As usual, I have managed to lose the original source of the idea, because I didn’t write it down and I found it several weeks ago. I’m pretty sure it was a YouTube video, which really narrows things down, right?
The idea is pretty simple: stress creates cortisol in our bodies and cortisol has multiple effects on us. Within several seconds of encountering a stressful situation, our IQ (intelligence or mental abilities) is cut IN HALF. (If that’s not the correct figure, it drops significantly.)
In short, stress makes us stupid!
To me, this means that living in a constantly stressed-out state means that we are living in such a way that we can’t use our full mental potential, and we are making decisions and doing our work as if we were much dumber than we really are!
So, what if we can’t all do like I did and walk away from a stressful career?
It seems the answer is gratitude.
Somehow, finding something to be grateful for at that moment and about that moment short circuits the stress cycle, and allows us to maintain our mental abilities.
It takes practice, and it can take a shift in our outlook on life. Challenges become opportunities to grow and to learn new skills. Illnesses might have to become opportunities to slow down and/or to strengthen relationships — especially if you become the caregiver. We have to take a creative look at each situation to find the good and feel grateful for it.
Has your life been enriched by gratitude? Share how in the comments!