Cogito ergo sum – I think, therefore I am. This philosophical statement by Descartes, which can be found in part IV of “Discourse on the Method” and part I of “Principles of Philosophy”, has since had a profound impact on Western Philosophy and our self-concept as rational creatures of the modern age. This self-concept is determined by our capacity to reflect, to think about others, the world and us.
Is too much thinking, therefore, possible? If so, what are its psychological and physical consequences? Is it possible to do something about excessive thinking? In this presentation these questions will be addressed in terms of a continuum between health and disease, and adaptation and maladaptation. Results will be presented from experimental studies and intervention trials focusing on processes of self-regulation and inhibitory capacity; emotion regulation and cognition in eating disorders; anxiety disorders, depression and rumination; cardiovascular disorders, depression and perceived threat; obesity and emotional eating.