I read an article this morning in the NY Times that describes a feedback loop I well recognized in my own behaviors. The good news is that these behaviors are getting dramatically unplugged by the divine openings I have been giving and receiving. It is a way of being able to focus on the blue sky and regain calm and clarity rather than stressing over the things pulling you and me in so many confusing directions.
…chronically stressed rats lost their elastic rat cunning and instead fell back on familiar routines and rote responses, like compulsively pressing a bar for food pellets they had no intention of eating. Moreover, the rats’ behavioral perturbations were reflected by a pair of complementary changes in their underlying neural circuitry. On the one hand, regions of the brain associated with executive decision-making and goal-directed behaviors had shriveled, while, conversely, brain sectors linked to habit formation had bloomed.
There is also an article today on mental stress training for army recruits. Stress is taking its rightful place in our awareness of illness and dysfunction, so we can actually do something about it! Here is more from the rats and stress study though. Is this familiar to you?
“The truth is, Dr. Sapolsky said, “we’re lousy at recognizing when our normal coping mechanisms aren’t working. Our response is usually to do it five times more, instead of thinking, maybe it’s time to try something new.”
There is good news though! Just as we can train our brains to dysfunction, we can also liberate them.
But with only four weeks’ vacation in a supportive setting free of bullies and Tasers, the formerly stressed rats looked just like the controls, able to innovate, discriminate and lay off the bar. Atrophied synaptic connections in the decisive regions of the prefrontal cortex resprouted, while the overgrown dendritic vines of the habit-prone sensorimotor striatum retreated.
If you don’t have four weeks to take a vacation, please consider giving yourself a series of divine openings. It is a direct download of divine energy, grace, consciousness, that accelerates our ability to unplug from these repeating patterns of behavior that only get us more of what we don’t want. You will learn to recognize when you are headed down into a stress spiral, and you will learn how to unplug yourself and connect with God, the divine, to see clearly and feel better.