Thursday, 11 December 2014

Evolution and Purpose of Emotions

Why do we have emotions? What is the purpose of emotions? What do they do for us? They certainly have a significant effect on us, but what is it all for? These are some of the questions to which this article attempts to answer.
In my last article we discussed what emotions are and how the brain and body systems that process emotions are intimately connected with the hormonal apparatus, the nervous system, and in particular the immune system.
So now let's now understand emotions in three distinct time frames - Past, Present and the Future.


Life on earth developed from simple molecules that could replicate, or copy, themselves. Over many millions of years these molecules joined with other molecules, becoming gradually more complex and dependent on each other. The process of evolution by natural selection eventually led to all of the different living things that we see on Earth today. Human beings have expressed the evolutionary character of transforming from a fish phase, into an amphibian phase, followed by a reptile phase, bird phase and lastly, a mammal phase - when brain developed the limbic system to process emotions. Basically all organisms are capable of carrying out the same functions at different efficiency levels. Every system we have, e.g., digestive, respiratory, excretory, reproductive, nervous and immune system among others, is present even in single celled organisms. Interestingly, where we have organs to carry out a function, unicellular organisms have organelles (miniature organs) carrying out the same functions. However the main difference between all organisms is not just in the complexity but also its awareness. The more evolutionarily advanced an organism is, the more awareness it possesses. Scientists generally consider the degree of “awareness” as the primary measure of evolution. "Awareness" is the primary trait offered by our nervous system. The differentiated cells comprising the nervous system are designed to acquire awareness about the world (environment) and use that information to direct the fate and activities of each of our cells and thus our entire body. We humans experience our world not through just what we think but especially through how we feel, emphasising that emotions were shaped by natural selection to help us deal better with adaptive challenges and maximize our chances for survival. That is, emotions (and associated intuitions) are sets of instructions refined over millions of years of evolution, designed to guide behavior.

So how did emotions arise and assume their distinctive structures? The ancestral world posed recurrent information-processing problems, such as What substances are best to eat? How to hunt successfully? How to avoid a predator? Or What is the relationship between others' facial expressions and their mental states? These repeated encounters involved conditions, contingencies, situations, or event-types that recurred innumerable times in the evolutionary history. For better adaptations to such recurrent situations, there arose a need for set of superordinate programs that guided information-processing, behavior and the body. This coordination is accomplished by our emotions through simultaneous instructions for our physiology, behavioral inclinations, cognitive appraisals, or feeling states, as well as other mechanisms distributed throughout the human mental and physical architecture. The speed of our emotions is faster than our thoughts hence it enables us to emotionally evaluate everything AS we perceive it. (We think about it afterward) Thus emotional specializations, by embodying "innate knowledge" about the problem space, operate better than any general learning strategy could.

For example, the negative effects of incestuous conceptions are difficult for any individual to observe in the absence of a modern controlled study with numerous participants, much less integrate rationally into one's motivational system. Fortunately, the emotion of disgust guides humans away from incestuous unions between fertile adults, given appropriate cues of familial connection such as co-residence in the first years of life. Similarly the emotion of fear guides a child to anticipate attack and prudently modulate flight or fight activities instead of waiting to be ambushed and killed in the dark by a predator. Emotions thus helped us solve most adaptive problems economically, reliably, and effectively.

The wisdom inherent in our emotions is largely responsible for the success of our species to date. But the behavioral instructions associated with emotions developed to deal with ancient adaptive challenges may, at times, not be optimal for dealing with modern-day challenges. Furthermore, individuals in a modern society might have other goals such as maximising wealth or happiness. So let's see if emotions still have any purpose in the present times...


The great majority of people alive today have grown up in a world in which we were taught that in order to be successful, in order to get ahead, we'd need to get control over our emotions. To be seen as "emotional", is considered a bad thing. Overt displays of both positive and negative emotions are considered inappropriate in school, public and in professional settings. Emotions in general are considered the opposite of logical, clear thinking. However scientific research proves the contrary. Emotions and cognition are intricately involved with each other. Infact emotions help us make memories and enhance learning process. They also affect our perceptions and consequently our decision-making ability. Let's now understand how emotions play an important role in how we think and behave.

Our emotions and our memories are inexorably linked. On one level, emotional memory simply refers to the notion that very emotional events are often memorable. We're more likely to remember emotionally charged images (for example the scene of a car crash or of someone crying) than neutral ones. Furthermore, we're more likely to remember any image if we ourselves are in a state of heightened emotion.

Memory is the ability to encode, store and recall information. The process of laying down a memory begins with attention (regulated by the thalamus and the frontal lobe), in which a memorable event causes neurons to fire more frequently, making the experience more intense and increasing the likelihood that the event is encoded as a memory. Emotion tends to increase attention, and the emotional element of an event is processed on an unconscious pathway in the brain leading to the amygdala. Only then are the actual sensations derived from an event processed.
As seen in the adjoining image our long term memory is classified into EXPLICIT MEMORY created consciously by COGNITION and IMPLICIT MEMORY created unconsciously due to repetition and EMOTIONS. Implicit memories drive much of our subconscious abilities such as habits, skills, behaviours, reflexes, conditioned responses and emotional reactions, which we engage in without any conscious awareness.
Approximately 95% of our activities both behavioral and biological are directed by the subconscious mind. The processing capacity of the subconscious mind is much more than the conscious brain. The conscious mind can process 1-3 events at 40 bits of info/sec whereas the subconscious mind can process thousands of events at 40 million bits of info/sec. 

