Wk 5 Emotions and Stress
This conference asks for you to post two main topics by responding to the below main topics on Positive/Negative Emotions and on Good/Bad Stress. For each main topic, you should write a separate paragraph (at least three sentences) answering the questions at the end of each of these topics. Click on the below main topics to continue–on Positive/Negative Emotions and then on Good/Bad Stress.
First topic–Good Stress and Bad Stress
Stress has been described as our psychological and physical responses to harm or threat. Some are correct when they equate psychological stressors like overcrowding and fear with physical stressors like disease and cold; but is stress always bad? Is it aroused only by a threat? As this video indicates, http://abcnews.go.com/Health/StressOverview/story?… there is both good stress and bad stress. As Hans Selye (who coined the term as it is currently used) noted, without stress, there would be no life. However, just as distress can cause disease, it seems plausible that there are good stresses that promote wellness. Stress is not always necessarily harmful. Winning a race or election can be just stressful as losing, or more so, but may trigger very different biological responses. Increased stress results in increased productivity — up to a point.
Certainly there is plenty of evidence for bad effects of stress. Research has shown that 90% of office visits to the doctor can be attributed to stress related symptoms. Bad stress may exhaust our defenses and kill us. Scientists have been interested in discovering how the emotions that lead to stress can affect our immunity. In this video, Jaime Tartar (from Nova University) tells us about how the brain interprets what is stressful, how it determines our behavioral and physiological response to stressors, and how it can be damaged by stress. . She will discuss how the body’s reaction to acute stress has protective and adaptive effects in the short run while chronic stress can lead to poor health consequences such as decreased memory performance and depression.
Within the last decade, Bruce McEwen at Rockefeller University has identified good stress or eustress. http://www.sciencentral.com/articles/view.php3?language=english&type=&article_id=218392038. Positive stress allows us to perform at higher levels and to face challenges in life. As McEwen has stated when we are challenged, our body system produces mediators, hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, which help to get us going and actually do all sorts of good things that keep us alive. They improve our memory, they enhance our immune system, they get our heart rate going and get our energy mobilized. And these are the chemicals in our body that actually help us to cope with things that happen to us everyday.”
QUESTION: Good and Bad Stress: In this Discussion tell us your reaction to the notion that there is both good stress and bad stress, provide an example of each kind of stress that you have recently experienced and suggest the best ways that you had to manage the stress. To support your examples and fit in more with our course, you might look for a scientific article that supported your example of a good or bad stress and showed how the brain was involved.
Second topic–Positive Emotions and Negative Emotions
The scientific literature on emotions has been, by and large, a literature on negative emotions. Emotions like fear, anger, sadness and disgust have taken center stage in both theory and research whereas emotions like joy, contentment, interest, laughter and love have played only minor roles.
What are the functions of these two different sets of emotions? Negative emotions like fear or anger can create a tunnel vision they are useful for short-term survival when there’s an immediate danger like being chased by a dangerous animal. Negative emotions express an attempt or intention to Exclude. Strengthening one’s own position at the expense of others. Keeping bad stuff away, destroying what is perceived as a threat. Negative emotions are fueled by an underlying fear of the unknown, a fear of the actions of others, and a need to control them or stop them to avoid being harmed. Positive emotions like joy and happiness are for long-term survival and promote big picture thinking, make you more inclusive and notice more details, make you think in terms of ‘us’ instead of ‘them.’ Positive emotions express an attempt or an intention to Include. Taking the whole into consideration. Working on learning more viewpoints, interacting more with others, enjoying making things better. Positive emotions are fueled by an underlying desire for
In recent years there has been more interest in the study of positive emotions. One of the most exciting developments in the area of positive emotions comes from the work of Richard enjoyment and unity. Davidson at the Department of Psychology of the Universityof Wisconsin. Davidson is the acknowledged leader and pioneer in this field today. View this exceedingly interesting video, a talk by Dr. Davidson (Be Happy Like a Monk) sponsored by the WisconsinAcademy. Davidson has met with the DaLai Lama to discuss the scientific aspects of meditation where he has mapped the brains of Buddhist monks to identify areas of the brain that change with meditation.
QUESTION Positive and Negative Emotion: In this discussion, tell us why has research on negative emotions far outpaced that on positive emotions? Is there any biological research on positive emotions that you can cite and discuss? Why have positive emotions been neglected? Could it be because negative emotions cause suffering problems for individuals and for society (anxiety, depression, phobias, etc.). Maybe its because positive emotions are fewer in number (and also rather diffuse)—in fact the English language has fewer words for positive emotions than for negative emotions. After all, the main research institute at NIH that deals with emotions is called the National Institutes of Mental Health, not the National Institute of Mental Disease.