Tuesday, 22 March 2011


Etymologically, the word ”Psychology” derives its meaning from the two Greek words ‘Psyche’ which means soul and ‘logus’ which means science or knowledge. Thus psychology means the science of the soul – Mind, which functions in three domains viz. Cognitive (thinking), affective (feeling) and conative (willing by means of thought impressions).The goals of psychology are description, explanation , prediction and control of behaviour including subjective experiences.

Emotion is derived from the Greek word ‘Emovere’ which means excitation. Emotion is a stirred up state of body and mind. When a person acts under emotion, he loses his mental balance. Fear, anger, joy, sorrow, hate are instance of emotions. The core of an emotional experience is feeling. When feelings are violent and the composure of our mind is disturbed we have no longer feelings but emotions.Emotions are a state of feelings that has physiological situation and cognitive (mental) components. When we speak of emotion, we usually refer to subjective feelings, physiological basis of emotional feelings, the effects of emotion on perception, thinking and behaviour, motivational properties of certain emotions and expression of emotions in language, facial expressions and gestures.

Feelings and Emotions can be differentiated. Feelings arise from sensation, accompanied by mental processes such as perception, memory, imagination and emotion. Feelings are simple sense-feelings of pleasure and pain, peripherally excited with no physical change. Emotions are higher and more complex affective states, centrally excited. A feeling is expressed in relatively restricted nervous excitement, while an emotion is expressed in wide-ranging excitation involving the voluntary muscles and internal organs of the body. An individual is overwhelmed by an emotion and its reactions.
In most cases, we cannot think of an emotion without an organic, physical expression. Suppression of organic expressions leads to the suppression of corresponding emotions. When we refuse to express our emotions organically (being soul conscious), it dies. Artificial production of organic expressions produces the corresponding emotions. Hypothalamus is necessary for the expression of rage-emotions. When an emotion is aroused, the endocrine glands begin to work vigorously. A depressing emotion usually retards the flow of the hormones that help digestion. So, if an individual is frequently visited by such an emotion, chronic indigestion may occur. The normal function of the thyroid gland is affected by both by anger and fear. So, frequent arousal of these states tear down our physical health. Fear, anger and other strong emotions are connected with the stimulation of sympathetic nerves and so hasten the heart beat and arrest stomach activity.

Stress is a negative emotional experience accompanied by predictable biochemical, physiological, cognitive and behavioural changes that are directed either toward altering the stressful event or accommodating to its effects. Stress is the excitement, feeling of anxiety, and /or physical tension that occurs when the demands placed on an individual are thought to exceed his ability to cope. The physical or psychological demands from the environment that cause this condition are called stressors.
The biochemical and bodily changes represent a natural reaction to an environmental stressor known as fight or flight response. Fight refers to aggressive responses to stress, whereas flight may be seen in social withdrawal or withdrawal through substance use such as alcohol and drugs.On the one hand, the fight or flight response is adaptive because it enables the organism to respond quickly to threat. On the other hand, it can be harmful because stress disrupts emotional and physiological functioning, and when stress continues unabated, it lays the ground work for health problems.
To reduce the negative aspects of stressful events, a healthy personality type  has to be developed, where there are a cluster of characteristics such as sense of commitment, responding to each difficulty as representing a challenge and an opportunity,  a sense of positive involvement with others in social situations, a tendency to attribute one’s own behaviour to internal causes in life with interest, curiosity , optimism and  perceiving that, one has control over one’s life.Whether an event is stressful depends on how it is appraised. Events that are negative, uncontrollable or unpredicatable, ambiguous, overwhelming and threatening to central life tasks are likely to be perceived as stressful.

Psychosomatic disorders are the physical symptoms caused by emotional conflicts. Physical health is inextricably interwoven with the psychological and social environment. The mind and the body cannot be meaningfully separated in matters of health and illness. Psychosomatic  medicine offer profiles of particular disorders believed to be psychosomatic in origin, like ulcers, hyperthyroidism, rheumatoid arthritis, essential hypertension, neuro dermatitis (a skin disorder), colitis and bronchial asthma.Chronic illnesses are diseases in which psychological and social factors are implicated as cases.
The study of personality shows that many undesirable types of personalities are formed due to a wrong training of the emotions. A great deal of our misery is due to misdirected emotions. A happy man is he who has well-trained emotions. No emotion is harmful in itself and none of them to be unconditionally repressed. There are methods to release or re-direct the emotions, like Psycho analysis, Hypnosis, Neuro Linguistic Programming,
Emotional freedom Techniques and Meditation which includes progressive muscle relaxation training, guided imagery, visualisation and Dream analysis. By deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation, systematic desensitization can be done for treatment of anxiety.  These techniques can reduce heart rate, skin conductance, muscle tension, blood pressure and inflammatory processes, lipid levels, energy utilization, self-report of anxiety and tension.