Example - Most people have the experience of sitting down with a newspaper and just popping it open. And before we actually read anything, something catches our attention. We don’t actually know exactly where it is in the newspaper but we start looking until we find something. We don’t realize it, but when we pop open the newspaper, the subconscious is so fast; it has already read all the words on the page. When it came across words that were relevant to us, the subconscious told our conscious mind to pay attention…that something is in the newspaper for us.

The function of the subconscious is to perceive and record every detail. It’s not seeing just a newspaper, but everything wherever we are. Anything that the subconscious interprets as connected to us, it will call our attention to. This implies that attention is guided by the subconscious even in case of logical learning process. 

For a successful decision we need to compare and cross examine not just the different aspects of a situation but also our physical capabilities (various sensations in the body like heat, pressure, flexibility of movement, etc) The possibilities are infinite. How do we compare them?

This comparison of the incomparable is made possible by emotions.(Just the way we can compare a song with the taste of coffee) Emotions are considered to be 'The decision makers in our life' even in situations where we believe our decisions are guided purely by logic and rationality. Emotional intelligence, or our ability to understand and manage emotions, helps us to act quickly and take actions that will maximize our chances for success.

Neuroscientists have often described cognition and emotion as separable processes implemented by different regions of the brain, such as the amygdala for emotion and the prefrontal cortex for cognition. In this framework, functional interactions between the amygdala and prefrontal cortex mediate emotional influences on cognitive processes such as decision-making, as well as the cognitive regulation of emotion. However, neurons in these structures often have entangled representations, whereby single neurons encode multiple cognitive and emotional variables. Researchers have also found that people with certain types of brain damage that impairs their ability to experience emotions also have an decreased ability to make good decisions.

Example - In an experiment by Antonio Damasio, one of his patients, Elliot, suffered ventromedial frontal lobe damage and while retaining his intelligence, lost the ability to feel emotion. The result was that he lost his ability to make decisions and to plan for the future, and he couldn’t hold on to a job.

Emotional memories have an huge impact on how we perceive the world around us. Perception of the environment is not necessarily the reality of the environment. A being’s perception of the environment acts as a filter between the reality of the environment and the biological reaction to it. A person may perceive a negative environment where there is actually a supportive or positive environment. Then this negative perception influenced by intrinsic emotional memories, activates the body for “fight or flight.” 
Example - A boy was bitten by a dog when he was young. The bite hurt and he was frightened. This event became stored in his emotional memory bank. As a teenager, the sight of even a gentle dog triggers a feeling of fear. How does this happen though he has no conscious recollection of his past memory? 
What actually happens when the boy sees the dog, his brain instantly compares the image of the dog with his past memories through the fast track circuit (using amygdala as shown in the image). The brain finds a match with the previous memory of the dog and triggers a feeling of fear. This feeling then affects how his brain perceives the dog. He then reacts with fear without knowing why. Even if the brain reasons (via the slow track through the cortex) that the dog is a friendly dog and there is no need to react with fear, yet the initial reaction has sent signals down the boy's nerves causing stress hormones to be released in his body.

These memories dont just happen with dogs but also with all our past situations and relationships. A person with a certain kind of walk, talk or personality might cause us to feel fear because it reminds us of a bully from our past. This is how emotions affect our perceptions an in turn our mental capabilities and eventually our physical health.


Emotions evolved to help us adapt and survive, however survival is not central to evolution: indeed, all individual organisms die sooner or later. In contrast, genes - which can be thought of as particles of design - are potentially immortal, and design features spread by promoting the reproduction of the genes that participate in building them. The human body is comprised of 50 to 65 trillion cells. In every one of our cells, we have genes whose function it is to rewrite and adapt genes as necessary.

“Epi” means above. So, epigenetic means control above the genes. The nucleus, which contains the genes, has traditionally been viewed as the control center - the brain of the cell. Yet, when the nucleus is removed, the cell continues with all of its life functions. So what controls the fate of the cells? Scientific research using stem cells proved that fate of the cells is not controlled by genes but is controlled by the environment.

Experiment by Bruce Lipton (cellular biologist) for cloning a stem cell - When one stem cell was put it in a petri dish by itself,  the stem cell divided every eight hours or so. After a week, there were about 50,000 genetically identical cells in the petri dish. Then these cells were split up into three different petri dishes. The chemical composition was changed a little bit in the culture medium of each of the three dishes. The receptor proteins on the cell membrane perceived this change in environment and accordingly changed its instructions to the activities of the cell. Thus in one dish, the cells became muscle, in another they became bones, and in the third they became fat. The fate of these genetically identical cells was not controlled by genes but was controlled by the environment - in this case, the culture medium.

What this means for us...
We human beings are made of 50 trillion cells. A human body is like skin-covered petri dish. And the culture medium is blood. That is what nourishes the cells. From the experiment we infer that our environment impacts each and every cell within. Just as a cell has receptor proteins to perceive the environment outside the cell membrane, humans have the five senses which read environmental information and send signals to the brain. Through the process of “perception,” the brain interprets the environmental signals and in response releases regulatory chemicals into the blood, the body’s culture medium. Thus the external environment is translated to the internal environment of cells.
Epigenetics doesn’t change the genetic code, it changes the readout of a single gene to create over 30,000 different proteins. When a human being encounters love, the growth genes are activated. When a human being encounters fear, the protection genes are activated. Thus perfectly normal genes can result in cancer or death. Vice-versa, in the right environment, mutant genes won’t be expressed. Our perception rewrites genes!

