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The goal of cognitive reappraisal is not to turn off your negative thoughts. It is to take a step back and ground your thoughts in reality.
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Every thought is an intricate pattern of activity between proteins and chemicals, gene expressions, and neural connections in our brain. The more we have a particular thought, the stronger the mental connection becomes.
When we feel stressed, our brains release a chemical called noradrenaline. Noradrenaline increases arousal and alertness, it increases the formation and retrieval of memories, and it focuses attention. It also increases restlessness and anxiety.
Stress affects us in different ways and at different times. One of the most common ways stress affects us is right before talking to your boss, when playing sports or before a speech.
Symptoms of stress, like a dry mouth and a racing heart, are the same as excitement. Research confirms that when people are in stressful situations such as public speaking, instead of telling themselves to calm down, reframing the situation as exciting helps to ride the wave of stress.
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