Guilt & Depression: Head Knowledge vs. Heart Knowledge

Psychoneuroimmunology, Laughter as Medicine

Research scientists have spent considerable time investigating the effects of laughter. They have found that laughter can help patients recover from illnesses because it tends to lower blood pressure, reduce stress hormone levels, and recharges the body’s immune system. Laughter is also known to release a body’s natural painkilling substances to provide an overall feeling of well-being. This is a result of stimulating blood flow and aiding the heart.

It has been said that laughter has about the same benefits as aerobic exercise, but it comes without the pain sometimes experienced with physical exercise. Laughter also helps to control insulin levels and blood sugars, and while scientists don’t recommend that patients quit their diets or exercise regimens, they do say that laughing definitely helps. Doctors have discovered that laughter also has an effect on viruses, bacteria, cancer and heart disease. They determined that their patients boosted their immune systems just by watching funny videos and movies.

Laughter is one of the first things we learn as babies. Scientists note that babies who smile the quickest were smiled at more in general. If parents are happy and smiling, it is a given that the baby is likely to smile quickly as well. Much research on children has been performed, and scientists discovered that laughter helped with children’s ability to endure pain and was also effective in the healing process. This is a valuable discovery for young cancer patients. Laughing relaxed patients who had to have painful procedures or who suffered from the anxiety of pain expectation.

Researchers have found that there are many positive effects from laughter, but no known negative effects (except side splitting). Laughter really is the best medicine. Just thinking about something funny makes the hormones flow, and the body has a positive and healthy response.

Experiencing stress without laughter reduces the ability of the body to fight disease because it suppresses the immune system. A stressed body can’t fight infections and other disorders. Your body responds to emotions and feelings, so it’s good to laugh and release all the positive effects related to laughter. Basically, the immune system is closely linked to the positives resulting from laughter. Laughing helps to fight disease.

Stress levels can be reduced through daily exercise and having good eating habits, and when laughter is added, things get even better. People who laugh a lot have reduced stress levels, and reducing stress is a major step in fighting disease.

Some of you who read may be thinking, “I’m not a Mormon who’s secretly depressed through all the fake happiness. I’m not into those Far East Indian laughter therapy groups where you fake it ’til you make it. How can I possibly laugh when I feel guilty and depressed?”

Wow, that’s a good question. My question to you would be “how did you get guilty and depressed?” “Where did the negative vibes come from?” If you’re reading this, then I’m betting that you are someone you know suffers from depression, perhaps, brought on by guilt.

Now, I can intellectualise all day like laughter helps release endorphines which help you deal with physical/emotional pain. The problem is if you feel guilty, then you probably feel you don’t deserve to laugh. “What good is it to laugh if laughter is only going to make me feel more guilty?” Did I hit the nail on the head?

Let’s assume that you’re here to deal with this problem, not to just read about it and justify an existence of depression and guilt. Let’s assume for the moment that you’re reaching out, that you want to know how to deal with this problem.

The first thing we do is reach out to try and find someone is experiencing something similar to you or whoever has the problem. We want to find out how someone else dealt with guilt and depression. In essence, we prefer to find the heart knowledge as it applies to us personally rather than some head knowledge where a person is vying for the grade in his psychology class.

Tell me if I’m wrong, but history tells us that no amount of psychoanalysis cures a problem. No amount of psychotropic / neuroleptic drugs “cures” a psychological ailment. What we want is to identify with others who had the same experience and found their way how to healthier, satisfying life.

More importantly, we want to deal with the problem NOW, not five years from now or even five months from now, but NOW. What kind of cure exists NOW that we can use at this very moment? Please have a look at the following. Please click the title that comes closest to what you may be experiencing:

It’s possible that one or more of these apply to you. There are many more case histories / herstories of guilt and depression at the EFT site. EFT is a form of energy psychology wherein you talk out your difficulties while tapping shotgun points within your energy meridian system. It’s already worked for lots of people as you see the the video below.

From a personal standpoint, I’ve had to deal with death many times over with friends and family. I guess my personal perspective is optimistic rather than fatalistic. You see, I believe in people to do the right thing which is why I put up these posts at this blog.

I’m hoping that you do the right thing for yourself by going forward in your life. Someday you can laugh and learn that your laughter serves not only you, but the people around you. When you go forward, so do the people closest to you. If you care about the people around you, you take this knowledge to heart and go forward with your life.

Healing Thoughts, HealingMindN


Related Article:

Why is Our Mental Health Important?

So what do we know?

  • Depression occurs in 40 – 50% of patients who suffer from coronary disease.
  • Depression is a leading risk factor for heart disease.
  • 25% of patients suffering from cancer also suffer from depression.
  • Patients suffering from Bi Polar have a 10 – 15% increase in a risk for suicide.
  • Homicide and violence is increased among those suffering from a Bi Polar condition.
  • About 53% of mentally ill inmates were in prison for a violent offense, compared to 46% of other inmates…

Alternative treatments for depression:

1. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy seeks to help people change how they think about things. Unlike more traditional forms of therapy, it focuses on “here and now” problems and difficulties. Numerous clinical studies throughout the world have consistently demonstrated that cognitive behavioral therapy is as effective as antidepressant medication. Within 20 sessions of individual therapy, approximately 75 percent of patients experience a significant decrease in their symptoms.

