Blog #3

Blog #3

I am so happy I took this class when I did! As a college student who suffers from anxiety, this class has presented me with so many resources and tips I hadn’t thought of. Learning about mindfulness has made all the difference in decreasing my anxiety. I now incorporate it into my everyday routine by meditating, going to yoga classes, and stopping to collect my thoughts. I have also learned just how important it is to practice it while I am studying for classes. After reading an assigned article, Contemplating Mindfulness at Work: An Integrative Review, I learned that our minds wander half of our waking hours (Killingsworth & Gilbert, 2010 p. 6). Mindfulness can help us stabilize our thoughts, attention, and efficiency. If I am ever stressing out over an assignment or am having difficulties staying focused, I practice mindfulness to regain that focus I need. This is definitely a strategy I will continue to use throughout future semesters and eventually my career.

My favorite weekly assignment this semester was the three good things assignment. I didn’t realize how much I focused on the negative in my life until I completed this exercise. I take for granted the great things I have in my life. Now that I have acknowledged that, I tend to see the good throughout my day and I remind myself that I am blessed. Completing this exercise also made me want to put some good into the world and brighten other peoples day. I want to be the person who does things that people would put on their three good things list if they had to make one. This is also where positive psychology comes in. Positive thoughts turn into positive life events. If one can focus on more of the positives each day, happiness, positivity, and ones overall well-being can improve!

Along with having a positive outlook, it is important to eat, move, and sleep! It is amazing how much better we can feel when we focus on the health of our bodies. I have fallen into patterns of eating too much, not exercising, and not sleeping enough when I am stressed. I am a college student, so that means I am pretty much stressed all of the time. This assignment made me look at my habits and question them. It made me focus on what my body was telling me. I was extremely fatigued because I wasn’t provided my body what it needed in order to function properly. In an assigned article, the authors pointed out that a lack of sleep, nutrition, exercise, could all lead to poorer academic performance (Trockel et al. 200 p. 126). This is interesting because the more I would stress, the less I would take care of my body, which would result in more fatigue that may result in poor performance. It is a vicious cycle that I have luckily targeted and have been actively trying to improve upon.

I plan to share what I have learned in class to the public through continuing my social media posts. I will also continue to talk to my friends and family about what I have learned. There have been several times where my friends have been stressed out and I mention a few tips including calm.com. I think this information is important to share, especially with college students! I will continue to inform my peers and keep practicing what I have learned myself.

I chose this post because mindfulness has been the biggest eye-opener for me in this course. It has taken time, but i have learned that it is important to not worry about tomorrow, or to stress about what happened yesterday, but to focus on how you can make today great.

Citations:

Trockel, M. T., Barnes, M. D., & Egget, D. L. (2000). Health-Related Variables and Academic Performance Among First-Year College Students: Implications for Sleep and Other Behaviors. Journal Of American College Health, 49(3), 125.

Killingsworth, M. A., & Gilbert, D. T. 2010. A wandering mind is an unhappy mind. Science, 330: 932.

Picture: https://happyhabitsforkids.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/mindfulness.jpg

 

Blog #2

The topics we have covered over the 5-10 week period all include ways in which we can improve our well being. I think one of my favorite topics would have to be positive emotions in positive psychology. In that weeks reading, the author noted, “Positive emotions serve as markers of flourishing, or optimal well-being” (Fredrickson, p. 2). If you can learn how to understand your emotions and improve upon them, you can better yourself in many aspects that we have discussed over the last several weeks. This can then allow for healthy relationships, increased energy, and happiness! I cannot speak for everybody, but when I take time to stay in tune with how I am feeling I am overall happier. As a result, I have better interactions with people, increase my mood, workout more, and feel like everything is under control. Although all of the topics we have discussed are aimed at specific aspect of life (health, relationships, emotions), they all revolve around our well-being.

The activity that has helped increase my well-being is the eat, sleep, move activity. Although I had the eating group, I participated in all three. I noticed that on the days that I ate better I exercised more and got better sleep. It seems as if it is a domino effect.

Over the last 10 weeks I have really learned what it means to be mindful and how I can incorporate that into my everyday routine. I focus on being mindful on my walk to each class. This has helped decrease my anxiety and boost my overall mood. I loved the experimental yoga class. I had always thought about trying yoga but have never followed through. That class was really calming for me and in turn, I had a low stress day. I am now seriously considering the yoga class!

 

 

 

 

 

Picture: http://24.media.tumblr.com/352f02a770461a53ffd1591df6c08158/tumblr_n4erullBSk1rfe6nwo1_500.jpg

Citation: L. Fredrickson, “The role of positive emotions in positive psychology: the broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions,” American Psychologist, vol. 56, no. 3, pp. 218–226, 2001.

 

The First Four Weeks

The First Four Weeks

So far, this course has truly taught me how to become more mindful and aware of the steps I can take to improve my happiness. We began the semester by finding where we each fall on the Keyes flourishing scale. This scale helps one determine the state of their mental health. Keyes uses the word “flourishing” to describe mentally healthy adults and the word “languishing” to describe no presence of a mental illness. I think it was a great way to begin the semester because this allowed us to know where we stand before learning content that can help us improve.

 

It was surprising to me to learn that genetics play a big role when it comes to happiness (50%). This surprised me because I have always heard different things due to the nature vs. nurture argument. It was also surprising to learn how common disorders such as anxiety and depression are. Both anxiety and depression are believed to stem from the same biological vulnerability and can vary in severity. There are different forms of anxiety such as OCD and certain phobias.

 

A way people can improve their mental health is through positive psychology. Positive psychology uses understanding and appropriate aid to achieve a satisfactory life. Some way people can practice positive psychology is through an act of kindness, practicing optimism, and meditating on positive feelings.

 

The exercise I have found the most beneficial in my life is the three good things assignment. By completing this assignment, I realized that I spend a good majority of my time focusing on the negative things that happen each day rather than the positives. I also noticed that by physically writing down all of the good things, I am much more happy! This is an exercise I will continue to use and encourage others to use because I believe if we simply focused on the positives, the world would be a much better place. Another practice I have enjoyed in mindfulness. I have found myself stopping, breathing, and taking in that moment. I have found that afterwards, I have a much more peaceful feeling. I have recommended mindfulness practices to struggling peers and have heard positive feedback!

Overall, I have learned so much in this course. The topics we have covered all connect because they contain information that helps us to understand as well as improve our mental health. They also differ because some are specific to certain types of mental health.