Psycho-analysis emphasized for the role of unconscious mind in the actions of individuals. The unconscious mind is the seat of repressed tendencies and desires, not approved by the society. According to Freud, in the drama of human existence, sex is the villain of the peace. He holds that early childhood experiences determine the development of personality. The unconscious motive is a very important factor in the creation of attitudes. Sometimes even the individual himself is unaware of the reasons for his attitudes towards a particular person or object because in fact the reason is in his unconscious. Specific unconscious conflicts can produce particular symptoms, through the voluntary nervous system, by physical disturbances, that symbolizes the repressed psychological conflicts, he or she then becomes relatively free of the anxiety the conflict would otherwise produce.

Hypnosis is created by an overload of message units, disorganizing the inhibitory process (critical mind), triggering the fight/flight mechanism and ultimately creating a hypersuggestible state, providing access to the sub conscious mind. The hypnotist uses a state of anxiety which leads to hypnosis. It is not created by a state of relaxation. Once in hypnosis, the flight mechanism takes over, breathing becomes shallower and the body becomes more relaxed. All the positive suggestions for change are placed in the sub conscious mind, which allows the client to feel better.Throughout the hypnosis session, the client is completely aware of the process, being facilitated and has own control to provide or modify suggestions, to support the process.

Dream Therapy  is one of the modalities used in clinical practice. It augments the venting process and allows the therapists to fish around in the client’s past, inner workings of the sub conscious mind, without the negative consequences. By  knowing what the client’s sub conscious is venting, the therapist can effectively monitor the client’s response to suggestions and can guage the progress of therapy by seeing what the client is “letting go off”. The therapist does not interpret dreams for the clients, but rather assists them in interpreting their own dreams.

Emotional Freedom Technique  recognizes “The cause of all negative emotions is a disruption in the body’s energy system”. The complex system of energy circuits that run throughout the body or meridians as they are called are the centerpiece of Eastern health practices and form the basis for modern day acupuncture, acupressure and a wide variety of other healing techniques. This energy courses through the body and is invisible to the eye. By simply tapping near the end points of the energy meridians some profound changes in  emotional and physical health are experienced. These changes would not occur if there was no energy system. The past memories may contribute to an unwanted emotion, but they are not the direct cause, accordingly, there is no need to spend time painfully dwelling on them. Thus there is relatively little emotional suffering involved with EFT. It is relatively painless. The existence of any energy imbalance can be detected using some unique muscle testing diagnostic techniques.

Neurolinguistic Programming is the systematic study of human performance. This study of the structure of the subjective experience can be broken down into their smallest components and changed, modified, improved upon or removed. It enables therapists to be much more effective in assisting change in their clients lives. NLP is a practical application on how people think and directed towards solving problems from the past, by improving the sensory acuity by becoming more aware of visual , auditory and kinesthetic senses.
Raja Yoga is the meditation technique by which emotions are directed to worthy ends, transforming the emotions in to physically and socially useful. Soul consciousness is given importance, to avoid organic-physical becoming over expressive during stress and thereby control the emotions. By maintaining the feelings constantly, not eliciting to emotions, all the past emotional strains get collapsed and removed by the power of generalization of brain-mind, for the attitude and body to become positive and healthy forever. The faith in God adds to the advantage of expressing the feelings of love and relationships towards God, and hence helps in eliminating the emotions of loneliness, uncertainty, the worst fear of death, hopelessness and lack of moral support.

Reference : Shiv Baba on Raja Yoga, British Psychologist McDougall, Viennese physician Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) of Psychoanalysis, Psychologist James-Lange, N. Cameron (1963), (A. Baum 1990) Milton Erickson(1901-1980) on  Hypnosis, Dunbar’ s and Alexander work’s on Psychosomatic diseases, Joseph Wolpe (1958) on Relaxation, Walter Cannon’s (1932) and Kemeny (2003) Lucini et al., 1997; Lutgendorf, Anderson, Sorosky, Butler&Labaroff, 2000; Scheufele, 2000; R.H.Schnieder et al., 1998; Speca, Carlson, Goodey &Angen, 2000 on Stress, Gary Craig on EFT.

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