We think about the things we wish we had, regret what we’ve missed out on and couldn’t do, think about how things would have turned out if we had acted differently. Then we lose ourselves from reality. We stay there and become depressed and disappointed, lose hope and can’t find peace. That’s how suffering comes.
Overthinking is a vicious pit! Yes, you may deny it but you know it is true. The more you think, the deeper you go in. Overthinking never really stops! It goes on and on, making you miss out on important moments in life and it never goes away until we let go and focus on what’s happening now.
But did you know that overthinking affects your health?
Overthinking affects your health as it can lead to feelings of high anxiety and even cause you to be physically ill.
Chronic stress from negative attitudes and feelings of helplessness and hopelessness can upset the body’s hormone balance and deplete the brain chemicals required for feelings of happiness, as well as to have a damaging impact on the immune system.
New scientific understandings have also identified the process by which chronic stress can actually decrease our lifespan by shortening our telomeres (the “end caps” of our DNA strands, which play a big role in aging).
When the excessive fuel in the blood isn’t used for physical activities, the chronic anxiety and outpouring of stress hormones can have serious physical consequences, including:
Suppression of the immune system
Short-term memory loss
Premature coronary artery disease
If excessive worrying and high anxiety go untreated, they can lead to depression and even suicidal thoughts.
After knowing how overthinking affects your health, it is very much important to avoid overthinking or excessive worrying.
As scientist Barbara Fredrickson has shown that positive emotions have two important effects: they broaden our perspective of the world (thus inspiring more creativity, wonder, and options), and they build up over time, creating lasting emotional resilience and flourishing.
Dr. Fredrickson has spent years researching and publishing the physical and emotional benefits of positivity, including faster recovery from cardiovascular stress, better sleep, fewer colds, and a greater sense of overall happiness. The good news is not only that positive attitudes—such as playfulness, gratitude, awe, love, interest, serenity, and feeling connected to others—have a direct impact on health and wellbeing, but that we can develop them ourselves with practice.
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