Politician and former President of the United States Franklin D. Roosevelt once said that “men are not prisoners of fate, they are prisoners of their own mind.” A very true thing, especially if you have ever felt that your mind is not leaving you alone.
To explain this phenomenon, we will follow the postulates of psychologist Maite Finch. Because it is true that in states of anxiety or stress, the neurochemistry of the brain changes.
In concrete cases, the cerebral amygdala sends adequate commands to the mind-emotion system. But what if this state of anxiety or stress kicks in when there is no reason to be alert?
Sometimes our interpretations of reality and the way we experience it can activate similar patterns of brain neurochemistry. Thus, these thought patterns can lead us to live in a constant state of unease and anxiety.
Reasons your mind won’t leave you alone
Maite Finch considers that there are a number of reasons why your mind will not leave you alone. Let’s see how they fit together.
Avoid polarized thoughts: white or black
Sometimes something strikes us as beautiful, brilliant, and spectacular. Other times, on the other hand, everything strikes us as horrible, obscure, and overly negative. This is what it means to think in black and white, to believe in extremes, without middle ground, without intermediate gray scales.
If you think in black and white, according to Finch, you only have two thought patterns. Either all is well or all is bad. In other words, when your expectations are met, everything will be absolutely great. But when it doesn’t, everything will be terrible and you will have that echo-shaped voice that will not leave you in peace.
Forget about emotional reasoning
Here’s another reason your mind won’t let you breathe. It is about emotional reasoning. This case implies that decision making is not conditioned by logic or intuition but by how you feel.
Thus, emotions – without management or control – will have a greater weight on the scale. If you feel bad, you will judge people and situations negatively. And these situations, given your attitude and disposition, will tend to confirm your assumptions. A sort of vicious circle.
Avoid tunnel vision
Finch considers that we see a tunnel when the thought pattern is made according to our most complicated experiences. You associate your relationships and everything that happens to you at a certain time, a time of difficulty.
Thus, your mind is on constant alert to recognize negative people and situations. It devotes the majority of its efforts to protecting you from possible threats. Your attention is focused solely on the detection of danger, discomfort and stressful situations.
To put it another way, your mind is constantly looking for bad situations or circumstances. This level of surveillance and warning is so marked that it skews perception, thoughts and any other type of attitude that is not in tune.
Have overly positive thoughts
Optimism turns against us when it begins to take the form of an opaque band over our eyes when faced with our problems. It also does this when it completely eliminates prudence from our way of acting or when that optimism is based purely on a thought of luck.
On the other hand, illusory or exaggerated optimism can, in thinking that everything will be fine, prevent us from creating a Plan B in case something goes wrong. Just as it can prevent us from adapting when the results we get are not what we expect.
We may also personalize everything all the time. This means that when something bad happens around us, it has to be our fault. If we are like that, we will live in a constant state of anxiety as negative events keep happening in the world.
According to Finch, we have to keep in mind that it’s not all up to us. It is necessary to share responsibilities. Also, if we constantly martyr ourselves for our mistakes, we will project great anxiety towards the future.