If certain experiences happen enough times, they can affect how genes are expressed and packaged without altering DNA. Every emotion we experience will cause chemical changes in our body and brain, and those chemical changes will then cause genetic changes. If those genetic changes occur often enough and with persistence, that can lead to modification of those genes such that they react the same way in the future because they’ve been trained. Though not a typical outcome, there have been reports of such modifications being passed onto subsequent generations, in what's known as transgenerational epigenetic evolution.

Example - Nature Neuroscience journal reported that mice inherit smell memories from their fathers -- even when the offspring have never met their father or experienced the smell themselves. The study also found that the third generation of mice was born with the same smell memory.

While scientists have found evidence for epigenetic changes that are passed down in mice and water fleas, there is only circumstantial evidence for the phenomenon occurring in humans.

Emotions that incline the individual to engage in seemingly pointless activities over the near-term (e.g., grief, playfulness, fascination, guilt, depression, feeling triumphant) need to be analyzed in terms of how they modify the psychological architecture for benefits that are accrued probabilistically over the long-run (e.g., gains in knowledge; recalibration of motivational priorities; the recomputation of a huge body of choice-variables in the face of information that the local world has dramatically changed).

Emotions are the most important guidance system that we have. Its this great compass that we use to know if we are in the righ situations or not. Without our emotions we wouldn’t be able to know when we are veering away from wellbeing, or when we are about to do something that could cause ourselves and others suffering. My next blog will have information to utilise this Emotional intelligence.

Think of this: You don’t have to intellectualize everything, you just feel it. This is Nature’s way.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

All about The Human Emotion


The word emotion comes from the Latin term 'Emovere' which means - to set in motion. As the etymology implies, emotions are energy or physical sensations associated with thoughts in our mind which move through our body. Simply put E-motion is Energy in motion.

In our lives we all have experienced a wide array of emotions right from happiness to sorrow, anger, fear, surprise, etc. As we can distinguish between these emotions it implies that the distribution of emotional energy within our mind and body is different - either in the amount of energy being distributed or in the direction it is distributed or both. Even the vibrational frequency of the emotional energy makes a huge difference. Everything in the world we see manifested as form and phenomena are vibrations, each with a different vibrational frequency. For example water has one and when its turns to ice it has different vibrations. The vibrations again change when it turns to vapour. Macroscopic images below show how particles in gas vibrate and move freely at high speeds when compared to liquids and solids.

gas particles
Gas particles
liquid particles
Liquid particles
solid particles
Solid particles
So its no surprise that even our physical body, its cells, organs and tissues vibrate at a precise frequency. The emotions of peace, love, happiness, excitement, security and gratitude have higher vibrations which are in harmony with our physical vibrations and thus support general well-being. However emotions of anger, fear, sadness hold lower vibrations which are not in sync with our physical vibrations and cause impedance to our health. Now our thoughts too have energy so can we not direct this intellectual energy to override the effect of emotions? The answer to it is that our heart emits a stronger electro-magnetic force than the brain hence the brain becomes coherent with the vibrations of the heart. So even if we are intellectually editing ourselves our true emotions are still being broadcast throughout our body and arguably beyond it too. That's the reason why health is not a matter of just having happy/positive thoughts but actually being happy at the subconscious level. Now that we know the importance of emotions, let's understand how we feel them and what happens in our body when we feel them.


To understand how emotions work we must first know about the special structures in our brain which are evolved to comphrend emotions. Its only then we can understand how they impact the internal organs using the autonomous nervous system and also overall health by chemical signals to cells of our immune system.

Emotions and nervous system
Emotion involves the entire nervous system, of course.  But there are two parts of the nervous system that are especially significant:  The limbic system and the autonomic nervous system.
Human brain has emerged to its present form in 3 distinct layers of evolution.
  1. The reptilian brain is the oldest (forms the central core) and is used for self preservation.
  2. The limbic system emerged in mammals (marked in red in the image) is responsible for  emotions.
  3. The neocortex emerged with the primates and is our conscious brain used for intellectual tasks like reading this article.
The brain’s limbic system is the seat of emotions. Different organs within our limbic system like the olfactory bulbs, hippocampus, amygdala, hypothalamus, cingulate gyrus and several other nearby areas recognize the patterns of events in our life and respond. Even bodily sensations trigger impulses to the insula in the limbic system. All these signals trigger emotions, which instantly decide our attitudes and modify our behavior. The limbic system swiftly and continually switches control from one group of emotions to another. At any point in time, a single family of emotions rules, actively inhibiting conflicting objectives. Love subdues the onset of anger. These emotions micromanage the fluidity of muscle movements, facial expressions and the choice and tone of words using the peripheral nervous system.

The autonomic nervous system (ANS) has two components: the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system which operates on a subconscious level and is regulated by the hypothalamus. It regulates pulse, blood pressure and breathing and is also responsible in controling functions of internal organs and glands which secretes harmones and is involved in our ability to experience emotions.
As shown in the adjoining figure activation of the sympathetic nervous system prepares the body for action - increased blood flow to the muscles and other responses known as "fight-or-flight (just like the gas pedal in a car) whereas the parasympathetic nervous system functions when body is at rest and can be compared to the break pedal, which helps the body store energy for future use.
For smooth functioning both operate in sync, example during exercise the sympathetic nervous system increases heart rate whereas after exercise the parasympathetic nervous system helps to slow down the heart rate. However emotions like anger, anxiety or worry can cause the signals going to these two parts of the ANS to get out of sync with each other. This can be likened to one foot on the gas pedal and one foot on the break simultaneously which causes jerky rides and burns more fuel. This kind of disharmony between the two branches of ANS causes a lot of stress, wear and tear on our body and depletes its energy. Prolonged imbalance causes high blood pressure and heart attacks.

