The part of our brain that spends its time looking out for threats is also interested in how much control or choice we have over bad events happening.
A constant focus on negative or “bad” events, that we have no control over, will trigger a heightened threat response in our brain. This is because our brain starts to believe harm could be around every corner, but we can’t control the threat or change the outcome.
There will be circumstances when it is completely appropriate for us to be on high alert for risks. However, at many other times it may be that we are not actually at risk but instead we are focusing our attention on events outside of our control, that don’t present immediate risk of harm to us.
To improve health consider
- Review what information you are spending most of your time focusing on. Are you spending an unhelpful amount of time focusing on worrying events that don’t directly put you are risk and that you have no control over? For example watching the news multiple times a day. If so, consider reducing your exposure to this stress invoking information source.