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How Do You Feel About Stress? The Role of Positive Emotions in Stress!
Stress • “the process by which we perceive and respond to certain events, called stressors, that we appraise as threatening or challenging” (Myers, 2011, p. 419)
The Nature of Emotions and Stress • Emotions co-occur when stressed whether we recognize them or not • How we perceive stress affects emotions recognized: – Harm or threat appraisal = sadness, anger, anxiety, and/or fear – Challenge appraisal = excitement, confidence, and eagerness (Folkman, 2008)
The Nature of Emotions and Stress • Stress also changes the level of our negative and positive emotions: – Increases negative emotions and decreases positive emotions – The changes appear to be more pronounced though on negative emotions than on positive (Dowd, Zautra, & Hogan 2010)
The Nature of Emotions and Stress • Level of Emotional Experience involves: – Heritability • Estimates are at 40% to 50% (Sprangers et al., 2010)
– Environment – 5 Variables • • • • •
Emotional regulation Emotional disclosure Emotional Intelligence Alexithymia Intensity of Experience (Pandey &Choubey, 2010)
Instructions for the Positive Affectivity and Negative Affectivity Scale – Momentary (PANAS) (as cited by Seligman, 2002, p.33) • You will see a number of words that describe different feelings and emotions • Read each item and then mark the appropriate answer in the space next to the word. • Answer based on how you feel right now in this present moment • 1 = slightly or not at all • 2 = a little • 3 = moderately • 4 = quite a bit • 5 = extremely • Add up your scores for positive affect (PA) and negative affect (NA)
Positive Emotions • The personal and individual experience of and engagement in happiness (Pandey & Choubey, 2010) • “Feelings that reflect a level of pleasurable engagement with the environment, such as happiness, joy, excitement, enthusiasm, and contentment” (Cohen & Pressman, 2006, p. 122)
The Impact of Positive Emotion on Stress and Health • Increased average life expectancy (Cohen & Pressman, 2006) • Lower susceptibility to illness throughout the lifespan (Steptoe, Dockray, & Wardle, 2009) • Improved immune response and pain tolerance (Sprangers et al., 2010) • Better adjustment to traumatic events such as the death of a loved one (Pandey & Choubey, 2010) • Better physical and emotional health • (Pandey & Choubey 2010)
The Impact of Positive Emotion on Stress and Health • Heightened emotional intelligence (Pandey & Choubey, 2010) • Improved social relationships and social support structure (Pandey & Choubey 2010) • Greater tendency to practice positive health behaviors (Cohen & Pressman, 2006) • Greater resilience or ability to bounce back from stress and illness (Smith, Tooley, Christopher, & Kay, 2010)
The Impact of Positive Emotion on Stress and Health • Optimism, a positive emotion has been shown to promote: – Women who are more optimistic had a 16% less chance of a heart attack, a 9% less chance of developing heart disease, a 30% less chance of dying from heart disease and a 14% less chance of dying from any disease than women who displayed little optimism (Tindle et al., 2009) – better coping with a number of health problems such as osteoarthritis (Ferreira & Sherman, 2007) – breast cancer and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) (Aspinwall & Tedeschi, 2010) – positive increases in an individual’s immune functioning (Aspinwall & Tedeschi, 2010) – quicker and more complete recovery from a number of medical (Aspinwall & Tedeschi, 2010) procedures – longevity (Aspinwall & Tedeschi, 2010) – adherence to more positive health behaviors (Aspinwall & Tedeschi, 2010) – an individual’s psychological well being with reductions in symptoms of anxiety and depression (Ferreira & Sherman, 2007).
The Impact of Positive Emotion on Stress and Health • Hope, another positive emotion promotes – Greater adherence to positive health behaviors and limiting unhealthy behaviors (Berg, Ritschel, Swan, An, & Ahluwalia, 2011) – Insulation from despair when facing chronic or potential illnesses (Wiles, Cott, & Gibson, 2008.
How to Experience Positive Affect • Recognize the external myths/barriers to happiness and that the pursuit of them do not lead to long term positive affect and well being • These include: – – – –
Money means happiness Health means happiness Education means happiness Change your race or move to sunnier climate (Seligman, 2002)
How to Experience Positive Affect • Internal characteristics promoting positive emotions: – Liking oneself (good self esteem) – Have a balanced sense of internal and external locus of control – Optimism and hope – Outgoing (Myers, 1992)
How to Experience Positive Affect • • • •
Humor and laughter Play Meditation Mindfulness
How to Experience Positive Affect • • • •
Spirituality Forgiveness Gratitude Compassion (Other focused)
We Can Feel Good About Stress!
