When you’re chronically stressed or overwhelmed you tend to keep reacting in the same emotional way over and over. This conditions your nervous system to potentially (mis)read your environment based on past experiences, and the associations and perceptions you’ve formed around those experiences. It also trains your mind to automatically think more negative thoughts and have more pessimistic expectations. Your nervous system, being the intelligent processor and gatekeeper, diligently keeps seeking and running those old-patterned programs and subconscious emotional memories over and over recreating the same or similar experiences, and reactions in an attempt to match the old pattern. This creates a vicious cycle that can leave you feeling exhausted and drained. Most of this happens underneath your conscious and voluntary level of awareness.