More Than Good Intentions.

More Than Good Intentions.

I sometimes find myself having the best intentions - like with a renewed commitment to eat healthier, exercise more regularly, read my Bible more ... the list seems to go on and on.

Why can't I seem to follow through?  As I set out on a quest to answer that question, I found there actually is a reason why I seem to struggle. And from doing some extensive research, I discovered it's all in my head - Literally!

Research shows that our brains aren't intended to function with all the stress our culture throws at us.  Stress ... whether from being chased by a bear or trying to answer 50 emails while helping our 6th grader with new math produces the same response - the fight or flight response. 

When this happens (and we have all experienced that sense of panic!), a part of our brain lights up and shuts down all rational thinking, reasoning, creativity, focus - all the things I need to follow through.  Research also shows that there are ways to lessen the effects of the fight or flight response - some practical things to do.  After trying many, here are the ones that proved really helpful.

  • Practicing mindfulness.  Sounds fancy but it's really just paying attention on purpose to what you are doing in the moment.
  • Meditate.  Again, not as intimidating as it sounds.  It just means unplugging, taking some deep breaths, and rebooting. 
  • Practice gratitude.  Be grateful.  Say it, write it, express it.

We can have more than just good intentions.  It takes a little effort, but it is definitely worth it!

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