Although Psychology 1001 has caused a lot of stress in my life, learning about the causes and effects of stress has helped my to alleviate it. Knowing why I feel the things I feel helps me to calm myself. This is my first semester of college so as you can imagine it has come with a lot of surprises and ups and downs. I feel a lot of pressure and expectations which causes a lot of stress. I have also developed insomnia this school year and understanding why that is helps me to cope with it and also assists me in finding my own cures to my problems instead of jumping at new prescriptions . I have learned that the more you know about human psychology the better you are at keeping yourself level. I now understand the realities of my emotions and actions better and I think having a sense of control, or even understand what things I cant control, helps me self medicate. It also has helped me to understand that actions of others around me, which calms me. Those are the things that I find relevant to my life now and I think I will also find relevant 5 years from now.
We all have ego's. Maybe not the ego we normally refer to which is the part of us that protects our personal reputation, but the psyches executive and principle decision maker. When a person is in a stressful situation where they feel in danger, our ego functions by contending with these outside-world threats with the use of defense mechanisms. Defense mechanisms are unconscious maneuvers intended to minimize anxiety. I know I use defense mechanisms very often. If I fail a test, or don't do as well as I thought I should, I get super upset but then revert to defense mechanisms by acting like it never even happened (denial). I'm curious as to which defense mechanisms work better than others. In other words, we use defense mechanisms to self-protect from harmful situations, but I've always been taught that not confronting your problems only makes them work. I wonder if excessive use of defense mechanism or overuse of a particular one has many negative side effects?
November 6, 2011. Writing #4
You may think that certain cultures are more emotional than others, and that may be the case, but we are more outwardly different than each other than we are inwardly different. This is because each culture as their own display rules, meaning different guidelines for how and when to express emotions. I see this is my life quite often. I work at a Korean fusion restaurant, so two of my bosses and two more of my co-workers are 100% Korean. When I first started working there and they would tell me things I was doing wrong, the words they used were usually stern, but by looking at them they would have just as easily been talking about the weather. When they would crack a joke they wouldn't change their expression until they finally understood that I didn't get the joke. There display rules that they've learned are very different than mine. Because of this it's very easy to misinterpret how people of a very different culture are feeling or trying to tell you. I'd like to learn more about how this effects internal emotions. Does suppressing facial expression also suppress emotions?
A phobia is an extreme or irrational fear towards something. For example, people are known to have phobias of inanimate objects, such as pickles. Certain phobias, like the one I just mentioned, are completely irrational (unless someone is deathly allergic to pickles). Then there are more rational phobias, like a fear of flying. People have reasons to be afraid of flying. Plane crashes happen and recent terrorist attacks have increased the amount of people that have an irrational fear of flying. But when you look at statistics, a fear of flying is not rational at all. You're more likely to die from a bee sting than from flying, yet the same people who are afraid of flying will frolic around outside all summer long. Phobias do have something to teach us though. The pickle example is an exception, but according to preparedness we are evolutionarily predisposed to fear certain types of stimuli over others because at one point in time in human history they probably DID pose a very real threat, for example, poisonous spiders. Because of this phobias can also be considered evolutionary memories. I have a very big phobia of spiders. I have never been bitten by a poisonous spider, or even had a very traumatic experience with a spider. I was just born terrified of them. I do wonder whether these phobias will slowly dissipate, or at least if certain ones will. With modern medicine we can cure poisonous bites or stings, so will our phobias eventually die out in those particular areas?