Emotions and the immune system
Emotions originate as distinctive patterns of nerve impulses also trigger neurochemical event. With every charged thought we think, there is a release of miniscule neuropeptides - chemical proteins  that function as neuromodulators in the nervous system and as hormones in the endocrine system. They trigger a specific physiological response to try to keep our overall system in homeostatis. These peptides that flood our bodies are, in fact, the molecules of emotion. Emotions thus form the key to understanding psychoimmunology's emerging picture of how body and mind affect each other. For example, it's through the emotion-modulating peptides that an embarrassing thought can cause blood vessels to dilate and turn a face beet red. In the same way, the molecules of emotion can mobilize immune cells to destroy an incipient tumor. Negative thoughts rooted from fear, are associated with inflammation and tissue break-down (catabolism). While positive thoughts rooted in love, are associated with anti-inflammatory chemicals and tissue regeneration and repair.

Examples of neuropeptides are endorphins like the ones released when we have sex or go for a jog, and other hormones, like oxytocin, the natural ‘love’ drug, adrenaline, the natural drug of excitement and fear, cortisol, the hormone of stress, and so on. There are dozens of these neuropeptides being released at any given moment. Neurochemicals such as dopamine, noradrenaline, and serotonin are important components of the limbic system. The adjoining figure shows their correspondence to 8 basic emotions. Example - Anger is combination of low serotonin, high dopamine and high noradrenaline.

So we know that our experience, physical or emotional, releases peptides. But once these peptides have been released, what do they do? They start swimming and fan out toward hundreds or thousands of receptor cells. The major components of the immune system, leukocytes (white blood cells), function in a dynamic chemical environment involving messenger molecules of the nervous, exocrine, and endocrine systems.

A cell receptor
The peptides travel through our extra-cellular fluids often in areas with no electrical neurons and hook up with specific, highly selective receptors located on cells as 'ligands' . Once attached, they impart molecular messages that enter the cell through the tail and can dramatically impact our physiological functioning at the cellular and systemic levels. In the adjoining figure the cell membrane is shown in blue with the extracellular cell receptor with ligand (shown in purple) and the 'tail' within the cell. The receptor, having received a message, transmits it from the surface of the cell deep into the cell’s interior, where the message can change the state of the cell dramatically. A chain reaction of biochemical events is initiated as tiny machines roar into action and, directed by the message of the ligand, begin any number of activities – manufacturing new proteins, making decisions about cell division, opening or closing ion channels, adding or subtracting energetic chemical groups such as the phosphates – to name just a few. In short, the life of the cell, what it is up to at any moment, is determined by which receptors are on its surface, and whether those receptors are occupied by ligands or not.

On a more global scale, these minute physiological phenomena at the cellular level can translate to large changes in behavior, physical activity, even aging (see adjoining image). They can impact everything from how efficiently our metabolism runs, to how we digest food, to whether or not we are vulnerable to a cold or virus and also how our gene are expressed.

The kicker, of course, is this: How much of a particular peptide we have available and active in our body is directly impacted by, among other things, our emotional experiences.


The very nature of energy is movement. Positive emotions have few specific outward reactions; rather they act in the service of homeostasis, restoring quiescence. Negative emotions cause specific outward reactions; like anger calls to mind the urge to attack, fear the urge to escape, disgust the urge to expel, and so on. However such instinctive reaction to emotions is socially not acceptable. Hence we mask them with an intellectual response. In such case when emotions are repressed, denied, not allowed to be whatever they may be, our network pathways get blocked, stopping the flow of the vital feel-good unifying chemicals that run both our biology and our behavior. When we bury or control such feelings, their energy can't flow outward properly and dissipate naturally. We may think you have controlled how we felt, but the energy of it is still at work as it is now directed inward and exist in the subconscious waiting to seek expression mostly in the form of diseases as mentioned in my previous article.


Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Emotions and Diseases

If someone wishes for good health, one must first ask oneself if he is ready to do away with the reasons for his illness. Only then is it possible to help him. ~ Hippocrates

Any illness enters our body only because of our limiting beliefs. These could be beliefs in lack, isolation, separation, or extinction. Once beliefs of helplessness and vulnerability get formed, they attract a whole gamut of thoughts and resultant experiences which further reinforce those beliefs. An illness is an experience born out of the basic fear that something is wrong. This fear creates a baggage of unresolved issues, which settle down in our body tissues. Hence, an illness is nothing but a combination of ‘issues in our tissues’. This article deals with some common conditions and their probable corresponding causative unconscious unmonitored thoughts and emotions.

LOOKS - The image we project about ourselves 
The first and foremost aspect of our body is our looks and personality. All our beliefs about our self worth and the way we wish to interact with others manifests here.
Our skin forms the boundary between our physical self and environment. Any emotional conflict within where one is unable to form boundary with people around manifests as skin disorders like acne and pimples. Our skin starts showing premature aging symptoms like blemishes and wrinkles if we feel a lack of meaning and contentment in our lives.
Our build up also defines how we feel. A desire to impress others and draw their attention makes one overweight. Sometimes excessive stress also projects itself in the form of obesity. Cellulite formation is often triggered due unexpressed anger within. A desire to be evasive about our presence and pensiveness results in poor appetite and being underweight.

