Learning Environments

In the article “Towards a Positive University”, many studies were conducted to see how the professors could increase a students well- being as well as how professors can keep their students engaged. I couldn’t have agreed more for everything that the article suggested the professors to do such as encouraging social group projects or engaging lectures. As a student myself, the way I participate and how hard I work in a class is all up to my professor. For example, I have an amazing professor for my UNIV class which is at nine in the morning. I am not a morning person but I have not missed one class this whole semester of hers. She always makes sure to have fun lessons and is always clear about what she expects out of her students. I currently have an A in her class. On the other side, my professor for Anthropology presents slide shows every lecture and reads right off of the slide. I have missed many of his classes and find it hard to find the energy to complete the assignments. Professors need to realize that we are college students, so in order to come to class at all, we need to be engaged.

In our last reading as well as this one, it mentioned how social connections in class and with a students professor can increase well-being. I strongly believe this is because of the weak ties that are formed during class. Well-being can easily increase the students ability to learn and give them motivation to complete work for the class.

I know with going to such a big university with so many students, it helps me when a professor acts if he or she knows me personally. I know this can be hard with over a hundred students in the classroom, but it can be done.

What do you guys think?

Social Interactions and Well-Being

Before reading this article, I had no idea how much a simple conversation with a partner in class could do for a person. The article states that weak- ties such as relationships involving less frequent contact, low emotional intensity, and limited intimacy lead to a higher level of happiness and well-being. While reading I did slowly begin to understand when I’m personally having a bad day and a classmate begins a conversation or even just asks me how my day is going, it definitely can turn my day around. I feel as if low- tied relationships can cause happiness because it is a reminder to self that other people (other then loved ones) actually do care. I feel as if this would be a very important article for all professors to read in order to make sure their students are socially engaged with each other. If professors create more group projects and work with social interaction, I think that even students grades could greatly increase.

On the other side,  I was curious as to why strong ties with a person don’t have the same effects? What do you guys think?

Should I forgive?

Forgive and forget? That’s is what the article “Efficacy of Psychotherapeutic Interventions to Promote Forgiveness: A Meta-Analysis” likes to express. Before reading this article, I thought of forgiveness as just moving on from a situation instead of keeping a grudge or staying mad. I was impressed after reading, finding out that researchers define forgiveness as much more. Researchers look at it with a positive psychotherapy perspective, which helps develop strengths around forgiveness instead of just forgetting about the problem. I feel as if this is a very good way to help individuals learn how to forgive and actually mean it.

One thing I felt the article left out was, what if the individual was abused, neglected, or raped? Should they forgive and move on from that situation? In my personal opinion, I don’t think that researchers should be leading their clients to believe that crisis’s like that are acceptable. I strongly believe that not every situation we go through in life should be forgiven, but remembered so that prevention from it happening again can take place.

What do you guys think? Any comments?

Character Strengths

While skimming this article over before reading the whole thing, I already knew exactly what the 24 core character strengths were. Last semester, I took a positive psychology course at my local community college. During this class, we took almost a week examining these 24 character strengths and even took the survey to see what ours personally were.   It was interesting to see the result of my own after taking all week to study others.  This survey asked so many questions regarding ones views in life and the results were very accurate for me. After reading this article, I did learn some new information about how the results differ in adults versus college students. I found it interesting that adults resulted in having more character traits such as fairness and gratitude while college students showed more love and humor. I believe that these results do make sense though because of the differences in age and experiences in life during the time of being a college student and adult. I would love to take the survey again to see if any of my core strengths have changed. If anyone has time to do it, I would recommend it! I learned so much about myself through this survey.

Substance Use

With each of us being college students, we have all been through the adolescence stage of life. Everyone knows that this is always one of the most awkward phases of life with all of the changes that an individual is going through. The article defines adolescences as “a period characterized by significant changes in social and cognitive functioning, a shift from parental supervision and behavioral management to independent decision making and self governed behavior, and an increase in autonomous peer interactions and exploratory behavior.” During adolescences the brain is undergoing many different changes that need to be boosted with positive emotions and experiences. When an adolescence will try drugs during this change, it can effect the individual drastically.  Since I’ve been though this stage before, I have seen many people my age who will try drugs only once and become an addict within months, even people I would have never thought. Many people like to think that trying a drug once or twice would never harm them, but quickly will find themselves giving excuses to use once more. I found it interesting that the article broke up drug addition into three different stages; experimentation with drugs, transition to regular or heavy use, and compulsive or unconditional use. This transition of course would be different for everyone but I find it very accurate. Even though substance abuse is overall a tragic thing that individuals go through, this article helped me realize how bad it is to abuse at a younger age.

What do you guys think about this? Do you agree?

Analyzing Relationships

In the article “Interdisciplinary Research on close Relationships” the author explains how successful adult romantic relationships reply on the individual’s relationships with peers and parents in the past. I enjoyed reading this article and felt as if I was able to easily relate to it. I understand that for example if a partner cheats on their girlfriend or boyfriend, then trust can be hard to gain within the next relationship in the future. Once being cheated on, one might automatically assume that cheating will occur in every relationship. Other factors such as physical or mental abuse, intimacy, or communication could also be something that could greatly change future relationships.

Before reading this article, I never knew that romantic relationships could even be effected with how an individual was parented as a child. I see how this makes sense now because if one has a secure relationship with his or her parents then having a secure romantic relationship would most likely come easier.

What do you guys think? Any comments?

