27 Aug How to stay positive when you really don’t feel like it
via Fast Company by Nick Wolny
Four score and seventeen pounds ago, I was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed about relaunching my consulting company. Resigning from a cushy job in a pandemic would be challenging, but I’d made jumps like this before, so about nine minutes into lockdown, I peaced out and leapt back into the tumultuous world of entrepreneurship.
Things started off great. Over time though, my inner dialogue got progressively more pissy, and being cooped up for months on end probably didn’t help. Why does making the same progress week after week feel harder, not easier? As it turns out, your own neurochemistry begins to work against you when you stay in overdrive too long—even if you love what you’re doing. Whether you’re out to change the world or just want to change your current situation, here’s what to keep in mind.
ALLOSTATIC LOAD AND NEGATIVITY BIAS
The late neuroendocrinologist Dr. Bruce McEwen coined the term allostatic load to define the relationship between stress and performance. A little pressure can help you turn up the heat and perform at your best—pressure turns rocks into diamonds, after all—but chronic stress or constant pressure will eventually erode your spirit if you’re not careful.
Combine allostatic load’s parabolic curve with a negativity bias—the psychological phenomenon in which negative thoughts come to us more easily than positive ones—and you have a slope so slippery it makes an episode of Wipeout look like child’s play. We’re ambitious and want to do hard things, but all that chronic stress results in heightened levels of cortisol. Cortisol is your BFF when you’re trying to outrun a mountain lion, but it’s not great to have the hormone in the picture 24/7. Research published in the journal Neurology found that elevated cortisol levels can impact cognition, memory, and even visual processing in middle age.
With me so far? Then keep reading the full & original article HERE