April 25: Resilience and Stress Reduction
On Monday, Dr. Armstrong offered a great lesson about stress and resilience. She described that it is what you experience when you believe you cannot cope with a situation. I love that Armstrong talked about good stress too. She talked about how stress can be an opportunity for growth and learning. If you are stressed and then fail or are not happy with the outcome of the stressful situation you can add that to what I call “your toolkit” to use for the next time that type of stress arises. An example given in class was projects or presentations. Some people do better in the 24 window before the project is due. While others may plan weeks ahead and do better with that method. Clearly everyone handles stress differently. If you switched our two types of people they may become over stressed and not benefit from the stress. Later when accessing their tool kits they can reassess how to deal with their stress for the best possible outcome. “Learn from your past to make changes to your future.”
Resilience can be talked about in almost every aspect of life. The 7 factors are empathy, impulse control, emotion awareness and control, realistic optimism, reaching out, self-efficacy, and flexible thinking. When applying it to stress reduction it can be very beneficial to a person’s mental health.
From the Journal of American College Health, the study of Female College Students examines a interesting idea. Does mindfulness contribute to positive physical health in College Students? As a Science of Happiness student I am like, “YES DUH!” But these studies are so important for people who are not as lucky as I am to be enrolled in a University that offers such classes. I believe as a class we have done a lot of work with mindfulness and I have spread that to my entire life and to those around me. I also strongly believe that sleep, exercise and healthy food consumption is just as important. Being assigned the Food Journal was very beneficial to me because it spread my mindfulness brain into the food aspect of my life. (which is a very big one) I do exercise and practice yoga. I would like to do ballet more often but I think I am doing well in the physical aspect, I just need to put in some work on the healthy diet part.
April 27: Physical well-being
This past week I was assigned an “eat” journal/exercise. My task was to track my food consumption using SuperTracker created by the US Dept. of Agriculture. I also kept a written journal about my experience with the food I ate throughout the week. Depending on how much time I had or didn’t have my food experiences were VASTLY different. It is so crazy that if you take a moment to think about something you do all the time, habitually – you can learn a lot.
The first thing that stuck out to me was that I don’t eat as often as I think I do. I also had many other discoveries:
- I drink too much coffee
- I drink wine very often
- I really like mixed nuts
- I like fruit more than vegetables
- I eat on the run A LOT – too much
- I eat croissants as meals very often
- I don’t eat breakfast when I have early classes/work
Ironically, my most favorite experience with food this past week was with a plum. This was no ordinary plum. It saved me from my stomach growling all through ballet class and accompanied me on my way down the elevator to my car. It was so delicious and juicy. The juice was all over my hand when I finished it. The elevator changed the taste of my plum for a second because they must have just mopped it with a potent batch of Pine Sol. I thought about how great it is that another fruit (the lemon) can be used in cleaning products. Then I thought about how I was running very late for ballet class and my instructor would be extremely upset if I was late. Nonetheless through all this I enjoyed the plum the most.
Things I would like to change:
- I would like to plan my meals more often so I have food to eat even when on-the-go.
- I’d like to start eating more vegetables.
- try to stop drinking so much coffee
- eat a more substantial breakfast and lunch while eating a smaller dinner.
If asked to do this LAST week I would have been proud to announce I cooked every meal I ate. I LOVE Pinterest and I get great recipe ideas.
Here is what I tried last week:
H O N E Y S R I R A C H A C H I C K E N
If you’d like to try and make it yourself here is the recipe I used! Enjoy!
Readings and Viewings:
1. Murphy M.J., Mermelstein L.C., Edwards K.M., Gidycz CA. The benefits of dis-positional mindfulness in physical health: a longitudinal study of female college students. J Am Coll Health. 2012;60(5):341-8.
2. Buettner D. How to live to be 100. TEDTalk.