The Journal of Positive Psychology

This weeks article from The Journal of Positive Psychology really emphasized the importance of your environment when it comes to education. Before reading this article, i was already aware of the importance of having a positive work space in efforts to enhance a good work ethic and enhance creativity. I must say that being a college student is extremely hard as I’m sure many of my fellow classmates agree. I feel like i am under pressure trying to balance my work schedule , family life , and academics. But, i think the worst part of the college experience is that life simply does not stop. Last semester i lost a loved one very close to me and i really felt like my world was just caving in on me. No matter what i was going through it didn’t matter to professors because at the end of the day some could care less if i passed or failed their class. I was still forced to go through my grieving process at the same time i had final exams. I’m not sure if its possible but i really feel like universities should really be more considerate of tragic events in a students life if we really want to take those steps to form a more positive college environment. I feel like no student should have to go through that type of emotional stress because from experience it’s truly unhealthy. I really liked the article because i truly feel like a persons well being is really overlooked in our generation, i really like that we are taking more serious strides to help improve people’s well being.

 

Questions for classmates:

Do you guys agree on the fact that colleges should be more understanding when it comes to students personal lives if encountered with an unexpected life event?

Do you guys have any other suggestions outside of the article to improve positivity at a college/ university?

 

The Surprising Power of Weak Ties

Before reading this article, i felt connected by just reading the title “Social Interactions and Well-Being: The Surprising Power of Weak Ties. ” I wouldn’t consider myself a very social person and i also wouldn’t label myself as anti- social.  I found this concept to be very relatable and very shocking because i never knew the beneficial impact of weak ties. But, when i reflected i thought about how just a small positive interaction heightens my mood at that specific moment,i could automatically relate. For example, when I’m walking to class and i see a familiar face, my day simply gets better after partaking  in a little small talk. When i personally get out and make these interactions i feel like i am making an effort towards becoming more social. This article has definitely made me realize how much i under estimated the value of small social interactions. I really like how study 1  was done specifically on students because i thought that was a very accurate setting and population when dealing with social interactions. College students have a wide range of social interactions both weak and exclusive ones. The article specifically says  “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.” I completely agree with this statement because weak ties do not involve much energy and expectations, which leads to less disappointment as well.  They are just random interactions that make your day simply better. I really like this article, it has really inspired me to value small interactions much more than i currently do.

I have some questions in regards to the article for you guys: How did you guys feel about the article? Do you think they have that much of an impact on you personally? In addition, What is the last small interaction you can recall? How did it make you feel?

Forgiveness

Before reading this article i just analyzed the title “Efficacy of Psychotherapeutic Interventions to Promote Forgiveness.” I knew it was going to be an interesting read just by the key word forgiveness. I found the topic interesting simply because i can relate to it.  To this day i struggle greatly with forgiveness. But, after reading this article it is evident that holding grudges does nothing but really hurt the person that is holding it. The concept of mindfulness was captured in this article, working up the effort to finally forgive someone benefits your mental state in more ways than one. Personally, i believe forgiveness is finally letting go of something that hindered you in the past. Just recently i decided to forgive someone from my past that decided to tamper with our trust. Forgiving doesn’t alway necessarily involve going up to the person yourself and expressing that you forgive them, but it is really about mentally making that decision. Ever since i chose to forgive that person, my mind has been a lot more clear and my mind is filled with less distractions. I truly agree with this article and believe that forgiveness can change ones life for the better because i just recently went through it seeing significant changes. Im glad that i was able to fight through some of my stubborn tendencies so that i can have a brighter future.

I have a couple of questions for my classmates in regards to the article:

  • Do you guys think it takes more energy to hold a grudge or to forgive?
  • Would any of you guys put a limit on forgiveness?
  • What did you guys think about this week’s reading?

Feel free to leave any comments or questions of your own!

 

College Character Strengths 10/30

Before reading this article, I had a good idea of the diverse set of personalities and characters that are represented in the college life daily. In my perspective, the article has offered the importance of recognizing those personal character strengths and maximizing from them in all areas of life. It was very interesting to get to analyze the findings from the Rank order and Normative data of character amongst college students.  Being able to classify with many of the character strengths such  as curiosity, social, and honesty leads me to wonder what the character weaknesses are amongst college student. I believe that if a similar study is done but pertaining to the weaknesses it could benefit the college population in more ways than another. This study can lead to the reduction of some of those identified weakness and can potentially cause  improvement for the students.

I didn’t find some of the finding surprising when the authors pointed out some of the differences  between people in a relationship and who are not. I feel like it would be more likely for someone in a relationship to have higher scores in the characteristics of love and hope mainly because that is what they are currently experiencing. For example, People who aren’t in  a relationship probably lack in the characteristic of hope or love because of bad break ups or other past incidents. I thought this article was a very interesting read due to the fact that it include all of the correlations when it comes to age, height,  and gender within the studies.

What do you guys think? Did you already expect people not involved in a relationship to have lower scores?  In addition, Would any of you guys be interested in seeing a research done on college character weaknesses? As a college student i think it would be interested to see what other college students go through also. What strengths did you see that you guys could identify with?