SENSES - The way we experience the world around us
Our beliefs about the world around us trigger each and every emotion we experience and these emotions consequently affect our sensory organs.
Eyes are like windows. They provide a perspective of the world. Nearsighted people tend to live in the moment and not plan for their future. Farsighted people tend to plan for the future and project their thoughts to the 'what if's'. They have a hard time staying in the here and now Eye problems can indicate you aren't looking at something clearly, or don't want to examine something.
Hearing problems or excess wax buildup indicate no interest to hear what is going on around. Its like effectively 'tuning out'.
Our ability to smell diminishes when we catch cold or flu. Anger and stress is the main cause behind such respiratory problems.
Our mouth is how we taste the world. It deals with our senses, our 'sensuality'. A sense of disconnect from the physical world leads to loss of taste. Craving for sweets is caused when there is a desire to get more love in life. Inability to speak truth and being assertive leads to craving for salty food. Whereas desire to shatter boundaries and no longer live under restrictions leads to a craving for junk food
Strangely enough we start feeling extra cold when there is a desire to be left alone.

INFLAMMATION AND PAIN - The precursors of any illness 
Any emotional imbalance which we have immediately triggers pain and fear. This shows up as inflammation or pain in body. If ignored these common symptoms might just turn out to be major health issues.
Inflammation is usually caused due to fear. Its like seeing red. The body activates the fight or flight mode even in the absence of actual threats.
The most common form of pain which we usually experience is headache. These indicate that we are ignoring our deep needs or gut feelings. Also not living in the present and being anxious about future or guilty of past causes headaches So pay attention to this rap on the head before it turns to severe migraines.
However pain in the back of head just where it joins the spine is caused due to our inability to forgive ourselves for our past mistakes and being harshly judged
Emotions of guilt and bitterness long held within our bodies often show up as chronic pain. Its like having a guilt inside which is seeking punishment.

BODY STRUCTURE - The basis of our support and movement
Our spinal column supports our body and our limbs aid in all external visible functions of our body. Hence our inadequate belief about our support and movements manifests itself as pain in these body parts as shown in the chart below...

BODY SYSTEMS - The way we function internally 
All major negative emotions have a specific impact on each of our system and its major organs. They impact the respiratory,  circulatory, digestive, reproductive and even our immune system to cause major diseases. Most of the times its a combination of negative emotions which triggers a major illness.

Here's a list of diseases linked with their major negative emotion.
1 Constipation is caused when one is unable to release old painful ideas or has a miserly nature.
2 IBS irritable bowel syndrome happens when one has deep insecurities and a lot of worry and stress.
3 Gastritis and ulcers are a consequence of choleric emotions like anger hatred and also difficulties in sharing opinions.
4 Other stomach problems like distension, bloating,  colic,  gas and stomachache are symptoms of melancholic emotions of stress and worry.
5 Urinary problems like bedwetting and polyuria are triggered by fear
6 Kidney stones indicate holding a lot of resentment towards someone we fear to confront.
7 Diabetes and dementia are stress induced disorders
8 Liver and gall bladder issues are caused due to anger.
9 Fatigue is normally caused when we worry too much. This anxiety weakens the spleen.
10 Asthma, dyspnea and shortness of breath are caused by a lot of sadness within and also the inability to share love and care.
11 Heart suffers due to sudden spurge in our joy levels and also when we are unable to live our lives joyfully. People who suffer from depression and loose hope on getting their needs met often have clogged arteries and veins and are susceptible to stroke and other heart ailments.
12 High blood pressure is an indication of unresolved stress.
13 Reproductive system disorders are an indication of our vulnerabilities and insecurities. They show up when we are stifling our creativity and are unable to experience pleasure.
14 Cancer indicates a deep secret, hatred or guilt which is eating us away. There is also a lot of unexpressed anger within.
15 Motion sicknesses is felt when there is a strong belief of being trapped or bonded in life.

All these diseases should not make us feel that our emotions are the cause of our illness. Rather it should help us understand that any sudden change in emotions or excessive long suppressed emotions are unhealthy. Diseases are not malfunction of some dysfunctional organ, which can be corrected, replaced or removed. They are the best triggers which we have installed within our system to understand ourselves, to confront issues we are avoiding and to accept and  release the emotions involved.

Do not wait for mind-body disconnect to show up as health issues.
To know how these emotions work check my next article...

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Activate Innate

Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, once said, "Everyone has a doctor in him or her; we just have to help it in its work. The natural healing force within each one of us is the greatest force in getting well." Inspite of having this wise physician within us called our innate intelligence we do fall sick, implying that it is not  functioning smoothly.  Now to get the desired good health output from it we must check the inputs we provide to our innate intelligence - Our perceptions, beliefs and emotions.

Yes our mind has the ultimate power over our overall health. As explained by the Greek philosopher Socrates “There is no illness of the body apart from the mind.” This is mind-body medicine in a nutshell. Mind-body medicine uses the power of thoughts and emotions to influence physical health. The key to any mind-body technique is to "train" the mind to focus on the body without distraction. So here's how to master our own minds and improve our health...

