Why people can't stop worrying even on holidays

Mind game

Now, scientists claim to have shed light on why so many people spend their precious time away from work worrying about emails, sending texts to work mates and stressing about office politics.

According to them, just as thinking burns energy, so does blocking a thought. “Trying to clear your mind and think of nothing is akin to stopping a truck on a downhill slope.”

The findings also shed light on why it’s so hard to meditate, and why it’s tricky to silence those annoying songs that play over and over again in your head, the Daily Mail reported.
Dr Daniela Calvetti, the co-author of the brain study at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, said: “Maybe this explains why it is so tiring to relax and think about nothing.”

Rather than opening up a brain to study how thinking — and not thinking — burns up energy, the researchers developed a computer model to mimic how the brain converts energy into thoughts.

The software replicates the pathways that link excitatory neurons — or brain cells that transmit thoughts — and inhibitory neurons — those that put on the brakes.
To stop a thought, the brain uses inhibitory neurons.

These blocking neurons work by releasing a chemical called gamma aminobutyric acid, or GABA, which counteracts the effect of another brain chemical called glutamate which gates between neurons while GABA holds the gates closed. The brain consumes a relatively large amount of oxygen to mop up and recycle GABA and glutamate — and to close and open the gates between brain cells. More oxygen requires more blood flow and more energy, according to the study.

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