Positive University

I liked this weeks article because it explains the benefits of good mental health and how it correlates with how we do in school. I can personally say when I’m in a bad mood i don’t tend to focus on my work as much. I think everyone can benefit from being positive because you just feel more connected with the world and i can see how this could lead to higher productivity. I think that incorporating some type of positive activity throughout the day would definitely help students lower their stress levels. I think this class actually helped me because it gave me a techniques i could use to overcome negative feelings.

Weak Ties

This weeks reading really made me think about my daily interactions i have with people. I never thought that having more small interactions would make me feel happier, but i guess it makes sense that the more people we interact with the greater the sense of belonging. I think that we grow closer to the world when we get to know more people, because you feel more connected with your environment and the people around you. Having a close group of friends that you connect with will definitely make you feel happier, but interacting with people out of my circle definitely makes me feel better because i feel as though i’m making more connections.

Forgiveness

I liked this weeks reading because back in middle school i suffered with anger problems and i had to learn how to forgive people. Still to this day i use techniques that i learned from my guidance counselor to help keep cool and not have an outburst of anger. I think we all could benefit from the art of forgiveness because it teaches us not to stress over the little things and makes you more understanding of people. I liked how they described forgiveness as not just the act of letting something go and moving on but actually trying to be more positive towards the person you are forgiving. It makes sense that people who forgive more have less stress and anxiety because you are letting go of the anger that you try and bottle up and actually dealing with a situation and learning from it.

Character Strengths

This weeks reading was an eye opener. I don’t think people focus on their character strengths that much so it was kind of surprising to see the results of the experiment. The most shocking thing i took from the reading was that college students had “love of learning” so low on their list of strengths. Even though the experiment isn’t speaking for the whole population it still makes me think that we don’t value our education enough. Also the difference between women’s and men’s character strengths was very big and the i can see how it played into stereotypes, because growing up as a male i was always pushed to “act like a man”. I personally feel as though everyone cannot be generalized people are all different and all vary in character strengths. The way you were raised and your family have a big influence on the strengths you portray the most.

Addiction

Before reading this weeks article i had a well established understanding of addiction and why it happens. This article just went into the science of it and i liked it. I assume that its generally known that addiction can happen in numerous ways from genetics to peer pressure. Also we know that using alcohol or illegal drugs early on in life can increase your risk of getting addicted. I myself have already been through this stage of my life because i started using  using alcohol at a very young age. Looking back now after i got sober i started to realize that i actually had an addiction and its weird to see how your personality changes after. When i was using alcohol i was never in control of my emotions and i always made impulsive decisions. Addiction is not a game and i am glad this weeks article points out the severity that comes along with it.

Relationships

I really enjoyed this weeks article because i am very familiar with the topic. I already knew that peoples past relationships had an effect on their future ones. I have experienced this first hand, in high school after i got out of my first serious relationship it kind of set a baseline for how i wanted all my other relationships to be like. I like how in the article it says you can always learn from a negative relationship and turn that into something better in the future. I also like how the article broke down the science behind relationships. Coming from a single parent household i always had this since of independence and now i see why.

Mindfulness

I liked this article because i feel that in today’s society a majority of people aren’t mindful. There are numerous reasons why mindfulness is important but i think the one that stood out to me the most in this article was that you could be more efficient. When i wake up i have my day planned out in my head and half of the time it doesn’t go as planned. The article brings up some shocking information about how we spend about half of he day wandering in our minds. I think that might be the reason my days never go as planned. If i was more present in the moment rather than focusing on what i need to get done next i would be way more efficient in getting my work done. Only after reading this article did i realize that, but when i actually stop and think about something instead of making impulsive decisions it ends up going way smoother. I think i myself could benefit from being mindful because it would cause me to analyze a situation a little bit better than normally.

Positive Emotions

I’ve always considered myself a positive person and i feel that it has benefited me my whole life. This weeks reading reinforces that feeling because it gives supporting details about the benefits of positive thinking. I was always told that being negative and having a negative outlook on things leads to misfortune. I knew that when you think negatively then you are setting yourself up for failure because you start to psych yourself out. The reading said that when you start to look at things from a positive perspective that things become more clear and those negative affects can all be undone by positive thinking. I thought that was extremely important because its very true when you start to actually believe that you can do better or that you can achieve something it ends up happenings. I am a strong believer that you can do anything you put your mind to and this article couldn’t have proved that point any better.