2.St. John’s Wort

St John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum) is commonly used for the treatment of depression. It is available in tablets, capsules and liquid form from supermarkets and health food shops. Research suggests that it exerts its antidepressant action by inhibiting the reuptake of the neurotransmitters serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. Numerous double-blind, placebo-controlled studies have examined the effectiveness of St. John’s wort for the treatment of mild to moderate major depression, and most have found the herb more effective than a placebo. It can be at least as effective as paroxetine (Paxil) in the treatment of moderate to severe depression in the short term.

3. S-Adenosylmethionine (SAMe)

SAMe is an amino acid derivative that occurs naturally in all cells. It plays a role in many biological reactions by transferring its methyl group to DNA, proteins, phospholipids and biogenic amines. Several scientific studies indicate that SAMe may be useful in the treatment of depression.

4. Light Therapy

For years, light therapy has been used to treat seasonal affective disorder, a type of depression caused by short winter days and extended darkness. A lack of exposure to sunlight is responsible for the secretion of the hormone melatonin, which can trigger a dispirited mood and a lethargic condition. Light therapy helps to regulate the body’s internal clock in the same way that sunlight does. Light therapy is an effective treatment for seasonal affective disorder, and it may reduce the symptoms of non-seasonal depression as well.

5. Exercise

Researchers have found that regular exercise, and the increase in physical fitness that results, alters serotonin levels in the brain and leads to improved mood and feelings of wellbeing. Study after study has shown that exercise promotes mental health and reduces symptoms of depression. The antidepressant effect of regular physical exercise is comparable to potent antidepressants like Sertraline.

6. 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP)

5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) and tryptophan are also natural alternatives to traditional antidepressants. When your body sets about manufacturing serotonin, it first makes 5-HTP. Taking 5-HTP as a supplement may raise serotonin levels. The evidence suggests 5-HTP and tryptophan are better than a placebo at alleviating depression.

7. Massage

One of the best-known benefits of massage therapy is its ability to enhance feelings of well-being. Massage produces chemical changes in the brain that result in a feeling of relaxation and calm. It also reduces levels of stress hormones. Massage therapy lowers levels of stress hormone cortisol by an average of 30 percent. Massage also increases serotonin and dopamine, neurotransmitters that help reduce depression.

8. Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese treatment in which needles are inserted at specific points in the body. Research suggests that acupuncture can decrease or eliminate the symptoms of depression. A review of 8 controlled trials supported the theory that acupuncture can significantly reduce the severity of depression.

9. Yoga & Meditation

Yoga is an ancient system of relaxation, exercise, and healing with origins in Indian philosophy. Practicing yoga can alter your brain chemistry. Some yoga positions are effective in stimulating the release of endorphins and reducing the level of stress hormone cortisol. Several human studies support the use of yoga for depression, and yoga postures have been specifically shown to increase levels of the neurotransmitter GABA, which may alleviate depression.

10. B Vitamins

B vitamins play a role in the production of certain neurotransmitters, which are important in regulating mood and other brain functions. Folic acid deficiency has been noted among people with depression. Vitamin B6, or pyridoxine, is the cofactor for enzymes that convert L-tryptophan to serotonin, so vitamin B6 deficiency might result in depression. And there is some evidence that people with depression respond better to treatment if they have higher levels of vitamin B12.

11. Magnesium

Dr. Dean is the author of “The Miracle of Magnesium.” she, and many other doctors and researchers are clear that Magnesium deficiency is a significant factor in many other severe illnesses including heart attacks and other forms of heart disease, asthma, anxiety and panic attacks, depression, fatigue, diabetes, migraines and other headaches, osteoporosis, insomnia, and most cases of muscular problems…

12. Emotional Freedom Techniques

Also try emotional freedom techniques (EFT), an energy psychology that is being developed by practitioners all over the world and has the best success rate in actually curing depression. Please see the following sample clinical case studies in utilising EFT where the problem was cured in just a few minutes:

Watch the new EFT video

Related Link:

Sunday May 10, 2009

Ho, ho, ha, ha, ha


A fuss-free, fun-filled way to better health and a happier life.

IT is amazing what laughter can do for us.

Earlier studies on laughter first suggested it could relieve pain, facilitate digestion and improve memory. Now, with more sophisticated tools, we can add these benefits to that list: it boosts our immune system, reduces levels of stress hormones and relaxes muscles throughout the body.

Members of laughter clubs doing the lion laugh during the World Laughter Day celebrations in the northern Indian city of Chandigarh May 3, 2009.

But science has sought to explain what we already know: laughter makes us feel better and happier.

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