Have you ever noticed that instead of lifting itself naturally, stress often becomes a vicious cycle?
Chronic Stress can be Habit-Forming is a great entry point into understanding how, once we have entered a period of chronic stress, we are prone to falling into a rut.
In a New York Times article on August 17, 2009 called “Brain Is a Co-Conspirator in a Vicious Stress Loop”, the author, Natalie Angier… explains that researchers have now discovered that the “sensation of being highly stressed can rewire the brain in ways that promote its sinister persistence.”
Dr. Sousa’s interpretation was that “behaviors become habitual faster in stressed animals than in the controls, and worse, the stressed animals can’t shift back to goal-directed behaviors when that would be the better approach”.
Awareness of this tendency may well be our best defense and motivation towards ‘rut management’, a necessity if we are to maintain our flexibility and intelligence.
h/t Sean Martinez-Dantonet