Connection of the Mind and Body


30 Nov 2017

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1) Why do we feel the way we feel?

They rush through you menacingly on a mountain trail when you mistake a twisted stick for a snake or when you feel as if a spider is walking down your neck) . They wash over you gently when your newborn looks your way or when you see any affectionate scene. And when you gaze upon a Monet or call to mind a lilting line of verse, they bring you warmth. Feelings and emotions are woven through every human experience. Emotions are just a part of the human nature. simply, human beings are the most self-conscious animals, and their emotions are considered as base leftovers of their animal selves. societies created civilizations which demanded the need for emotions. the development and prosperities required the formation of numerous feelings. emotions are astounding, indescribable and ineffable ingredients of the human spirit. they are naturally occurring responses and the result of judgments to any situation or a perception of changes taking place within our bodies . for example, we experience disgust because our body undergoes physiological changes like queasiness and increased skin temperature at the sight of vomit. emotions generally are dictated to individuals rather than society; they are a result of a person's own evaluation or automatic one to an incident. they are stimulators of reactions based on self-awareness, self consciousness, and the ability to emphasize with others. emotions represent a synthesis of subjective experience, expressive behavior and neurochemical activity. there is a great wide variety of emotions including: anger, fear surprise, disgust, joy and sadness. Feelings can be conscious or unconscious, expressed or unexpressed, positive or negative--or simultaneous. Emotion is at the core of human beings' lives, underlying perhaps people's every motivation, many researchers now agree. It is "what we are about," said UC San Francisco psychologist Paul Ekman, an expert decoder of facial expressions. emotions were also described by Department of Veterans Affairs psychiatrist Leslie Brothers as an intangible matter, "When you get right down to it," she said, "emotion is just a fuzzy, moving target. . . . It's like trying to grab fog. Your hand keeps moving through it."

2) How do our thoughts and emotions affect our health?

In Woody Allen's movie "Manhattan," Diane Keaton is breaking up with Woody and wants to know why he isn't angry. "I don't get angry," Allen replies, "I grow a tumor instead." the mind and emotions play a very important role in the state of health. Therefore, it's important for us to recognize and identify our thoughts and emotions, and to be aware of the impact they have—not only on each other, but also on our bodies, behavior, and relationships. Emotions that are freely experienced and expressed without judgment or attachment tend to flow fluidly. On the other hand, repressed emotions (especially fearful or negative ones) can zap mental energy and lead to health problems. emotional disturbances and disorders lead to poor performance of body activities and brings down the immune system making a person more vulnerable for infection, also leads to metabolic illnesses like diabetes. negative feelings like chronic stress from negative attitudes and feelings of helplessness and hopelessness can upset the body's hormone balance and deplete the brain chemicals required for feelings of happiness. New scientific understandings have also identified the process by which chronic stress can actually decrease people's lifespan by shortening their telomeres (the “end caps” of our DNA strands, which play a big role in aging). Poorly managed or repressed anger (hostility) is also related to a slew of health conditions, such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease, digestive disorders, and infection. negative feelings generally are found to cause heart attacks, cancer, back pain, change in appetite, and chest pain. not only that, but also constipation or diarrhea, dry mouth, insomnia (sleep disorder), sexual problem and sweating. in addition, negative feelings cause palpitations (heart racing), shortness of breath and stiff neck.

Positive attitudes on the other hand—such as playfulness, gratitude, awe, love, interest, serenity, and feeling connected to others—have a direct impact on health and wellbeing. The attitude of forgiveness—fully accepting that a negative circumstance has occurred and relinquishing negative feelings surrounding the event—can lead us to experience better mental, emotional and physical health. The Stanford Forgiveness Project trained 260 adults in forgiveness in a 6-week course.70% reported a decrease in their feelings of hurt, 13% experienced reduced anger, 27% experienced fewer physical complaints (for example, pain, gastrointestinal upset, dizziness, etc.) In a landmark study, people who were asked to count their blessings felt happier, exercised more, had fewer physical complaints, and slept better than those who created lists of hassles. Positive emotions generally lead to faster recovery from cardiovascular stress, better sleep, and fewer colds. not only that, but also they generate a great sense of overall happiness, physical homeostasis and evokes healthy behavioral responses: less likely to smoke or drink and more likely to exercise. positive feelings lead to a Beneficial physiological responses which include improved sleep quality, and higher levels of antioxidants or good (HDL) cholesterol.

