Morning! Thanks for all your kind and thoughtful advice regarding anxiety. The blog world is so wonderful — and strange. I feel like I connect with and understand the other bloggers and readers who comment frequently. I hope we all meet in real life one day!
I was reading Oprah’s "Big Book of Happiness," which is a collection of articles from O Magazine, and I stumbled upon a passage from an article entitled, "Why Is It So Darn Hard to Change?"
The author has just met with a behavioral scientist, who told her that after 50 repetitions of a task, the frontal lobe of the brain (which regulates self-control, decision making, and behavior change) "lights up" less and less until the brian exerts minimum effort, which means the new tasks has become a habit.
I ask if this means I only have to force myself to exercise 50 times and then it will become a habit. "I wish I could say yes," Michael Schlund, PhD says. "But we really have no idea. What I can tell you is that there are many variables." The biggest one is stress. It turns out that the hormones released by the body in response to stress are our worst enemy when it comes to changing: Stress actually inhibits the frontal lobe, which makes the brain revert to behaviors that don’t require conscious decisions (like eating comfort food, drinking, and smoking). Not only do stress hormones impair the areas of the brian that need to be active to change, they also stimulate our emotional centers, and send out signals telling us to decrease the stress. And what decreases stress? Food (because it triggers the release of natural opiates), alcohol, and cigarettes.
So, successful change depends in part on stress management….. and finding the right rewards [which should be immediate] for your change.
In an effort to wisely manage my stress, I dutifully did the 30 Day Shred this morning. Click the widget on the right-hand side of the blog read today’s summary!
Breakfast was AWESOME!
Two pieces of WW French toast, a sliced banana, and chopped pecans. With maple syrup on the side for dipping!
The kind folks at Stonyfield Farms have sent me a bunch of coupons for their yummy yogurts and milks. Including coupons for FREE Oikos Greek Yogurt!
You too can receive these coupons! To enter, simply leave a comment below and tell me one habit you’ve successfully changed. Did you stop smoking? Learn to love exercise? Tell me, and I’ll pick 1 random entry tonight at 8 PM.