Week 9 – RELATIONSHIPS

Before reading this Article, I personally have always chose to be with a person also taking into consideration of what my parents might think. As many of you probably do, you find yourself making sure your bf/gf are suitable enough to meet your parents based off of mannerisms or just there daily life style. I really agree with this article about the fact that your parents  are key people in your life when it comes to you forming relationships with other people. Personally, I am very close with my mother so she is always the first one to know about my dating situations and it means a lot to me when my parents like my significant other.

If fortunate enough, your parents are the ones who are supposed to show you the example of a healthy relationship. I know what a healthy and stable relationship looks like therefore i am less susceptible to allowing myself to be manipulated or find myself in a toxic relationship due to how i was raised and what i grew up watching. I’m not saying that people that with great early experiences don’t ever end up in bad relationships because trust me, I’ve had my fair share but i know whats right and wrong. I really liked this article because it really expanded my thoughts on the subject of relationships and its regard to past stages of life. I loved how the authors included the cross- diagram showing the many stages including toddler, middle childhood, and early adolescence. It gave me a better understanding of how they linked between the different behaviors and attachment qualities.

In regards to past experiences, How can a person with a more difficult past in relationships improve for the future? In addition are people with bad past experiences more inclined to have failing future romantic relationships? Also What is a more successful strategy of measurment, the AA1 coherence scoring or secure vs. insecure? In the article they are used to correlate a lot of information and i want to know which is a more accurate strategy.

 

Mindfulness at work

Before reading this Article, I analyzed the word mindfulness. When i first think of someone being mindful i think it relates to the aspect of being aware and assured.  After reading the Article, i now know that there is a lot more that goes into mindfulness.  I love how this article went into depth when explaining about all the scenarios you can be faced with when in the work place. They specifically focused on 3 work place outcome areas pertaining to performance, well- being and  your interpersonal relationships with others. I never knew how detailed and oriented  the aspect of mindfulness could be, affecting cognition, emotions, and behavior. In addition, I really love how the researchers provided the integrative Framework relating mindfulness to work outcomes. That gave me a better understanding when i was able to see it mapped out visually being able to connect all the links.

Being College students, mindfulness is a very key component throughout our day to day lives. Personally,  i am a very forgetful person having to remind myself on the important tasks that i have to complete or take on throughout the week. When the authors mentioned how meditation is a great way to improve mindfulness it really hit me that i should partake in more calming and soothing activities such as yoga or just simply following with our class meditations. I like how we were told to put our phones away during this week’s class because that alone contributed to being more mindful and aware given the fact that our phones can cause us to wander in thought or simply distract us.

Are people struggling with depression or other mental illnesses inclined to have lower levels of mindfulness?  Is mindfulness something you can always measure?  What are some other healthy ways to increase mindfulness besides meditation and other activities discussed in the article?

 

Fredrickson, Role of Positive Emotions

The Article really made me have a completely new perspective. I should not let negative thoughts hinder in my mind for too long because it brings me down as a person. Ever since i recently lost a loved one i realized that life is too short to live in negative thoughts. I now don’t let obstacles get the best of me and i feel like I’m flourishing as a young women and I’m feeling very confident. Fredrickson has really motivated me to continue to surround myself with good vibes and positive supporting people on good paths as well. Positive thoughts will allow growth and sustainability. The broaden-and-build theory connects to the fact that positive growth really allows you to flourish in all areas from physical to intellectual well being. After reading this article, I really believe that Positive thoughts will get you far as a person in regards to career, social life, and self confidence. Fredrickson really educated me on this theory and it was a great read.

 

Academics

After reading this article, i now have a whole new  outlook when it comes to my sleeping habits and academics. I personally have a very unhealthy sleeping schedule. I find myself being very sluggish and tired during my classes so i am definitely a living example of the unhealthy habits spoken about in the article.  This article has definitely motivated to improve my sleeping hours.

Eating habits, sleeping, and GPA are all very much related but i like how the author particularly spoke about GPA and its correlation  to Spiritual Health. Personally, I feel like spiritual health is very important when maintaining academics because it allows you to escape for a moment. Spiritual health involves gathering your thoughts and i am a true believer in the statement “faith makes it possible.”For example,  I stress out a lot about academics and sometimes get overwhelmed. But, when i go to church or speak about my problems, it is so mentally soothing and i really think it helps me get through my academic year.

In regards to the article i have questions about people that have bad sleeping habits but have an inclined GPA? What is the difference? How are they achieving such high results with bad habits.

Depression response

When the word “Depression” comes to my mind i think of a very dark place. I think of the words “overwhelming” and “defeated.” I also think of how especially in 2016, the word is misused on many occasions. For example, I’ll over  hear some of my friends complain saying “I’m depressed” over things that don’t really matter. They will often say it completely blinded by the fact that it is an actual disease and not a temporary emotion like being “happy” or “sad.”