Contemplating Mindfulness

I found this article very interesting. Before this reading, I never understood how many aspects went into being mindful as well as how much being mindful affects us in the workplace. When I think of the word ‘mindful’ I think something along the lines of just being respectful or aware of a situation. The definition of mindfulness is having present-centered attention and awareness. The article made it a point to point out that attention and awareness were two key words within mindfulness. In figure one, labeled Integrate Framework relating Mindfulness to Workplace Outcomes, shows how much paying attention and being aware can really do for an individual. I find it interesting how being mindful can lead to better performance, well being, and relationships in the workplace. I also feel as if a chart should be made for being mindful in college. I’m curious to see how being mindful could help a student get better grades and make friends. I know that personally I find it hard to always stay aware because of lack of sleep but I know being more mindful in class could help me succeed better.

 

Broaden-and-Build Theory of Positive Emotions

Before reading this article, I was unaware of how positive emotions play a huge role in an individuals life. Of course, I knew it was important for an individual to be positive but did not know the long lasting effects that it has on a person. Broaden- and- Build Theory explained how even one simple positive emotion such as ‘joy’ can be linked with several different traits such as aimless activation, interest with attending, and contentment with inactivity. Many other important traits come to an individual with positive emotions throughout life such as growth as a person and social connections as well.

Having positive emotions is easier for some than others. The article mentioned some ways to be able to improve positive emotions such as exercise and putting one’s self through positive experiences. I feel as if eating healthy and getting the appropriate amount of sleep could also help. Now that I learned this, I feel as if I should focus on my positive emotions more and recognize what I need to work on.

Any thoughts? What could be some other things a person could do to be able to have positive emotions? Are negative emotions okay here and there?

Exercise and Sleep

Coming into college as a a freshman is a lot to balance on its own. Not only do college students have to balance classes but also have to balance making friends, having a job, exercising, eating healthy, and getting the right amount of sleep. Completing all of these tasks are almost impossible. In my perspective, I would rather get good grades and make money for my bills then get sleep. I know that getting sleep and exercising are very important for my mental health. I struggle from stress and anxiety from school so I know that sleep or exercise could greatly help.

I know that I need to balance my time better in order to be able to sleep and exercise more. As of right now, I honestly do not have time. Being a college student is not easy and I know many of us struggle with time management.

What do you guys think?

Depression is no joke

Depression is not a joke or something to take lightly. This article has opened my eyes on how many people actually suffer from this mental disorder. Before reading this article, I always thought that if the person never sought help to become better, than it was his or her fault. I realize now that I was 100% wrong. Now that I have read I understand that the mind set of one with depression is completely opposite of one that is flourishing. One with depression I’m sure doesn’t think right away, “I should go get help” but probably is in the mindset of never getting better. I also found it interesting an individual can receive  transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) therapy. Like I have said in other posts, I like when individuals try to be treated without the use of medicine. I feel as if TMS is a type of therapy that is trying to do that. It’s fascinating what kind of technology is coming out today and I’m sure in ten years all new types of therapies will be discovered.

I feel as if once the technology increases, these statistics of depression will slowly become better throughout different generations.

What do you guys think?

What can positive psychology do for us?

Positive Psychology, an article written by Seligman and Csikszentmihalyi, explains new ways that psychologist view mental and physical health. The goal of positive psychology was to change the focus on psychology from repairing the worst things in life to being positive and building on positive qualities. I like the use of positive psychology because it reduces the use of medicine. I am a strong believer that a person is able to exercise, eat healthy, and find ways to cure mental and physical conditions on their own. Medicine is not only expensive but can be very harmful to the body overtime. Now that positive psychology is becoming more known, many studies are done with human strengths and virtues. I found it interesting that patients with life long diseases such as AIDS, can be helped in ways of surviving longer or showing symptoms later in life just by being optimistic. It is crazy how powerful the human mind is just by staying positive.

I want to know what other diseases have been improved with theories based around positive psychology.

Last year in my community college, I took the course “Positive Psychology.” It was an amazing class and by the end I feel as if I changed as a person. I felt as if that class really taught me that life is what you make it.  The simplest things a person could change in their everyday habits can make huge differences.

 

DO GENETIC INFLUENCES REALLY DISTURB ADOLESCENCE BEHAVIOR?

In the article “Genetic influences on adolescence behavior” it was explained to the audience that influences on alcohol and certain behaviors were cause by different genes that an individual was born with. Before this reading, I truly believed that involvement with alcohol was solely based around social influences. In my opinion, social influences such as peer pressure from friends are what causes adolescences to drink all together. Life is all about choices and consequences. During the time period of an adolescence’s life, they are going through many changes emotionally and physically. These changes cause these individuals to try their best to conform to social norms and fit in with the “cool crowd”. Even if the mother or father is an alcoholic within the family,  that child has a choice to either follow their foot steps or break the habit by not involving themselves with alcohol. For example, I know a young girl going through adolescences that has an alcoholic mother.  She happens to be in all gifted and talented classes and spends her free time reading. To her, watching her alcoholic mother encourages her to do better things with her life and succeed instead of wanting to drink herself. This young girl has not let one person peer pressure her into thinking that under aged drinking is okay. By knowing this young girl, it really changes my perspective on thinking that genes can cause influences on drinking alcohol at a younger age because nothing was passed down from her mother. Of course, that is 100% my opinion and there is true statistic I can provide to back that up so I still will keep the statistics that Dick provided us in the back of my head.

What do you guys think? Does anyone agree? What exact genes can actually pass through a family causing adolescences to drink?