Stress response is the most primal way by which humans are designed to respond to a threat, so the breath rate goes up, the heart beats faster, blood pressure increases, the pupils of the eyes dilate and the body girds itself for a physical fight or a physical flight.

By Pragati Oswal

What is an emotion?

The most common answer that comes to one’s mind is that, emotions are feelings! Have you ever wondered what feelings are and why emotions are called feelings?I have a rather simple answer to that! Feelings are something that touch you, something that touch your physical body! Emotions are called feelings because you can feel the effect of an emotional stimulus in your body, you can experience their influence physically!That’s why emotional well-being is instrumental to one’s over-all health.

How do we create emotions and feelings?

Whenever we create lots of thoughts about a particular subject, person or a situation, over and over againand those repetitions last for long duration, we start to feel them in our physical body. This energy created by the constant repetition of the thoughts translates itself into physical manifestation that we can feel.

Let’s take examples of the emotions of hate and love

Whenever we hate someone or we are really angry with someone, don’t we tend to think about that person a lot? We think about our confrontations again and again, we think about we would say to them next time so on and so forth. We sometimes talk about them to other people expressing our feelings and while we do that, we replay those episodes of hate exchange in our minds over and over again. In other words, we end up creating lots of thoughts about them. One can say we are quite focussed on them!

Similarly, while we are in the process of falling in love with someone, we are quite focussed on them. We create lots of thoughts about them, we think about them all the time, we think of ways to impress or express fondness, love and care. Sometimes we are so lost in thoughts, that we lose appetite, sleep etc, yet we feel good & the body feels energetic at all times.

Some of us who doubt our ability to focus or concentrate must take cognizance of the fact that if one has the ability to love or hate then one has tremendous ability to concentrate.

What negative emotions convert themselves into?

Now what do these concentrated thoughts convert themselves into? A faster heart-beat, faster breathing, higher blood pressure etc. In other words, the body goes into something known as the stress response.

Stress response is the most primal way by which humans are designed to respond to a threat, so the breath rate goes up, the heart beats faster, blood pressure increases, the pupils of the eyes dilate and the body girds itself for a physical fight or a physical flight.

Just imagine, the body gearing up for a physical fight due to an emotional trigger (like hate and anger) when there’s no physical opponent for one to fight, when there’s no immediate danger in one’s vicinity. Since the body is prepared to fight, what will the body fight against? It’ll fight against itself!

And as these feelings and emotions become stronger and stronger, the body becomes habituated to reacting to the emotional trigger by the way of stress response.It’ll start to attack itself constantly!The fancy word for that is auto-immunity, the body fighting against itself, also known as psychosomatic disease.

The power of mind& positive emotions!

Bhagvad Gita states:

uddhared ātmanātmānaṁ nātmānam avasādayet
ātmaiva hyātmano bandhur ātmaiva ripur ātmanaḥ

Elevate yourself through the power of your mind, and not degrade yourself, for the mind can be the friend and also the enemy of the self. (Ch-6, Verse -5)

Just like negative emotions have the power to create stress signals, positive emotions have the power to create comforting physical signals.

That’s the power one’s mind has! It can become a killer or a healer! Our mind is that which produces thoughts. We must understand that the thoughts that our individual mind produces are based on our subjective likes and dislikes. Our mind can produce only those thoughts that we like or dislike. That’s what makes our own mind different from another’s mind. Our thoughts are subjective! So, we must try and consciously create good thoughts, conducive thoughts frequently. As we get habituated to producing peaceful positive thoughts, they start to convert themselves into feelings, a feel good for the body.

While it may seem difficult to control the mind and make it produce thoughts that we like, there’s another potent medium that can help trick the mind into relaxation. That medium is our breath.

Through the speed of our breath, the mind communicates its state to the body. So, a disturbed mind would be accompanied by fast or haphazard breathing. On the other hand, a calm peaceful state of mind shall convey its peace to the body through slow rhythmic breath. To mimic the feeling of peaceful emotion, we need to start regulating our breath and deliberately make it rhythmic, comfortably deep and slow.

So, positive peaceful thoughts accompanied by slow, deep rhythmic breathing pattern are the key ingredients for creating a peaceful, positive emotion.

Practice for creating positive emotion:

1) Find a comfortable sitting position or lie down on your back
2) Become aware of your breathing, try to observe the pattern of your breath
3) Consciously make your breathing comfortably deeper and slower
4) Start dedicating a breath of peace, a sigh of relief to each and every part of your body (to balance the stress response damage)
5) Take your time, don’t rush this practice, try to spend some time thinking of each and every part of your body while you simultaneously send a deep peaceful comforting breath to it.
6) Stay aware of the fact that at this point in time you are peaceful, nothing threatens you (apart from your thoughts), the present moment is peaceful, calm, conducive and healing for your entire being
7) Try to send peaceful thoughts to everybody. Everybody deserves peace to behave better, become better and realize good things.
8) Stay with these thoughts and give yourself these reminders a few times a day for the rest of the day.

If you feel more relaxed, calmer and lighter after this practice, then you are doing it right!

Pragati Oswal is a Wellness Mentor & Researcher as well as a Pain Relief Expert
Facebook Page -!/PragatiOswa