So I’ve been watching a lot of TED talks these days- it’s my way of expanding my horizons inspired by a friend of of mine. I came across one by Dixon Chibanda of Zimbabwe where he tells us how grandmothers are helping to fight depression. There was a ton of information, so I’ll provide the link here: Dixon Chibanda. It was well worth the 12 minutes I spent listening. There’s also a really great article to read about the program itself that goes into the more personal side of what is happening in the program: Read article. What I’d like to focus on is the word he brought to my attention.

So kufungisisa…at first I just couldn’t spell it or say it…I was all tongue tied. I quickly jotted down the word as best I could and included the meaning that he shared. The literal translation of the Shona word kufungisisa is “thinking too much”. It is a cultural belief that thinking too much leads to physical pain and conditions that are not healthy for the body. The condition, known as kufungisisa, has even been included in the DSM-5 as “a culture bound syndrome found among the Shona people of Zimbabwe” and the noted cause of it: mulling.

Now I don’t know about you, but that word is so me…I over think constantly and I can feel it leading to anxiety and worry, fast heartbeat, headache, upset stomach, and pain. It’s amazing though, when you feel like something has a label, a real definition, it can be validating. It was like a light came in and brightened up the thoughts in my mind.

I bet you’re wondering, “so what’s your point?” Glad you asked!

  • Open your mind…learning new things isn’t just about intelligence, but thinking in a new way.
  • Recognize when you are overthinking and be aware of how your body feels as you go over and over things.
  • Read the article or watch the TED talk…you’ll learn a little, and it may help you!

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