When we allow our minds to run on autopilot and your brain is already prone to chronically high levels of stress, over time you will have built up a toxic amount of cortisol in the body. This quantity of cortisol will maintain itself in the body so long as you are operating from fight or flight mode. Over time your elevated level of stress hormones will lead to depression.
If the body is never able to return to its’ resting state, a space of calm and safety, then the quantity of other neurotransmitters that your body naturally produces and regulates will begin to shrink in production. This will limit your body’s ability to regulate mood transmitters such as dopamine and serotonin.
Additionally, your ability to make rational non-reactionary decisions will become noticeably compromised. We all see this in our interactions with coworkers and family members, while stressed, it becomes more difficult to manage difficult scenarios. These elevated cortisol levels also significantly decrease the production of white blood cells in the body, making you more vulnerable to disease.
Let’s look at how we can begin interrupting these autopilot patterns and wire the brain for calm, and in time you will begin to replace anxiety with the experience of calm.
Once you have trained the brain to react to situations from a mindset of heightened fear and anxiety, this becomes your innate operating system and your mind forgets what calm and safety actually feel like. You have to begin consciously recreating this sensation in the mind in order to start building new neural pathways that will ultimately support the new chosen experience. Once you have relearned the experience you can then actually replace the anxiety or elevated stress with that feeling of calm.
We do this by associating a situation in which you were experiencing a high level of stress with that learned feeling of calm and safety. Over an eight-week period, your mind will completely rewire chronic stress and will choose calm and safety over anxiety.