Being Mentally Overweight: our Thoughts and their Consequences

Being Mentally Overweight: our Thoughts and their Consequences
Sara Clemente

Written and verified by psychologist and journalist Sara Clemente.

Last update: 21 December, 2022

If you feel that your body is constantly tired, stiff or sore you may be suffering from being overweight. But here we’re not speaking about physical volume, rather being mentally overweight. Having too many negative, inert and unproductive thoughts.

During the day, we imagine, we understand, we reflect, we create, we calculate, we make decisions… In short, we constantly think. But not all thoughts are valid or useful. In fact, sometimes we think too much in a useless way and we produce an overload of useless thoughts.

If we keep ideas that don’t contribute anything and do not take us anywhere, in the end our mind ends up running out of steam. It becomes heavy, corrodes, becomes blocked and is incapable of doing other positive things.

man holding head

Thoughts are the basic unit of the mind

As we know, thinking is part of human nature. In fact, it is one of the processes that differentiates us from other living beings. But our thinking, contrary to what you may think, is not always conscious. Actually, it’s quite the contrary.

Think of an iceberg. It’s tip is conscious thought. The rest of the submerged iceberg, which is the majority, is unconscious thought.

According to Dr. Michael Shadlen, principal investigator at the The Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute of Columbia University (United States), “The vast majority of thoughts circling in our brains happen below the radar of conscious awareness, meaning that even though our brain is processing them, we are not aware“.

Therefore, the quality of our thoughts determines how our days play out. Our development depends on the conscious and unconscious thoughts that cross our minds.

“Junk” thoughts fatten our mind

Junk thoughts wear us out because they do not bring us any kind of benefit. They are empty and even toxic reasoning. And they start in our conscious mind. That is, being mentally overweight is not the result of repressed mental processes, impulses or desires. It is deliberate.

They are completely unnecessary. Instead of giving us with more self-knowledge and cognitive advantages, they erode us energetically and slow down the rest of our conscious processing. They prevent us from being creative, understanding or learning new skills. They block us and paralyze our assets.

That is why, when we are mentally overweight, our thoughts act like junk food. And they provoke physical consequences that may even be obesity. Among them is physical exhaustion, which makes it difficult for us to walk or make physical effort. We also may have problems breathing normally, sweat more, have widespread pain in our joints, or even skin disorders such as acne.


bad thoughts

Causes of mental obesity

There are many types of toxic thoughts, but some which we resort to most frequently are:

  • Criticism: when we reproach, judge or condemn another person, in reality we are just canceling ourselves out. We devalue our own self-esteem and we project our weaknesses on the other person.
  • Pity: victimhood is a huge obstacle keeping us from progressing. We need to get out of that self-imposed grief and not get involved in negative, frustrating or useless thoughts.
  • Assumptions: the only thing assumptions do is wear us down. Theories, riddles or calculations only damage us, and almost automatically generate mental weight. How can we think that we know what others think if it’s impossible to really know?
  • Conditionals: “If I had done this, then …”, “Maybe I should have …”. If you didn’t do something, do not torment yourself. What done is done. Now you can only learn from it. Those thoughts only judge you and end up destroying you.

How to lose weight in our mind?

In order to avoid toxic thoughts, we must not allow thoughts to dominate us. That is, it is necessary to learn to control them. For this, you can follow these tips:

  • Rest your mind: meditation is a great way to attract positive thoughts. Other artistic practices, such as painting, can help to release tension and replace trash thoughts with more productive ones. Reading, going to the movies, or going to workshops and seminars also help us to rest mentally.
  • Eliminate social toxins: identify social relationships that may be harming you. For example, if you surround yourself with people who are too gossipy and critical, you will end up doing the same thing. Look for a more enriching environment and that transmits strength, energy and positivity.
  • Stop the thought: if you have a toxic thought, stop it. Paradoxical as it may seem, concentrate completely on these negative ideas. And after a few minutes thinking only about them, cut them off completely. Rid your mind of them.

If we have negative thoughts from time to time, we don’t show them physically. But if they’re always present, they can start to affect our abilities to do things as well as our quality of life.

People who are mentally overweight can try to move away from their own reality and cover up their inner emptiness affecting others’ mental wellbeing. They are people who need to unload their unproductive thoughts and free themselves from all the unpleasant emotions they produce. Do not let them contaminate you.

If we take care of the quality of our thoughts, we will be taking care of the quality of our life. Do not forget this.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Petticolin, Christel (2016) Pienso demasiado. Madrid: Obelisco

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.