In situations that are only mentally threatening, this extreme focus does not serve its primordial purpose and can take a toll on your energy, focus, and physical well-being.
Your worried mind kicks off visceral feedback and leads to actual symptoms from your nervous system.
You can utilize these tools and techniques to reduce those threat impulses and focus on being your most successful self.When you feel yourself getting hijacked into stress, take a whiff of a calming aroma like cinnamon, mint, or lavender. “Because your sense of smell goes directly to the deep limbic system,” says neuroscientist and psychiatrist Daniel Amen, “it is easy to see why smells can have such a powerful impact on our feeling states.(The others were eaten.) As such, our physiology is designed to draw us strongly toward the negative—apprehension, rage, pessimism—whenever we feel even mildly threatened. As a society, we have moved from pervasive physical threats to emotional ones.On the other hand, positive stimuli didn’t require early humans to expend nearly so much energy. It’s these “bad” impressions that begin to control our mind and body.In other words, you don’t fall into despair because you’ve made a mistake at work; you get upset because you start worrying about how that mistake could get you fired.
For example, whenever I used to see the number of my daughter’s school come up on my phone, I would immediately wonder if she was bleeding or injured.But it was almost always about something innocuous, like forgetting to sign some bureaucratic form.Now I get the same anxiety running through my body whenever I see a call come in from my 90-year-old mother-in-law’s house.Think sweaty palms, racing heart, and a pit in your stomach. We can rewire our brains to diffuse the awfulizing bomb and better cope with emotional challenges.It’s worth it to put in the work to fight the negativity: “Positive emotions may not have a memorable impact in the moment, but over time, the cumulative effect of positivity can lead to longevity, marital happiness, and workplace success,” says psychologist Barbara Frederickson in .This impulse was a subconscious physical response that was essential to survival.