old ones,

The cycle of habit
Habit consists of 3 factors or steps that create a cycle: The trigger, the routine (the behavior) and the reward. Anyone who smokes can understand how a particular time, situation, environment triggers the need and causes the behavior, that is, to light a cigarette. The reward in this case can be the temporary relief from stress, the satisfaction of the lack of nicotine or the feeling of company. To quit smoking, one can associate the trigger with another routine (a drink, for example) that provides a reward (the feeling of warmth and relaxation).

We can all understand that smoking is a habit but what does this have to do with stress, anxiety, melancholy? Stress could also be a habit cycle! Yes! Having said that, let us emphasize that it may or may not be, as there are many factors, genetic and environmental, that contribute to anxiety disorders.

Our emotions do not come from scratch. It is the result of deep-seated thought patterns that subconsciously act as triggers. So just as a coffee triggers the need for a cigarette, so a negative thought that is subconsciously triggered by a factor (person, situation, etc.) can cause discomfort and negative emotions. How does stress become a habit? The stressful thinking that is triggered puts us in the process of over-analysis, thoughts and anxiety trying to have some control over the situation. The reward may be this temporary sense of control. Anxiety is behavior, routine. and at the same time anxiety triggers and fuels stressful thoughts and somehow the cycle of habit is formed.

We learn to break the circle
The first step is to recognize stress as a habit cycle. You recognize that you have entered a process of over-analysis and anxiety. Ask yourself: Does it help me find a solution? Does it help me gain control?

The second step is to recognize the reward. What do I gain from this? How does it serve me? Do I end up feeling better or worse?

The third step is to give your brain something more appealing than worrying thoughts. According to Psychiatrist and Neuroscientist Judson Brewer, this may be curiosity about your experience and kindness!

Curiosity is more pleasing than anxiety. It helps us stay in the here and now as well as gather information that can help us. The biggest source of stress is uncertainty for which there is usually no answer or solution and we are trapped in thoughts. Curiosity means wondering: What is happening to me right now? How do I feel? What thoughts go through my mind? Is there a real danger? How does my body react?

Show kindness to others, to yourself and observe-accept the goodness of others. Simple moves of kindness and generosity on your part will help you get out of the cycle of stress. Pay attention when someone shows kindness to you. How do you perceive it in your body?

Hyper-analysis, anxiety, stressful thoughts cause feelings of limitation. Kindness and curiosity evoke feelings of enlargement. You can not feel both at the same time as they are completely opposite. You choose!