file0001382919230Your life, your schedule, your habits and your brain all conspire to keep the status quo. We are squishy machines, biologically tuned to keep doing what we typically do as efficiently as the brain can manage. Like Pavlov’s dogs, our brain notices repeated triggers and starts producing hormones key to emotions based on what hormones are normally triggered in the trigger situation. For example, hate your job? Feel depressed, stressed and frustrated at work? Your brain will identify triggers on your trip to work and start releasing cortisol, the primary stress hormone. What you do reinforces how you feel and how you feel reinforces what you do. Most people follow the same routine throughout their lives. They eat the same meals. They have the same reactions in certain situations. They hang out with the same people and talk about the same topics. Yes. This changes slowly over time. Unfortunately, many people hate where they are in their lives. They use caffeine to get them through the day and alcohol to help them sleep at night. Perhaps they through in pills or therapy just to be able to maintain their miserable position in life. The key to improving this situation is to interrupt these habits that reinforce your status quo. Start by making easy changes. Get to work at a different time each day, take a different route and listen to comedians on the ride to work instead of talk radio. Go out to lunch with different people. As you start to make changes, notice your stress triggers. What situations are causing you to have stress reactions? What is your body telling you? Once you know your triggers, you can create a short term and a long term solution. For the short term, work on how you react to those triggers. Interrupt your triggers and reframe your reactions. For the long term, identify the source of your stress. Either change the root cause of your stress or embrace it.