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How to Listen to Our Thoughts And Emotions?

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How to Listen to Our Thoughts And Emotions?

How to Listen to Our Thoughts And Emotions?

For most of us for most of the time, our thoughts and emotions relate to our ego-based, personal, sense of self. The innate separation from others that such a sense of separate self engenders is the basis for the word selfish. When we are unable to go beyond its inherent limitations, we feel lonely and cut off, as indeed we are when seeing the world solely from its narrow perspective.

When our egos are too dominant or, conversely, too fragile, such apparent separation is often accompanied by difficulty in empathizing with the wider world. It is this deep sense of separation, loss, and loneliness that many psychologists feel is at the root of an exponential increase in depression in the last few years. 

And it's the negative emotions that are generated by the separations and fears of our ego-mind that lie at the root of so many of the schisms that have divided people from each other. Conversely, the positive feelings of pleasure, joy, and love arise not in the mind but are generated by our hearts. These feelings can connect us at ever-expanding levels of awareness with the whole-world.

We have seen how our entire body is a coherent energy-information system. This also comes to the forefront in the findings that intelligence and attention are not mediated through the brain. For, as research shows, the heart can perceive and has inherent intelligence.

In the 1970s, physiologists John and Beatrice Lacey found that not only are signals sent from our brain to our heart, which the heart considers but does not necessarily follow but that our heart also sends signals to our brain, which the latter does obey. 

Subsequently, it has been discovered that the heart has its nervous system comprising at least 40,000 nerve cells (neurons)-as many as are found in various subcortical centers of the brain. Leading on from this, a two-way miscommunication system of thoughts and feelings is now recognized to operate between the heart and the brain.

Since 1991, stress researcher Doc Children and his colleagues at the Heart Math Institute in California have undertaken research to demonstrate how negative emotions such as insecurity, anger, and fear throw the body's nervous system out of balance and engender heart rhythms that are jagged and disordered. 

Conversely, they have found that positive emotions of love, compassion, and gratitude create coherent energy signals that increase order, reduce stress, and bring balance throughout the nervous system. They are reflected in harmonious rhythms of the heart.

Our hearts generate the strongest electromagnetic field produced by our body-a field that, as the Heart Math team has demonstrated, is measurable some feet away by magnetic and electrostatic detectors.

One of the challenges facing researchers studying human behavior outside the laboratory in "real life" situations is to reduce the number of variables that are needed to be taken into consideration to come up with evidence in a particular case. 

A project to see whether positive emotions are conducive to living longer was able to do this when it investigated the longevity of a group of 180 nuns living the same ordered life away from the distractions and stresses of the world outside the convent walls.

Published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychiatry in 2001, the analysis of the positive words used throughout their diaries revealed that the nuns with the most positive outlook, and who felt more positive emotionally, were not only happier than their sisters but lived significantly longer lives. It does make a difference both to our state of well-being and how long we will live to enjoy our lives.

French golfer Jean Van de Velde was leading the 1999 field at the Carnoustie, Scotland, Open Championship when he hit a critical shot into the water during the play-off and went from leader to runner-up. When asked in 2007 when the Open returned to Carnoustie how he had felt, Van de Velde replied, "I see the world as a glass half full, preferably of wine. And all the better when I've already drunk the first half." Well said!

In 1996, psychologist Daniel Goleman reviewed the significance of the heart in the way that we perceive and interact with the world. He noted that the measurement of human IQ, which reflects the quotient of intellectual and cognitive abilities, does not change significantly from childhood onward regardless of our educational opportunities and attainment.

Goleman found that success in life, as reflected in measures of perceived well-being, appears to depend significantly less on IQ and more on our ability to manage and develop our emotional intelligence. He termed the relevant measure EQ: emotional intelligence quotient. EQ relates to self-awareness and our ability to perceive the interrelationship between our thoughts, emotions, and actions and their consequences on others. Unlike our IQ, our EQ can continue to be educated and indeed reeducated throughout our life.

Fear is often seen as a negative emotion. It's healthy, however, when it enables us to be aware of the danger of an imminent threat and allows us to take appropriate action. The problem arises when we make a habit out of being fearful, for when we feel fear, our bodies contract. Biologically, we shut down all nonessential processes to focus on the archaic evolutionary choice of fight or flight.

When the danger is past, we relax and our bodies return to a balanced state. But when our fears become chronic, that biological rebalancing cannot occur; instead, our continuing level of fearful thoughts and emotions hold us tightly in the grip of fight-or-flight stress. This inevitably limits our behavior, for as Candace Pert has written: "You can't grasp new information in a state of fear . . . punishment and threats inhibit the learning process."

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