Let’s get “Out of the Box”

The book that we read over the last week was a great read!  The insight that was given was great, even in the first few pages.  It brought my own attributes and attitudes to my attention.  I realized that I do the same exact things as Joe and Bud.  I claim to think of others or as my grandmother would say, “call myself thinking about somebody else,” but I am not necesarilly viewing all of their needs and wants and actively listening.

I also liked the activity we did in class involving the cycle of negative thoughts and behaviors.  It was so easy to get caught up in that.  I do that all the time, instead of just following my initial intuition and doing what is right.

Moving forward, I am going to work on the things that I have noticed about myself through this book.  I plan to change myself.  I complain about others and what they do and how they make me feel, but now all I can think about is how that must make them feel.  I will use the little list in the back of the book to help me remember how to work on these things in my own life.

Always Progressing

This week focused on positive emotions and forgiveness/humility. We read about positivity and how it seems  to be fundamental to human progress.  The reading talks about how positive emotions benefit us and are a huge part of positive psychology.  It explained how positive emotions help us to adapt to life better and create social bonds.

In class we also talked about positive emotions as well and the benefits of them.  Wednesday was a bit more based on forgiveness and mercy.  We talked about the movie, “The Mission,” and then discussed what we heard in the story.  I really enjoyed that activity.

Two acts of kindness that I performed this week are babysitting and helped someone prepare for a test!  helped my sister get some free time and rest, which is awesome. Babysitting  She has two new jobs so she needs it.  Helping a friend prepare for a test really helped him.  I think he got a 92.  He was really grateful.  Doing both of these things made me feel helpful and happy that I could make a difference in their days.

What’s your purpose?

This week we focused a lot on finding purpose and trying to create a mission statement.  The reason behind the mission statement is to better understand what you want to do or be in life.  This is not necessarily just about a career but life itself.  Dr. Wu-Pong continuously asked individuals, “Is this something you do at home with your friends and family?” Finding your purpose in life is not just about finding a job but about figuring out what it is that you are seeking to do with your entire life.

This helped me learn about myself through answering questions but also prompting others.  Talking things through with a partner was insightful.  I was able to see things more clearly with the prompting and advice of someone else.  This week allowed me to get closer to finding my mission or purpose and see what I could do to better implement it into my life and make sure I am executing my mission.  I hope this week was as great and helpful for you guys as it was for me!

P.S.  We have some really great goals/missions/aspirations/dreams!

Let’s Be Mindful

This week’s focus was on mindfulness.  There were four readings about the topic that touched upon mindfulness in different ways.  One focused on mindfulness itself and what exactly it is.  It basically stated that you are where you are in a moment and nowhere else.  It described being mindful as being present and remembering that you are in your skin.  Mindfulness helps us to more positively function.   There were two articles that focused primarily on this and research in support of it.  It told about mindfulness training and how with practice, mindfulness can be improved and in return, enhance positive functioning.  They tell us that because of the positive outcomes that are correlated with mindfulness training they are connected with cognitive and emotional processes.  This gives us reason to believe mindfulness helps.  In another article, it describes why leaders should be mindful and how our actions and words rub off on others.  As a leader, specifically, it is essential that one is mindful because of the impact they have on others.

Mindfulness an help us be more aware of ourselves and by being more aware of ourselves, it can help us learn to be more aware of those surrounding us.  We know that we can impact others with our actions and we should be aware of that and make sure that our actions reflect who we are.

Strengths

This week, we learned a lot about strengths.  We learned about how to recognize them, categorize them, and use them better.  I learned a lot about what my strengths are and how I can work on them in my every day life.  I can do this by actively thinking about what strengths I use daily and try to improve as I notice myself using them.

I also learned that everyone has different strengths, even if we feel like their qualities are not strengths.  I really enjoyed the videos and going over the strengths that we saw in the characters on Wednesday.  It was very insightful, and showed a lot about our own characters through what we recognized.

Lastly, I really enjoyed the 4 minute activity when we got to share our best moment and our partner and tell eachother the strengths we saw.  This was not only great in order to see what others see in us but what we can see in others!  It is relieving to be able to find the best in someone in a world where we usually look for flaws.

High Quality Connections

The reading was a more in depth look at what we discussed in class.  It describes high quality connections which are moments in which two people who do not necesarilly know eachother have an interaction in which they feel a connection.  It is suggested that these high quality connections have an impact on an individual’s overall well-being.  As we discussed in class, smiling, waving, and just feeling close to someone, even a stranger, can enhance your mood and in return your well-being.  The fact that I found most interesting is that high quality connections form attachments to organizations or work.  This means that our connections we make through our day at work, school, grocery stores, or any other place we may go, attaches us to those places.  High quality connections make us want to return.

I experience positive relationships or connections pretty much daily.  These consist of smiles, eye contact, and interest.  When I speak to someone or I am trying to make a connection, I smile, try to make eye contact, and make sure to show interest.  I feel like this absolutely contributes to my ability to make high quality connections with others.

Healthy Relationships

The first article was about relationships and research about how the way we interact with others and develop relationships has a lot to do with our childhood.  It goes over how our relationships with our parents shape us and how we later treat others.  The second article was a little exerpt on love, in my opinion.  It was a few paragraphs on remarks from Jean Vanier. He basically said that we all want love and we should love eachother because that is what we want for ourselves.  He says our world has become one of fear and we can’t hide behind fear, we should open ourselves up and find the beauty in everyone.  The last article was about research on marriage, its effects on life, and life’s effect on it.  It discusses marriage in low-income populations and how it is often less prominent and less successful.  This is not always the case but there is a trend.  The correlation in less successful marriage and low-income is due to the external factors, or the extra stress put on the relationship due to external factors.