Depression is something that i have seen two family members go through and sadly both are no longer here with me.  One of them, being only 15 who committed suicide. The root cause of this tragedy was from the bullying that went on in her school environment.  I compare depression sometimes to having your soul just taken away from you.  This subject is often hard for me to speak about, but i feel like it needs to be talked about to spread the awareness throughout the world.

I thought it was interesting when the article discusses why  depression has reached epidemic proportions?  I completely agree when the author goes into explaining  how it has to do with the rapidly growing inequality. Any time a person is faced with unfairness or is treated unequal they always have a chance of feeling sub-par or like they are not good enough. He explains how it blocks people from achieving the kind of affluence they have been taught to aspire.

Depression and suicide are often overlooked on so many occasions. As a country i feel like the illness needs to be addressed a lot more nation wide as prevalent as it is. In relation to one of my family members, i feel like this matter should be brought up in high school settings more often as well.  High school and college students have the highest suicidal rates so why not directly target them?

Positive Psychology response

Before reading the article i quickly analyzed the title. When i think of the title “Positive Psychology” i think of mental health in the right state or optimistic thoughts. But after reading this article i have come to a conclusion that positive psychology can also be greatly achieved through surrounding yourself with certain people. For example, When Seligman when into telling the story regarding his 5 year old daughter and how it changed his mindset on parenthood and daily life all together. Personally, I really do thing having kids changes your mindset. It changes your entire responsibility and ethic.

I also love how this article mentions the relation between Realism and happiness. The author questions whether there could ever be both. Although, reality can be a tough situation, are you saying there is no light at the end of the tunnel? The fact that many people are questioning the thought of both just leads me to think that they may be in a very negative state.  He said “Is this world simply too fully of tragedy to allow a wise person to be happy? ”  Although realities like failed relationships, death(mourning), and many others are very heartbreaking i feel like you choose how you handle that situation. Do you let it conquer you or do you conquer it? For example, i recently lost my grandmother 2 months ago. It was a very shocking event as i was very close to her. When it all first happened i felt like my entire world had just turned upside down. Ive been through a lot of things this summer but i can proudly say i did not let this defeat me. I chose positivity and motivation instead.  For example, I use making my grandmother proud in heaven as my number 1 motivation. As you can see, I definitely believe that you can experience realism and happiness at the same time.

Genetics influences on adolescent behavior- Response

Before reading the article i quickly analyzed the title. When i think of genetics word like medical history, race, and inheritance come to my head. When i think of the word adolescent thoughts of youth and development come to mind. This article has opened my eyes to a complete new thought of childhood development and a persons background. This study showed a whole new cross between environmental influences, alcohol use and gender difference.

I believe that childhood is a very vital moment in someones life. Just think about it,  you may still remember what you received for your 12th birthday all the emotions you felt on that day but you can’t remember what you had for breakfast yesterday. Our childhood memories are what shape us into the people we are today. Upbringing being the most component factor of them all. But, When it comes to alcohol usage within teens i do not think that relates to genetics. Alcohol use relates to more of peer pressure and outside environmental factors. I also disagree with the fact that alcohol use is related to genetics. For example, my parents both drink socially and responsibly but i personally do not drink at all. I think that alcohol use is related to mental state and preference.

I have a couple of questions in regards to alcohol use and genetic factors. What long term effects can alcoholism cause on the offspring? Why is binge drinking more dramatic in males then females?  I thought that this article was very eye opening. Although i don’t agree on al components, I definitely see some aspects proven in relation to the twin study.

 

SOH Week 1 Response-Cori Scales

 

Before reading this Article i just focused on the topic “Promoting and Protecting Mental Health as Flourishing.” The key words that stuck out to me were Mental Health. When i think of those 2 words the words of depression, suicide, and unstable come to my mind. I had a good understanding of this topic due to a young family member passing recently due to depression and suicide. After reading this article i can honestly say that i now have a great understanding of Mental health issues in the United States but i also have many raised questions. Why is there a Black advantage in mental health as flourishing(Keyes 3)?  Can it be based off of cultural past, upbringing, and genetics? What are the true racial and gender disparities regarding this topic?

It was also extremely alarming to find out that “Before the age of 55, half of all adults will have experienced at least one serious mental illness; .. one quarter of adults experience a serious mental illness each year.(keyes,7) If this statement has been proven and studied why is this topic still being overlooked? Why is this topic being pushed under the rug in classrooms? Growing up this topic was rarely ever talked about until about high school in one of my health classes. I truly believe that if people were being properly and frequently educated on the topic then America would start seeing less suicide in both the youth and the adults. I also believe there would be less school shootings and attacks in the United States.  In addition, It amazed me that only one fifth of the United States  is considered to be mentally flourishing.  That is a scary percentage to think about especially when the United States population is only increasing.

Finally, this article has led to me to think that the American Mental Health State is diminishing and worrisome. This topic is not very popular when it comes to our society and these different mental health conditions are overlooked on a daily basis due to lack of education on the subject. I hope that articles like this continue to raise awareness and help us move forward in America’s overall mental health state.