3) Are our bodies and minds distinct from each other or do they function together as parts of an interconnected systems?

In the history of thought, the idea that the mind and body are separate has been hotly debated. Probably the most famous statement of mind/body dualism is from the philosopherRené Descartes, who in the 17th century argued that there are two different kinds of stuff in the world: stuff extended in space (such as chairs, computers, and human bodies) and stuff which lacks extension but somehow exists as an immaterial substance (the human mind). Many ancient healing systems emphasize the interconnection between mind and body in healing, including Hippocrates, the father of Western medicine, who taught that good health depends on a balance of mind, body, and environment. our bodies and minds are interconnected. the mind is responsible for sending signals which are basically the language of the body. These signals can be hormones which are a type of chemical messengers released by cells and glands. These hormones can be growth factors or other chemicals that influence cells and neurons. there are many systems in the brain that are regulates various functions in the body. First, the autonomic nervous system (ANS) is a part of the inner structure of the brain and is a part of the nervous system. It is responsible for regulating involuntary body functions, such as heartbeat, blood flow, breathing and digestion. it also controls all the muscles, organs and glands. When something goes wrong in this system, it can cause serious problems, including blood pressure problems, heart problems, trouble with breathing and swallowing, and erectile dysfunction in men. Autonomic nervous system disorders can occur alone or as the result of another disease, such asParkinson's disease, alcoholism and diabetes. Some autonomic nervous system disorders get better when an underlying disease is treated. This system is further divided into two branches: the sympathetic system and the parasympathetic system. The sympathetic division of the autonomic nervous system regulates the flight-or-fight responses (refers to a physiological reaction that occurs in the presence of something that is terrifying, either mentally or physically). This division also performs such tasks as relaxing the bladder, speeding up heart rate and dilating eye pupils. It increases blood pressure and heart rate. Furthermore, the parasympathetic division of the autonomic nervous system helps maintain normal body functions and conserves physical resources. This division also performs such tasks as controlling the bladder, slowing down heart rate and constricting eye pupils. most importantly, the balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic system is extremely vital. last but not least, the prefrontal cortex is located in the front of the brain below the forehead. it is responsible for personality expression and planning of complex behaviors and decision-making. people experience the connection everyday in situations ranging from mouth-watering over a delicious looking dessert to "butterflies" before a presentation. in the end, negative outcomes can result from the mind and body interconnection including the failure to meet athletic, academic or professional goal due to fear by the mind.

4) What is the mystery behind the gap that connects our brains to our emotions?

The mystery behind the gap that connects the brains to the emotions can be represented in one simple word, neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are the master mind of communication; they are the brain chemicals that communicate information throughout our brain and body. It is a simple process in which the brains consists of nervous cells called neurons which pass notes to control everything in the body. the neurotransmitter send messages from neuron to neuron which consequently determines our emotions and feelings and positive or negative mood. The brain uses neurotransmitters to tell your heart to beat, your lungs to breathe, and your stomach to digest. They can also affect mood, sleep, concentration, weight, and can cause adverse symptoms when they are out of balance. As a matter of fact, it is estimated that 86% of Americans have suboptimal neurotransmitter levels. Stress, poor diet, neurotoxins, genetic predisposition, drugs (prescription and recreational), alcohol and caffeine usage can cause these levels to be out of optimal range. Different neurotransmitters govern different emotions. For example, serotonin calms us down and helps keep us in a good mood. Serotonin also regulates many other processes such as carbohydrate cravings, sleep cycle, pain control and appropriate digestion. Low serotonin levels are also associated with decreased immune system function. Second, dopamine helps people face life challenges with energy and confidence. It helps with depression as well as focus. Third, norepinephrine disperses concentration, alertness and motivation. It can cause anxiety at elevated excretion levels as well as some mood dampening effects. Low levels of norepinephrine are associated with low energy, decreased focus ability and sleep cycle problems.


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