In a study conducted by David T. Neal, Wendy Wood and Aimee Drolet, it was observed that people undergoing stress turn to their strongest habits for solace. The habit could either be good or bad.
The study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology added that people’s will power was duly tested by stress. And many failed the test and went back to old ways to relieve stress.
The study was conducted on a number of test subjects whose actions were recorded during stressful times. Most went back to doing what they had the strongest inclination towards.
Let’s say you smoked after plenty of determination you kicked the butt and stayed away from smoke for a while. Your exam is scheduled tomorrow morning and you have lots more to cover. This exam is a great opportunity for you to move into a high potential field. You cannot think of failing it, and there are no second chances. You begin to stress at the stroke of midnight, and involuntarily you would reach for cigarettes if you know of a hidden stash in your house or drive to the nearest gas station to pick up one. Everything that you accomplished in quitting cigarettes goes awry.
If stress could question our willpower, then it is one more good reason for us to keep stress as far away as possible.