The Health Risks of Loss Aversion

Loss aversion is a concept in psychology that states the human mind feels twice as strongly over the fear of loss than it feels for the pleasure of gain. In simpler terms, we are more prone to holding onto something, even if it is damaging us, as opposed to leaving it to move onto better things.

So the real question is, how does this psychological preset affect your physical health?

To answer the above question it is important to observe the emotions involved. There is a fear of loss which can lead to overthinking (pensiveness) which may also lead to feelings of irritability or anger depending on the topic.

Take the example of a dead end relationship, one or both partners realise that there is no future in continuing however both may have an adverse fear of being alone so they continue along in a passive aggressive state often erupting into fights over the smallest things all while wondering why they are in this situation. Realistically, the emotions experienced by hanging on are worse than those felt when ending things and the inability to end something is strongly linked to sunk cost fallacy.

From this example we have fear, pensiveness and aggression which will end up affecting the kidney, spleen and liver. Symptoms may present as lower back pain, digestive upset, feelings of lethargy, headaches and dizziness, depression, anxiety, night sweats and gynaecological issues in women. Of course the list is much more extensive but that is just a broad overview.

So can you overcome the mindset of loss aversion?

Yes it is possible if you try to see the world from an abundance mind frame. What this means is to realise that there are enough resources and opportunities in the world for everyone. In the example we used above, it is important to realise that there are indeed other potential partners and to use the lessons learned in the broken relationship to not repeat the same mistakes next time.

Changing your mind frame can be a continuous process and it is advisable to seek out professional help if you feel the symptoms listed above. Though the symptoms may clear after you resolve the issue, they can still damage your health substantially during the process so seeking out help is key to a healthy body while you work on achieving a healthier mind.

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