Competence in romantic relationships means the ability to interact in a healthy light with a partner.  I think that it means being able to understand human interaction such as empathy and respect.  It is important to be able to understand your partner and their wants and needs.  Competence in romantic relationships  during college years may be a bit different as we grow older.  It is still important to understand your partner and their needs but it may be on a different level as you grow.  There may be more that you need to support your partner in as you enter later stages of life than was necessary in college.

There is a couple that I admire from my hometown.  I think that their relationship is so successful becasue they have great communocation skills, similar values, and a good work ethic in all aspects of life.  I feel as if they work together regardless of circumstance and hold eachother to a high regard.  I think that they got to where they are by working on their relationship together and making sure that the other is always happy.

Anxiety, Depression, and Positive Psychology

The three reading were very informative about anxiety, depression, and positive psychology.

Khan’s article was based on anxiety and depression and “clinicians” medicating people for these disorders.  The article goes through the many worries that patients may have about medications and being treated for their disorders.  Khan discusses these fears and how clinicians can address them when discussing treatment with patients.  This can be related to my life through someone that I know closely.  They were diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and their doctor prescribed them medication, after further discussion.  Their first fear correlated with the first worry of most patients which is, “Am I crazy?”   They thought automatically that having to take medication for a mental health issue meant she was going insane.  I love that this article gave “clinicians” the advice to reassure the patients that this is not the case and to explain to them that not all mental illnesses relate to madness.

The other two were focused on positive psychology.  They both gave reasons that positive psychology was a great stride in the psychological field and although other forms of psychological help are advantageous, they do not offer what positive psychology does.  One of the articles says that The first thing patients ask is, “How can I be happy?” Positive psychology embodies this, it gives us solutions to this question.  It does not replace previous clinical help but compliments it.  It allows psychologists to see a more wholistic view of the human mind, not only the bad but the good and bad together. This somewhat relates to my own life because I find it beneficial to focus on making positive decisions and uplifting myself.  Analyzing my weaknesses and issues and trying to fix them or solve them is also important but it does not have the same effect on my life.

The random person that I asked said that they had experienced anxiety.  They said theat they experience it often.  They said that they try to seclude themselves from others and then try to cope with whatever they are feeling anxious about.  If it’s school work, they go and study which usually helps.  they say that dwelling on the problem does not helpo at all, if they push the thought to the back of their mind then they can overcome it.  I think that some of the things that this person did could be helpful when dealing with a stressful or anxiety provoking situation, but there are also other techniques.  I think the best  way to deal with one of these situations is to take deep breaths before anything else.  Calming breathing allows the rest of the body to settle, atleast that”s what that seven year old taught me Wednesday.

 

Getting to Know Myself

The results of both of these surveys were very enlightening.  I knew myself but I didn’t know what everything meant.  The personality survey helped me better ubderstand things about myelf.  I knew I was Sensation Seeking in theory but i did not know what to call it.  I knew that I lived for the experience of the moment but I did not know the effects it could have on my life.  I did not know that this had a correlation with alcohol and drug use problems.  The Impulsivity and Decision Making Survey was also predictable for myself in my opinion.  Compared to the class, I was a little more impulsive than the average peer.  I think that I am sometimes an impulsive buyer but I also have some self control.  This survey related to Delay Discounting which is the preference of smaller rewards now versus bigger rewards later.  This correlates with spending instead of saving (definitely me)  and often marks subtance abuse (Not so much me).  Seeing the possibilities and risks of my personality traits was eye-opening.  This, not only, brings to my attention who I am, but what I can do to prevent myself from becoming addicted to subtances and keep myself under control in general.

SOH and Its Effects on Me

I view myself  as a pretty positive individual.  I like to be optimistic in most situations but I never thought I was trying to do that until now.  We went over a few activities in which help you stay positive in class this week.  Some of them, I actually already do.  Other activities that were listedd were new to me.  I really enjoy learning and learning how to make the best of our experiences is amazing to me.  So far, it has been somewhat difficult because 1. I am sometimes not very good at taking direction.  I usually want to figure it all out on my own.  and 2.  I forget to do the activities or run out of time in the day.  Time management and self discipline have become my downfall for this trying to be better thing.  This class can definitely help me focus more on doing things to have a better experience with life and savor things.  The course literally forces me to reflect on life, itself.  This gives me a required outlet to express my thoughts and feelings.  It also gives me the information I need to build on those thoughts and feelings that I have in a positive manner.  I expect to learn a lot from this class and I am excited to implement all that I learn into my everyday life.  I hope to inspire others as this course continues to inspire me.

Well-being

Well-being, in my opinion, is the most important thing in my life.  I am a person that loves to help others and do a plethora of things in general.  Without my well-being, I can do none of these things.  If I am not well, physically or mentally, it is extremely difficult to  do anything.  For example, when I have a cold, I definitely don’t get out as much as I would if I were completely healthy.  I think that there are many factors to take into account when discussing well-being.  I think that I am the biggest influence on my well-being.  I choose the activities I participate in, the food I eat, and the people I surround myself with.  All of these aspects effect my health, both physically and mentally.  They determine how I feel in general, the people that surround me often have an enormous effect on my attitude and the way I look at things.  If I am surrounded by optimists, most likely I will have a good outlook on life because they help me see the good in most situations.  Overall, well-being is what keeps us going or stops us from going.  It effects all aspects of our lives while all of the aspects of our lives effect it.