But wait; do i need to share this knowledge? Its our innate intelligence and by definition we all are born with it and we know how to utilise it. We all have used this mind-body technique at some point of time without even realizing it. Doubts? Ever got down with a bad cold or flu with an important schedule the next day, be it exam at school, presentation at office or family function at home? What do we do in such a circumstance, when we cannot afford to get ill or rest to regain our health?  Mostly in such case we take some medicine and stongly wish to pull through that day without any illness. Voila, thats exactly what happens! The special day passes without any major symptoms of cold or flu. Now depending upon the intensity of the invasion and the effectiveness of the bodys defence mechanism the condition may or may not resurface after the special event. We experience similar kind of spontaneous healing even without the aid of external medicines and easily overcome our fatigue or minor body pains. Though we may not realise it then but such incidents are a proof of the mind-body technique.

So now lets scrutinise this same incident step by step to understand how exactly the mind influences our body.

1. Awareness of body
We felt the discomfort caused by the ailment. We observed its symptoms. Thus we acknowledged the presence of the disease. 

2. Awareness of mind
We perceived that such ailments lasts for a few days (Perception based on our previous experience or the information available). We believed that NOW is not the time to get sick because of the upcoming event.

3. Acceptance to heal
We then decided to take some steps to heal ourselves - could be medicine, rest etc. Our innate intelligence by default is working at the same time to bounce back to ideal health. However when it receives this special strong belief input to maintain good health for the specific period it acts accordingly by boosting the levels of immunoglobulinA which acts as a protective coating for our cells against the invading bacteria or viruses. Thus it ensures that our special event is devoid of discomfort.

By following the above 3 steps we can heals all reparable body injuries and maladies. Health emergencies are handled well at hospitals and within the doctor's office, but for our day-to-day wellbeing, our own health depends on us and real health comes from within.

Now the best part of mind-body medicine technique is that we can prevent ourselves from getting sick. Research has shown that 70% of our ailments are created by ourselves be it as simple as a pimple or as severe as cancer. Its like saying that we are providing input to our innate intelligence to create a pimple or enable the growth of cancer cells. Shocking, isn't? To know more about this connection of illness and our emotions check my next blog... 

Always remember :

"Our beliefs can change our biology" - Bruce Lipton a cellular biologist.

What I’d like for you to take away from this article is that you have within you an innate, inborn intelligence. This intelligence is always working to help you adapt to your environment. It is geared toward health, happiness, and vitality. JUST TRUST IT

Monday, 22 September 2014

Can we heal ourselves?

Our Body is Self-healing

The ability of self healing already exists in each of us. This natural healing is the nature given "Innate Intelligence" functioning within our bodies to optimally respond to any dis-ease without external interference.

This is self-evident. We observe it in many ways. We see a broken bone knit itself. We see cuts and abrasions heal. We see bruises heal. The vital innate healing force is operative at all times. It heals all reparable body injuries and maladies. Our body has sufficient power within to overcome ailments not involving injury. A tremendous amount of abuse must be heaped upon the body to reach such a low state that it cannot heal itself.

Our innate intelligence is the prime cause that the body heals itself. We may take antibiotics to combat infections, dose ourself with aspirin to reduce pain or put a cast on a broken wrist. These medical procedures do not heal us. They reduce inflammation, battle bacteria or make proper healing easier. But its our body that heals itself. Through some process that we don't fully understand, our body has this amazing, innate ability to repair itself.

Medical science can explain the neurological and biochemical responses involved in healing - nerve messages to the brain, white blood cells to combat infection, platelets to clot the blood, formation of a scab as the skin grows back beneath. But medical science does not know how the body knows to do this, and it doesn't know what force powers this healing process.

Our body uses our innate intelligence, which is always striving towards harmony and wellbeing. Here's a list of what it does for us everyday without us having to even think about it...

*Our heart beats approximately 110,000 times per day to send nutrients and vitality to all our organs tissues and cells.
*Our lungs breathe up to 30,000 times per day to send vital oxygen to our system.
*Our 700-plus muscles work constantly in perfect synchronisation to allow us to move, dance, smile and carry out other multiple activities.
*Our body eliminates, repairs and re-builds a billion cells every hour--24 billion cells every day. This goes on 24-7-365 to sustain our body composed of around one hundred trillion cells.
*Thus our body makes a new liver every six weeks, a new stomach lining every five days, new skin every 30 days, a new skeleton every 3 months, new red blood cells every 120 days.

Our Innate Intelligence works so hard for us and asks for so little in return. This Doctor Within really is a powerful and wisest physician! It is the lack of integration between the physiology and its inner intelligence that causes disorder and often introduces disease. So let's activate our inner doctor and enhance our bodies self-healing capacity. To know how check my next blog...

Always remember:
"The natural force in each one of us is the greatest force in getting well." -Hippocrates Quote.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

All about happiness

WHAT is happiness?

Most of us probably don’t believe we need a formal definition of happiness; we know it when we feel it, and we often use the term to describe a range of positive emotions, including joy, pride, contentment, and gratitude.

However the dictionary meaning of happiness is...
Happiness [hap-ee-nis]
— noun
the quality or state of being happy.
good fortune; pleasure; contentment; joy.

WHERE does happiness come from?

HAPPINESS has traditionally been considered an elusive and evanescent thing. One can get happiness from a life of purpose whereas another can in materialistic possessions. The source can keep changing for each person.

However happiness researchers have now found that half of happiness is genetically determined. 10 percent depends on our circumstances. And up to 40 percent comes from  our voluntary thoughts and actions.

Now the good part is that with our intentions and beliefs we can reprogram or control our genes.
Thus it concludes that happiness doesn't depend on our circumstances but on our thoughts and our outlook on life.

