Term Paper: Stress Management the Stress Emotions

Pages: 6 (2371 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Psychology  ·  Buy This Paper

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[. . .] For instance, identify why I am feeling stressed (what, why, and appraise it). By reappraising I need to explain the event from a different perspective(s). I believe that this is really important for me. I tend to react to my perception of how I feel which I should accept, but just because something initially results in distress or discomfort does not mean that I should let it own me. When I found out my grandmother had congestive heart failure I was rightfully distressed, but why let that feeling rule me? The important thing was to be with her, make her feel better, and spend time with her. Once I explain the event for different perspectives I think it is ok to integrate those perspectives to give me the big picture. I need to take responsibility for my thoughts and actions and not assign cause to events that I cannot control. I also need to accept the fact that life throws curveballs at all of us and some of these will make me distressed. When I can accept these facts of life I can better understand my tendencies and better understand how to deal with my reactions and limit the subjective damage I inflict on myself. Once I go through these steps (perhaps using a journal or in my head when I cannot write things down) and implement changes I need to evaluate my approach.

At the end of the chapter it discusses using relaxation. I think this can be a helpful addition to managing stress because one cannot feel relaxed and anxious at the same time. Implementing a relaxation technique may help this process.

Chapter 18: Meditation

Seaward (2006) discusses meditation quite thoroughly here. Mediation has been observed to result in a lowering of stress and is associated with heal benefits such as better cardiac functioning, less ulcers, positive effects on ADD, and so forth. The path to stress reduction in medication differs from our traditional Western way of thinking. In the West we tend to follow the notion that peace and tranquility come from acquiring things, status, and other external forms of validation, whereas in the East tranquility is believed to be a result of an internal focus and more of a whittling away of complexity. Self-reflection and inner contemplation are viewed as important for enlightenment, while in the West self-validation is the focus. Mediation has been around in many forms and the chapter discusses these.

In general there are two categories of meditation: exclusive mediation where one focuses on one particular thing in order to clear the mind and inclusive meditation where thoughts are let come in and out of consciousness and the meditator does not attachment evaluations or emotions to them. I think in terms of relaxation an exclusive form of mediation might be more suitable for me given my tendency to ruminate on thoughts and feelings. I especially like the section on the Relaxation Response where one goes to a quiet place, get comfortable, uses some form of mental device to block out distractions, and takes a passive attitude. This just struck me as quite relaxing and reading this I could feel the stress melt away. However, I can also see where inclusive mutation might free one from certain thoughts, but it seems more like daydreaming than stress reduction to me.

I found the section of split brain and altered states interesting, but I also found myself disagreeing with the premise that altered-brain states represent right brain functioning. My reasoning here is that the brain is a whole organ that has specialized parts that can complete specialized functions. If an altered-state represents the expression of only one half, then it is certainly altered, but it is no better than relying on only left-brain functions. I would think that altered states and the moving towards higher consciousness would require integrating the brain's full potential; that is integrating the left and right brain functions. Moreover, Seaward sates that either hemisphere can take over the functions of the other or the whole brain in cases of brain damage like a stroke. I see this as indicating that all these functions are important and that neither set of functions alone represents some form of higher consciousness. It is like some of the earlier material discussed in this paper. When you concentrate on cognitive distortions instead of looking at the big picture you need to focus away from the negative or subjective aspects, which still may have some truth associated with them, and focus on other perspectives in order to integrate the overall picture. Likewise, in order to use your full brain potential and elevate consciousness one must restrict exclusive usage of one section to integrate the other section in order to function full. That is just my take on that section.

The most useful part of the chapter in my opinion was the steps to initiate meditation. The body flame technique, which I want to incorporate into my own stress reduction program on a daily basis.

References

Frankl, V. (2006). Man's search for meaning. Boston: Washington Square Press.

Seaward, B.L. (2006). Managing stress: Principles and strategies for health and well-being

(5th ed.). Mississauga,… [END OF PREVIEW]

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