How does checking make you feel?

I once had a bad case of what I’ll call “psychosomatic tinnitus.”

“Psychosomatic,” meaning a physical sensation exacerbated by thoughts about the sensation. “Tinnitus,” meaning a dull ringing in the ears. The ringing in my ears was being made louder, much louder, by my being stressed about the ringing.

I’d constantly check to see if the ringing was still there: Was it there in the morning? At night? Outside? Could I drown it out with headphones? But every time I sought the ringing the ringing sought me, and it got louder.

Then, one night, I stopped checking. Over the next three days the ringing went away, or so much so that I never notice it.

You can equate the analogy to your favorite thing to check: Instagram, text messages, rankings, e-mail, whether or not there’s a ring on your finger, where your friends are without you, your bank account, your GPA, and so on.