I'm just finishing this really interesting book titled "Meet Your Happy Chemicals." It's a fascinating read and has convinced me to try to get the book's author to do a guest article or workshop with Rewire in the future (let me know if you want to be a part of that workshop). One of the key arguments of this book is that much of what we do in our lives has a neurochemical neurochemical (1) component that helps to drive our decision making. That is, we are naturally inclined to behave in ways that generate neurochemicals that feel good ("happy chemicals") and avoid the ones that feel negative.
Here's an example that will work for most of us: Answer the question "Would you rather do your taxes or eat a piece of bacon?" Now, when you answer this question, your mind is already constructing the components in anticipation of these two choices. You're thinking about stacks of receipts, data entry, judgement and possible punishment from the government. And you're comparing this against the smell and sounds of cooking bacon.
Title grab your attention? Good. I'm trying to get better at that. The researcher in me wants to title this article something like, "Cognitive and neurochemical biases related to information-processing and volitional decision-making." NO NO! WAIT! I'M JUST KIDDING! DON'T CLOSE THIS WINDOW! I PROMISE THIS WON'T BE DRY!
In a nutshell, here's the problem: Inaction feels like death. If we're not doing something actively, most of us start to come unglued.
Tie in happy chemicals, survival instinct. Action represents our attempt to control. We feel control enhances our chances at survival, etc.
But, breaking the cycle starts with stopping. With pausing.