Worry and Obsessive thought / Over-thinking


The character for over-thinking has a heart with the brain inside the skull. Thinking relates to the earth element because it is the earth that receives information from everywhere and then can put it together extracting the good things and transforming it like earth does with digestion. Over-thinking is thought that is unable to continue itself into a project or plan and end in an act. If you are unable to act you always come back to the same idea – hence the ‘obsessive’ thought. Thinking and reflection can lead to worries and concerns. Thinking is only good if it leads to action. If we over-think we tend to dwell on one thing and this focus detracts from the ability of the heart to rule all things. Thinking and reflection that leads nowhere just uses up heart blood, injuring the heart and inner peace, and producing heart palpitations. Over-thinking also directly affects the spleen.


~ Worry ~

Worry is a common emotional cause of disease in our society. The extremely rapid and radical social changes that have occurred in Western societies in the past decades have created a climate of such insecurity in all spheres of life.

“Worry causes obstruction of Qi so that Qi stagnates.”

Some people appear to be very tense and worry a lot. On close interrogation about their work and family life, often nothing of note emerges. They simply worry excessively about trivial everyday activities and they tend to do everything in a hurry and be pressed for time. This may be due to a constitutional weakness of the Spleen, Heart, or Lungs or a combination of all.

Worry knots Qi, which means that it causes stagnation of Qi, and it affects both Lungs and Spleen: the Lungs because when one is worried breathing is shallow, and the Spleen because this organ is responsible for thinking and ideas.

The symptoms and signs caused by worry will vary according to whether they affect the Lungs or the Spleen. If worry affects the Lungs it will cause an uncomfortable feeling of the chest, slight breathlessness, tensing of the shoulders, sometimes a dry cough, weak voice, sighing and a pale complexion.

If worry affects the Spleen it may cause poor appetite, gastric discomfort, some abdominal pain and distension, tiredness and a pale complexion.

Finally, like all emotions, worry affects the Heart causing stagnation of Heart-Qi. This will cause palpitations, a slight feeling of tightness of the chest and insomnia.

Worry is the emotional counterpart of the Spleen's mental energy which is responsible for concentration and memorization. When the Spleen is healthy we can concentrate and focus on the object of our study or work: the same type of mental energy, when disturbed by worry, leads to constantly thinking, brooding and worrying about certain events of life.