Thoughts, Feelings & Behaviour
   Date :02-Jun-2024

Thoughts Feelings
Human life is an intricate interplay of the flowing energies in the forms of thoughts, feelings and behaviours.As our thoughts are, so we feel. Similarly, our behavioural patterns give rise to the corresponding feelings. So feelings are totally dependent upon either thoughts or behaviour or both. Thoughts may be positive, negative or neutral. Positive thoughts are the genesis of good feelings. On the contrary, negative thought waves make us feel sad. Neutral thoughts have no emotional charge. So they do not lead to any tangible feeling.
Behaviour is totally physical. Hence our good or bad behaviour generates the corresponding feelings. Similarly, pain or pleasure are also responsible for human feelings. Neuroscience states that if feelings are to be changed, one has to change one’s thoughts and behaviour. If somebody is feeling melancholic, it needs to be scrutinised whether it is due to thoughts or behaviour. Accordingly, thoughts or behavioural patterns need to be transformed.The entire CBT ( Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) is based upon this concept. Some neuroscientists are of the option that it is very difficult to change thoughts. On the other hand, it is relatively easy to modify behaviour. So body based exercises have been found to be very effective in treating anxieties and stress related issues. In his path breaking book An Autobiography of Trauma: A Healing Journey, Peter Levine explores the efficacy of somatic therapy. He propounds that through somatic experiences traumas and PTSD can be treated very effectively.
He has discovered numerous physical experiences which generate soothing feelings and successfully treat many psychiatric conditions. Among other somatic exercises, Peter Levine has found that exhalation with U sound is the most effective method to treat traumatic issues. He has discovered that this method of sound exhalation tones the vagus nerve which immediately calms down our nervous system and the human brain is wired to feel happy. In one of his talks Peter Levine has mentioned that this sound based exhalation has been practised since thousands of years ago. This way of breathing with sound is the Bhramari Pranayama in the Yogic system. Bhramari Pranayama involves producing honey bee-like sound at the time of exhalation. According to Yoga this Pranayama is found to be very calming.This is also a body based exercise. All Asanas and Pranayamas which are found to be very useful in physical and mental health are somatic in nature.
In the Indian tradition the human body has been given supreme importance. Everything has to start with the body. The Taittiriya Upanishad talks of the concept of Pancha Koshas or five sheaths of human existence. The first one is Annamaya Kosha or the physical body. The greatest poet of Sanskrit, Kalidas states that the body is the instrument of Dharma or righteous conduct. Ayurveda propounds that healthy human body is the basis of all Purusharthas or fundamental purposes of human life. Thus, initially, we can change our feelings from bad to good by performing some select body based exercises which calm down our nervous system and generate a happy state of the mind.

(The writer is Former DG Police & CG, Homeguards, Maharashtra)