Head off down thought streams

Shahram kakaei

Senior Member
Persian, Kurdish
What does the bold part mean?

My brain was looking for reasons to feel stressed or to justify it. It would head off down thought streams whose sole purpose was to ramp up the stress.

Source: The Rules of Thinking
 
  • PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    It - my mind; my thoughts
    would head off - take a certain direction of its/their own accord
    down - along
    thought streams - a series to thoughts that were linked to each other in some way.
     

    Shahram kakaei

    Senior Member
    Persian, Kurdish
    It - my mind; my thoughts
    would head off - take a certain direction of its/their own accord
    down - along
    thought streams - a series to thoughts that were linked to each other in some way.
    Thank you so much for having broken it down. I really appreciate that.😊
    Just one other thing:
    According to this excerpt, when we are stressed, our mind would head off something (thought streams) whose sole purpose is to ramp up the stress. This seems a good reaction!
    Would you mind clarifying the meaning of it please?
     

    Language Hound

    Senior Member
    American English
    ...According to this excerpt, when we are stressed, our mind would head off something (thought streams) whose sole purpose is to ramp up the stress. This seems a good reaction!...
    Careful! To head off something means to prevent or block. That is not the meaning here.
    Here it is a question of heading off down (going in the direction of thought streams).
     

    Language Hound

    Senior Member
    American English
    What does the bold part mean?

    My brain was looking for reasons to feel stressed or to justify it. It would head off down thought streams whose sole purpose was to ramp up the stress.

    Source: The Rules of Thinking
    "My brain was looking for reasons to feel stressed or to justify it."
    My brain would start thinking of a whole series of thoughts whose sole purpose was to increase the stress.
     

    Shahram kakaei

    Senior Member
    Persian, Kurdish
    Careful! To head off something means to prevent or block. That is not the meaning here.
    Here it is a question of heading off down (going in the direction of thought streams).
    I thought "to head off something" means "to deviate from something". And that was confusing me about the meaning of the text.
    You made it crystal clear for me.
    Many thanks to you and elroy.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    A thought stream is basically, figuratively, like a street in the brain.

    When you head off down the street you are leaving the place you are now (heading off) and proceeding along (down) the street. In this case, that street leads to stress. It's self-sabotage (by his brain) to purposely look for stress and ramp it up (increase the intensity).
     

    elroy

    Imperfect mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    You could omit “off.”
    head off down X = head down X
    “off” just adds a dramatic flair to it.

    head (off) = move in a certain direction
    down = along

    @PaulQ broke it down well.
     
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