WHY practice happiness?

In addition to making us feel good, studies have found that happiness improves our lives. 

Here is an overview which makes happiness a good thing to practice...
1. Happiness is good for our health:
    Happy people are less likely to get sick, and they live longer.
    Happy people cope better with stress and trauma.
2. Happiness is good for our relationships:
    Happy people are more likely to have fulfilling marriages and have more friends.
3. Happiness increases our wealth:
    Happy appy people make more money and are more productive at work.

This overall satisfaction in happy people makes them more creative and successful. It also enables them to see the big picture and find better solutions and thus lead the way.

HOW to cultivate happiness?

Now that we know happiness comes from our thoughts and has a great potential to improve our lives we certainly would like to cultivate it. 

Here are a few methods to unlock the happiness within...
1. Awareness and living in the moment has been counted as one of the most important traits required for living a happy life. Too much dwelling on the future or the past can trigger anxiety or guilt,  while focusing on the present helps to promote overall positivity.
2. Acceptance and gratitude are traits which enhance our happiness. Resistance to untoward experiences just ensures their persistence. 
3.SMILE science suggest that when you smile whether you are happy or not,  your mood is elevated. So smile all the time if you can! Smiling is like a feedback loop: smiling reinforces happiness,  just as happiness causes smiling.

The other factors which help us maintain our happiness are the fulfilment of the basic needs with enough money, having deep meaningful relationships and nurturing our health with balanced diet and water.

WHEN to practice happiness?

HAPPINESS is a PRESENT we give ourselves. In the English language, the word "present" has three distinct meanings: "here," "now" and "a gift."  Your greatest opportunity for healing and happiness has been, will be, still is, NOW!

Friday, 15 August 2014

Traits of happy people

Happiness. It’s the term thrown around more often than any other term when people are asked what they are looking for in life. A loving partner, a fun high-paying job and endless world travel are also amongst some of the most common answers, however all of these are preference-based means to the one ultimate end, which is happiness.
Being so sought-after, I thought I’d comprise a list of common traits that seem to be found in happy people -and I’m talking about the genuinely happy people, and not just those who appear to be so on the surface.
1. Love Themselves For Who They Are
On the surface this may sound incredibly egotistical, but by it I simply mean that they are truly comfortable in their own shoes. They accept and embrace themselves physically, they maintain their true character traits regardless of whether or not they receive approval and they work to make the best of the human experience they are living -rather than wallow in what others would define as weaknesses or shortcomings.
2. See Relationships As An Extension To, Rather Than The Basis Of The Human Experience
Relationships, whether friendly, familial or romantic, are certainly one of the greatest parts of the human experience. However, far too many of us let their presence or absence, and even more so the value we attribute to them dictate our overall happiness in life. I’ve found that genuinely happy people tend to find complete contentment within themselves, and see all relationships as the awesome extension to their self-content. It’s often when we are not looking for others to fill a particular void, or to make us feel a certain way, that most of the truest and most-valuable relationships are formed.
3. Embrace Change
Life is a constant lesson and happy people tend to be well-aware of that. Not only are they always open to change, but they truly listen to suggestions, respect and consider all opinions and take criticism constructively rather than offensively.
4. Celebrate Rather Than Compare Themselves To The Accomplishments Of Others
Jealousy is a killer, and as Gary Allan once said, “You can be the moon and still be jealous of the stars.” We are all capable of accomplishing anything in this life and are the only ones that are going to find the drive within ourselves to do it. Rather than observe and compare to those who have accomplished, the truly happy tend to celebrate it and use it as motivation to accomplish things within their own lives.
5. Never Dwell In Being A Victim
We’ve all been the so-called ‘victim’ to several things in life. Whether it be an unexpected break-up, getting fired from a job, or even something as serious as the recipient of domestic abuse. Truly happy people tend to be those who choose not to dwell in it. They choose to let the victimization strengthen them, rather than wear it as a badge of weakness or as the thing that makes them consistently worthy of receiving sympathy.
6. They Live In The Present
As fun as reminiscing about the past or fantasizing about the future can be, nothing will ever be done in anything but the present and happy people tend to realize that. Not only do they realize it, but they tend to use it as motivation to make the most of it. In addition to being motivating, presence can also come in handy for truly appreciating those moments of relaxation, allowing yourself to be truly in them, rather than projecting future concerns into them.
7. Trust That Everything Happens For A Reason
This can very easily be paired with the choice to not be a victim, but happy people tend to trust the process and existence of everything in their life. They know that nothing is ever too big to handle and choose to embrace what life is currently throwing at them rather than cowering at the sight of it.
8. They Don’t Let Money Dictate Their Lives
Nobody is denying that in this world right now we all need money to exist, and as a result many of us spend the bulk of our lives doing things that help us earn it. What I’ve found to differentiate happy people is that they don’t let money be the ultimate dictator in their life. They still make sensible choices within their means, but they never let money: A) prevent them from pursuing a so-called “risky” passion, B) be the factor that is blamed for why their life is so miserable, C) complain about how little they have. There are creative ways to do everything in this world, and seeing money as only being possible to make in the standard ways is the most crippling thing to that creativity.
9. Look Within For Solutions
One of the most powerful realizations a genuinely happy person will often operate based on is “change starts within.” The empowerment that comes as a result of not only realizing this but even more so in using it as the backbone to everything in life can be quite remarkable. There are thousands of books, mantras, techniques and practices out there that can all help us to find solutions to so many things in life, but they all require one thing to truly be serviceable: the consciousness to support them.