Academic Performace

Before reading this article i knew that having a high GPA was associated with good study habits. After reading this article i now have a better understanding of what goes into having a successful academic career. The main thing is sleep, as stated in the article the amount of sleep you get is one of the main determinants on how high your GPA is. Other factors like exercise and eating breakfast play a small roll too, but sleep is the major determining factor for your GPA. I know this is true because my freshman year i never slept for more than five hours a night and my GPA wasn’t where i wanted it to be. Now that i actually get sufficient sleep my study habits along with my academic performance have improved. I see sleep as charging your phone, your body needs to recharge just like your phone does. When you don’t get enough sleep is like when you charge your phone to fifty percent then disconnect it. In order for you to perform at the highest possible level you need to be fully charged and ready.

Depression

Before reading this article i knew a little bit about depression. I just had this picture in my head of someone really sad not suicidal though. I don’t really like to relate the two because i feel someone can be depressed but they don’t always have to be suicidal. I feel like when people think of depression they always jump to suicide, but thats only for severe cases. I was a little shocked to find out that people with mild cases of depression were getting treated more, but it kind of makes sense i mean if you’re feeling down you really don’t want to go seek help. I think that depression can be treated better if we used some of the techniques that positive psychology brings to the table.

Positive Psychology

Before reading this this weeks article all i had little information about positive psychology. When i think of positive psychology i think about being happy and that is just the beginning of it. This article made me realize that being positive is very powerful. Having a positive outlook on life and being happy can really be a game changer when going through some of the worst times. I know its hard sometimes to just be happy, but i feel the more good vibes you put into the world the more you get out of it. I actually took a psychology class here at VCU and the article described it perfectly. The class did focus on more negatives like mental illness and had little information about what positive could do for your life. I think that psychology should shift more focus on using resources to find out how to help keep people happy. When people are happier they focus less on problems and flourish more in life. Honestly this article motivated me to be happy. It showed me all the advantages that a happier person has in life.

 

 

Week 3: Genetic Influences on Adolescent Behavior

Before reading this weeks article i had a little bit of knowledge about genetic influences on behavior. I just knew the basics like how you get all these different characteristics from your mother and father. I also knew that bad characteristics like alcohol abuse and drug abuse could run in your family. I didn’t really understand the environment portion until i read this article though. I myself started drinking at an early age and getting into trouble soon after. I soon realized that the two had a direct correlation with each other. I started to realize that alcohol had an effect on who i associated myself with as well as where i was and what i was doing. When your under the influence your judgment is impaired and you really have no clue what is going on or why you make the decisions you make. Being sober for almost a year now i realize why i made some of the choices i did and it was because alcohol was guiding my judgment all those years.

I think studying genetic influences in the adolescent phase of life is perfect because this is one of the most influential points of your life. The brain is changing and its true that during this time in your life you take more risk. I took many risk in high school that i look back on now and say maybe it wasn’t the most intelligent decision of my life.

 

Blog Post 1

Before reading this article i had little knowledge about  mental health, i just always had a negative view about it because usually when i think of mental health i’m thinking of depression and anxiety. I viewed mental health as not being in an insane asylum, and being able to function normally. The article hit some good points about how we need to adapt to this new understanding of mental health. Times have changed and honestly i don’t think everyone who isn’t getting treated for disorder is mentally healthy. Obviously we cant all be mentally stable, but we can’t really declare someone mentally unstable just because they don’t cope with stress the way another person can or they aren’t as productive as there peers. I think that the world still has a great amount of research to do before we can claim we have the cure to mental diseases.  After reading the article i have come to  conclusion that mental health cant just be based off one group of people because everyone gets through life differently, but the more we do to help people and try and understand the disorders the better off we will  be with actually eliminating them.

I myself have dealt with anxiety but i never really viewed it as a problem because it was just normal to me. I’ve had friends deal with depression to and i have helped them get through it but i don’t think i have dealt with a serious mental health issue before. Honestly before reading this article i had little knowledge about mental health but it opened up my mind a little bit to how serious it can be. I was also very surprised at how much money the government spends on trying to promote mental health.

 

Questions:

Why aren’t we doing more to understand people with poor mental health rather than just giving them medicine and hoping it works?