Home ~ About us ~ Ahead of print ~ Current Issue ~ Back Issues ~ Search ~ Instructions ~ Subscription ~ Advertise ~ Feedback ~ Login  
  Mens Sana Monographs
A Monograph Series Devoted To The Understanding Of Medicine, Mental Health, Man, Mind, Music And Their Matrix
 Why MSM | Acknowledgement | Call for papers... | Forthcoming MSM...  Users online: 103  Home Email this article Print this Article Bookmark this page Decrease font size Default font size Increase font size 
BRAIN, MIND AND CONSCIOUSNESS
Year : 2011  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 113-128

The neuroendocrine system and stress, emotions, thoughts and feelings


Harvard Medical School, 1249 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02215, USA

Correspondence Address:
George E Vaillant
Harvard Medical School, 1249 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02215
USA
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0973-1229.77430

Rights and Permissions

The philosophy of mind is intimately connected with the philosophy of action. Therefore, concepts like free will, motivation, emotions (especially positive emotions), and also the ethical issues related to these concepts are of abiding interest. However, the concepts of consciousness and free will are usually discussed solely in linguistic, ideational and cognitive (i.e. "left brain") terms. Admittedly, consciousness requires language and the left-brain, but the aphasic right brain is equally conscious; however, what it "hears" are more likely to be music and emotions. Joy can be as conscious as the conscious motivation produced by the left-brain reading a sign that says, "Danger mines!!" However, look in the index of a Western textbook of psychology, psychiatry or philosophy for positive emotions located in the limbic system. Notice how discussion of positive spiritual/emotional issues in consciousness and motivation are scrupulously ignored. For example, the popular notions of "love" being either Eros (raw, amoral instinct) or agape (noble, non-specific valuing of all other people) miss the motivational forest for the trees. Neither Eros (hypothalamic) nor agape (cortical) has a fraction of the power to relieve stress as attachment (limbic love), yet until the 1950s attachment was neither appreciated nor discussed by academic minds. This paper will point out that the prosocial, "spiritual" positive emotions like hope, faith, forgiveness, joy, compassion and gratitude are extremely important in the relief of stress and in regulation of the neuroendocrine system, protecting us against stress. The experimental work reviewed by Antonio Damasio and Barbara Fredrickson, and the clinical example of Alcoholics Anonymous, will be used to illustrate these points.


[FULL TEXT] [PDF]*
Print this article     Email this article
 Next article
 Previous article
 Table of Contents

 Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
 Citation Manager
 Access Statistics
 Reader Comments
 Email Alert *
 Add to My List *
 * Requires registration (Free)
 

 Article Access Statistics
    Viewed4379    
    Printed372    
    Emailed8    
    PDF Downloaded199    
    Comments [Add]    
    Cited by others 1    

Recommend this journal