When you are afflicted by severe discomfort and anxiety, a number of things happen in your body. What happens is that the body prepares itself for fight or flight through a so-called sympathetic nervous reaction. Part of this reaction is, among other things, that the blood in the body is redistributed. Blood flows to the major muscle groups in the arms and legs, to make you stronger and more prepared for fight or flight. The blood is, among other things, redistributed from the skin. What is even more important for rumination is that the blood is also redistributed from the front parts of the brain, the frontal lobe, where our logical thinking is located. Hence, during anxiety, we become dumber since it is exactly this part of the brain that receives less blood.

When we have strong feelings as a result of our ruminations and broodings, our minds get temporarily dulled. That is, when we use thinking and our consciousness the most during ruminations, our intelligence is momentarily dulled. We become so illogical that we do not even realize the obvious, that it is impossible to solve unsolvable problems just by thinking. We become so dumb that we allow ourselves to be frightened by illogical and apparently erroneous discomforting thoughts.

This is an exerpt from the book Quit Ruminating and Brooding by Olle Wadström. Comments and discussions are encouraged.
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