Positive University

Prior to this class I always thought that positive and encouranging learning institutions and cultures are very important. Being in this class has only solidified that and this article backs it up as well. I agree to the fullest extent that students do their best when they are positive and have a good sense of their own well-being and strive for it. The article talks about how they’re are more universities that need to start offering education classes about such things and enacting different programs and opportunities for students to be a part of a positive learning community, as well as engaging in positive social actions.

I really liked the chart on page 4 that listed lots of different well being activities in the five key areas (classroom, social, local community, faculty/administration, and residential). These five key areas are very important to the development of college students who are entering into the real world for the first time most likely. I liked reading all the activities and why they would work and what they would work on. One of my favorite articles so far.

 

Social Interactions

Research and tests like this article about social interactions and relationships have always intrigued me. I think it’s cool how people interact with each other and how it can affect so much about you.

I did not know that weak ties were so important to your well being just as strong ties are for such things as new opportunities. That does seem to ring true when thinking about it though. As well as that I thought it was cool to see something I already know such as research has shown that more interactions you have with society the happier you will be usually. Do you guys think that weak ties are as important as the strong ones in your life?

Forgiveness

After reading the title I thought I had already learned much of what it means to forgive someone and how you should forgive and forget. However, reading this article really speaks to just how important it is to really practice that and to actually forgive.  The program that the professors developed REACH also stood out to me.

This program of Reflecting empathizing, altruistic, commitment, and hold is something we should all try and practice. I know forgiveness can be very hard sometimes but it is a path to an easier, and more content life.

Character Strengths

This was a great positive article that really intrigued me. I found it interesting the different results they got from the internet study and the college study in Colorado. It’s cool to see how college aged kids like myself think and what their character strengths and values usually revolve around compared to other ages. I agree with the article that it is important to know your character strengths and to work on having a good character and focusing on your strengths instead of just your weaknesses.

Substance abuse risk

I found this article to be very interesting especially figure 2 and all of the different possible routes one can take to becoming a “substance abuser”. I knew before that a lot of traits to do with abuse have to do with inherited traits but the most interesting thing I learned was about the dopamine in relation to abuse. I found it kinda crazy that even thinking about the drug, in the leading up process your brain will release dopamine.

Relationships 10/16

I really enjoyed this article, it opens us up to thinking about how relationships with people throughout our life, whether romantic or not help shape future ones. I kind of knew a lot about this because of a lot of reading and therapy I have gone too and it supports the fact that relationships with people and our behaviors towards them matter a lot more than you might initially think. Especially when it comes to our early childhood experiences like the article says, I agree that they can be a basis for how we act and how we feel later in life in regards to ourselves and other people. However I do believe no matter what has happened in the past you can be different and you can learn ways to fix any problems that past relationships have caused.

Mindfulness

I have never really understood the concept of mindfulness to be completely honest except for just being aware of the moment and things happening. This article did help me learn about how studies show it can be good to be mindful and I think I am to an extent when it comes to being aware and attentive of the things going on around you and its important to make sure you keep your emotions in check and be aware of how you are coming off. Overall interesting article but not one of my favorites, what are your thoughts about the article?

 

Positive Emotions

I found this article very interesting and very helpful to me personally. This is something that I definitely need to work on more and I’m pretty excited that they are finding helpful and hopeful research about these things. It’s also cool in general that temporary feelings can impact further and more permanent moods and states of mind. It’s important to be happy and to smile at all the little things in life, I guess it all adds up in the end.

Depression

This article means a lot to me because I have been struggling with anxiety and depression for a long time now. It’s hard if not harder then what the article describes it as and I have faced scrutiny like the article said with media and people who just don’t get it and sometimes think that you can just get over it. I am very glad that they are researching this much more than they used too and especially trying to figure out some of the factors that lead to this (comparing countries, income inequality, etc.). I do have one argument with the article though as I think that the combination of medicine and “talk therapy” is the best, not either or.

Positive Psychology

“Treatment is not just fixing what is broken; it is nurturing what is best.” This has to be my favorite quote from this article. During my life I have struggled with anxiety and depression and have heard and read many different things. This article was very intriguing and I liked it a lot. The practice of positive psychology: not just focusing on the negatives and the things that bring us down but also focusing on what makes us good people and our strengths. I can relate to these topics so well because of how I am. The first story about Nikki and the author as well as the mentality relations to AIDS victims spoke to me very much. Even when you feel bad or are a “grouch” as Nikki said in the article, sometimes its all about the mind set that you setup for yourself. YOU have to be positive and you have to think happy thoughts or else its gonna be so hard to be happy and to get to where you want to be. Although you can’t ignore the problems and illnesses obviously, positive psychology seems to be a very good practice and one that could help many people.

Genetic and Environmental Influences

It is pretty amazing at how much can be passed down to us from our parents that aren’t just physical characteristics but mental and behavioral. I can personally relate to this because anxiety has been passed down through some of my family the past five generations, Although I think that it’s a combination of both Genes and the Environment we put ourselves in or are inevitably surrounded by both play an important role in how we are shaped during adolescence.  One thing that I think should’ve been mentioned more in the article and I’m curious to hear some of my peers thoughts on it is the inclusion of social media and how much more broadened our “environment” is through technology and the internet and how many more things have an affect on us. I did however find the two graphs in the articles about the twins to be very interesting in how the older you get during adolesence will most likely occur in losing genetic influence and gaining environmental influence but it does make some sense if you think about it because the older you get the more you start to reach out into the world, as well as this I am a firm believer in that the way parents act as examples and teach their kids has a much more profound effect than a lot of people think. What do you guys think about parents and how the environment they set for their kids such as exposure to alcohol and other things that shape our views and decisions?