Friday, 1 August 2014

Meaning of happiness

This story is about a beautiful, expensively dressed lady who complained to her psychiatrist that she felt that her whole life was empty, it had no meaning.

So, the lady went to visit a counselor to seek out happiness.

The counselor called over the old lady who cleaned the office floors.

The counselor then said to the rich lady "I'm going to ask Mary here to tell u how she found happiness. All I want u to do is listen to her."

So the old lady put down her broom and sat on a chair and told her story:

"Well, my husband died of malaria and three months later my only son was killed by a car. I had nobody. I had nothing left. I couldn't sleep, I couldn't eat, I never smiled at anyone, I even thought of taking my own life. Then one evening a little kitten followed me home from work. Somehow I felt sorry for that kitten. It was cold outside, so I decided to let the kitten in. I got some milk, and the kitten licked the plate clean. Then it purred and rubbed against my leg and, for the first time in months, I smiled.

Then I stopped to think, if helping a little kitten could make me smile, may be doing something for people could make me happy.

So, the next day I baked some biscuits and took them to a neighbor who was sick in bed.

Every day I tried to do something nice for someone. It made me so happy to see them happy.

Today, I don't know of anybody who sleeps and eats better than I do.
I've found happiness, by giving it to others."

When she heard this, the rich lady cried. She had everything that money could buy, but she had lost the things which money cannot buy.

"The beauty of life does not depend on how happy you are; but on how happy others can be because of you..."

Happiness is not a destination, it's a journey.

Happiness is not tomorrow, it is now.

Happiness is not dependency, it is a decision.

Happiness is what you are, not what you have...

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Getting older will make yourself happier

It’s interesting to note that as we get older, particularly past middle age, we tend to grow happier naturally. There’s still some debate over why this happens, but scientists have got a few ideas:
Researchers, including the authors, have found that older people shown pictures of faces or situations tend to focus on and remember the happier ones more and the negative ones less.
Other studies have discovered that as people age, they seek out situations that will lift their moods — for instance, pruning social circles of friends or acquaintances who might bring them down. Still other work finds that older adults learn to let go of loss and disappointment over unachieved goals, and hew their goals toward greater wellbeing.
So if you thought being old would make you miserable, rest assured that it’s likely you’ll develop a more positive outlook than you probably have now.

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Pursuit of happiness

Life has the potential to become a song of bliss, but there is every possibility of missing it too. It depends: you can make it, you can destroy it. Out of one hundred, ninety-nine point nine percent of people destroy their song of bliss. Then their life is nothing but a cry, a scream of pain and agony. But they have chosen it that way; nobody else is ever responsible.
This is the first truth to be learned in life: that you are always responsible, nobody else. With that comes great freedom, because with that all alternatives are open. If you think that somebody else is responsible then you are a slave; then nothing is open. Then you have to be what you are. If your life is a tragedy then it has to be a tragedy, because others are responsible; unless they change, nothing can be done about it. You don’t have any freedom.
And that is the reason why millions of people live in misery: they think others are creating their misery. Nobody is creating your misery, nobody can create it; and nobody can create your bliss either. It is a totally individual phenomenon. It is just your work upon yourself. And the most strange thing is: to create misery is difficult and to create bliss is easy, but people always choose the difficult thing, because the difficult thing always gives them an ego-trip.
The ego is not interested in easy things but is interested only in difficult things. The more impossible a thing looks, the more attractive it feels for the ego, because the ego feels a challenge, and only through challenge can it conquer, can it prove to the world “I am somebody special”. Misery gives you challenge, bliss is very simple. Trees are blissful, birds are blissful. It needs no special talent to be blissful. To be miserable one needs talents, one has to be really very very clever to be miserable. Bliss is innocent; you can be blissful without any education, but you cannot be miserable without any education, remember! It is very difficult. You need degrees, universities, mm? then only do you become skilful.
So the first truth has to sink deep in the heart: ‘I am always responsible for whatsoever I am. Bliss or misery, this is my choice. If I have chosen to be miserable, then there is no need to be sad about it; this is my choice and I am doing my thing’. Feel happy that you have succeeded in being miserable! If this is not your choice, drop it immediately, drop all those patterns that create it and start creating new patterns, new doors from where bliss starts flowing.
For example, the person who wants to be miserable has to think in terms of fighting with life. The person who wants to be blissful has to be a non-fighter, surrendered to life, in a kind of let-go. The person who wants to be miserable has to create great ideals, has to make impossible demands upon himself. Then only can you be miserable; otherwise you will not be miserable. You have to be this, you have to be that, and when you cannot be, frustration settles in.
The man who wants to be blissful has no ideals at all, he is a non-idealist; he is a realist and lives moment to moment with no ideals. You cannot frustrate him because he has no expectations.
The miserable person always condemns himself because he is not rising high enough to fulfil the demands. He is a constant condemnor; he lives in self-condemnation. The blissful person is very accepting of himself. He makes no demands. He is relaxed, at ease with himself; he loves himself as he is. So you have to watch: that which creates misery, drop it; and that which brings bliss like a flood, create it in you. So let your life become a celebration; and it is up to you!
The key is to find a way to be happy wherever you now are on your way to where you really want to be. It does not matter where you are; where you are is shifting constantly. Your present circumstances doesn't determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start. So it is up to us to turn our attention to where we want to go. And that's the difference between making the best of something and making the worst of something. 
After all "The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself".- Ben Franklin