Some people say you are stressed out mostly because you overthink. Ever wondered about it that the cause of your stress is induced by ‘too much’ thought?
But do humans overthink, and does thinking ‘too much’ really cause stress? Innovation and rebirth in the arts and learning and the sciences is a product of ‘too much thinking’ in a certain sense, and the responsibility falls on certain individuals who focused all their thought and energies on extending man’s control of life beyond what is current today. Therefore, thinking or rational thought cannot be too much, and it does not cause or induce stress. The reason why some parts of Africa are underdeveloped is probably because Africans are not thinking enough or that they channel their thoughts to the other direction – religion, tribe, power and internecine wars.
Several factors are primarily thought to be responsible for people being stressed out, and this includes ‘too much thinking.’ Life and its appurtenances all cause stress but is there something in the human anatomy that is a trigger for stress?
Yes, there is, and it is amygdala.
Amygdala is a noun and refers to a roughly almond-shaped mass of grey matter inside the cerebral hemisphere – somewhere close to our brains. Its job is to regulate the emotions we experience daily. The amygdala is docile, minds its business, but once it is activated by too much stress (workload, trauma, family relationships, pressure, and its allied connotations), it unleashes a series of signals into the system which makes it impossible for anyone to think clearly.
Issues related to overthinking and too much stress seems to indicate that thinking and anxiety are often thought to be the same. But thinking, thought, planning, plotting and weaving through the labyrinth of the maze of life is what we are wired to do as humans. Therefore, while there can never be too much thinking, engaging in life’s activities to a certain extent can trigger stress, even though stress on its own is not altogether negative. It is when the pressure reaches the tipping point and tips over just a little that signals are sent to our friend the roughly almond-shaped guy with the weird name amygdala.
Scientists some time ago experimented on some hyperactive mice. The choice for hyperactive mice mattered a great deal, to indicate a corresponding relationship with some aspects of our life. In removing the mouse’s Amygdala, they wanted to find out if the mouse would still be as hyperactive as they once were. What they observed was the seemingly hyperactive mice became very docile.
Would it be necessary then for us to remove our amygdala to make us as ‘stress-free as the mice? By all means no. We can regulate the kind of signals we send to our amygdala by the sorts of other things we do – singing, dancing, sport, exercise and hanging out with friends.
By Bob MajiriOghene Etemiku
Email address: [email protected]