Stress and Familiarity


How many of us experience stress? All of us!? Haha, I'll answer that for you. YES. Has it impacted your goals? Stress is one of the things we've been talking about recently in my Change For Life group, as part of a bigger conversation about mentalities and internal struggles which can get in the way of our success. Change, real sustainable change, starts from within. The body follows the mind. fle In discussing this topic I was reminded of something I read awhile back. There was an interesting study where researchers requested subjects do a complicated word puzzle. One group performed under time pressure, while the other was advised to take as much time as they wanted. After the puzzle was done, the subjects were told they had to do another puzzle, but were given a choice between a longer puzzle created by the same person who designed the first puzzle or a short puzzle created by somebody they didn't know. The group who performed under more stressful conditions (time pressure) were more likely to choose the longer puzzle [created by the same person], even though this would put them at a disadvantage. It’s as if, under pressure, their brains got confused trying to compare the advantages of length versus familiarity, and so they resorted to the 'familiarity heuristic.'" We tend to stay in situations, even if they are bad for us, just because they are familiar and comfortable. To help change this, in my Change for Life Program, we work on new Habits that we know benefit us and help us toward our fitness or weight loss goals. We create a NEW familiarity we can rely on in the future. :-)

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