Resources • American Institute of Stress website. Great informational site about stress! • http://www.stress.org/topic-effects.htm • Website of Dr. Martin Seligman and his work with Positive Psychology http://www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu/Default.aspx • Myers, D.G. (1992). The pursuit of happiness: Discovering the pathway to fulfillment, well-being, and enduring personal joy. New York, New York: Harper Collins Publishers, Inc. • Seligman, M.E.P. (2002). Authentic happiness: Unsing the new positive psychology to realize your potential for lasting f ulfillment. New York, New York: Free Press
References Alspach, G. (2009, December). Extending the tradition of giving thanks: Recognizing the health benefits of gratitude. Critical Care Nurse, 29(6), 12-18. doi:10.4037/ccn2009331 Aspinwall, L.G., & Tedeschi, R.G. (2010). The value of positive psychology for health psychology: Progress and pitfalls in examining the relation of positive phenomena to health. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 39, 4-15. doi: 10.1007/s12160.009-9153-0 Berg, C.J., Ritschel, L.A., Swan. D.W., An, L.C., & Ahluwalia, J.S. (2011). The role of hope in engaging in healthy behaviors among college students. American Journal of Health Behaviors, 35(4), 402-415. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.5993/AJHB.35.4.3 Blatner, A., & Blatner, A. (1997). The art of play: Helping adults reclaim imagination and spontaneity (Revised Edition). New York, New York: Brunner/Mazel Publishers Cohen, S., & Pressman, S.D. (2006, June). Positive affect and health. Current Directions in Psychological Science (Wiley-Blackwell), 15(3), 122-125. doi: 10.1111/j.09637214.2006.00420.x Doud, H., Zautra, A., & Hogan, M. (2010). Emotion, stress and cardiovascular response: An experimental test of models of positive and negative affect. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 17, 189-194. doi: 10.1007/s12529-009-9063-3
References Ferreira, V.M., & Sherman, A.M. (2007, January). The relationship of optimism, pain and social support to well-being in older adults with osteoarthritis. Aging & Mental Health, 11(1), 89-98. doi: 10.1080/13607860600736166 Folkman, S. (2008, January). The case for positive emotions in the stress process. Anxiety, Stress, & Coping. 21(1), 3-14. doi: 10.1080/10615800701740457 Horowitz, S. (2009, August). Effect of positive emotions on health: Hope and humor. Alternative & Complementary Therapies, 15(4), 196-202. doi: 10.1089/act.2009.15706 Kuiper, N.A., & Harris, A.L. (2009, February). Humor styles and negative affect as predictors of different components of physical health [Special section]. Europe’s Journal of Psychology, 5(1), 1-18. Retrieved from http://www.ejop.org/ Merrill, R., Read, C., & Lecheminant, A. (2009, July). The influence of religiosity on positive and negative outcomes associated with stress among college students. Mental Health, Religion & Culture, 12(5), 501-511. doi:10.1080/13674670902774106 Mohan , A., Sharma, R., & Biljlani, R.L. (2011). Effect of meditation on stress-induced changes in cognitive functions. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 17(3), 207-212. doi: 10.1089/acm.2010.0142
References Myers, D.G. (1992). The pursuit of happiness: Discovering the pathway to fulfillment, well-being, and enduring personal joy. New York, New York: Harper Collins Publishers, Inc. Myers, D.G. (2011). Exploring psychology: Eighth edition in modules. New York, New York: Worth Publishers Pandey, R., & Choubey, A.K. (2010). Emotion and health: An overview. SIS: Journal of Projective Psychology and Mental Health, 17(2), 135-152. Retrieved from http://www.somaticinkblots.com/SISJournal/tabid/61/Default.aspx Perceive (n.d). In Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary. Retrieved from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/perceive Respond (n.d.) In Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary. Retrieved from http://www.merriamwebster.com/dictionary/respond?show=0&t=1330300143 Roberts, K.C., & Danoff-Burg, S. (2010, November/December). Mindfulness and health behaviors: Is paying attention good for you? Journal of American College Health, 59(3), 165-173. doi :10.1080/07448481.2010.484452
References Schwartz, C.E., Keyl, P.M., Marcum, J.P., & Bode, R. (2009). Helping others shows differential benefits on health and well-being for male and female teens. Journal of Happiness Studies, 10, 431-448. doi: 10.1007/s10902-008-9098-1 Sebelis, S. (2011, June). Reflecting on relaxation. Journal of the Australian TraditionalMedicine Society (JATMS), 17(2), 45-47. Retrieved from http://www.atms.com.au/journal/index.asp Seligman, M.E.P. (2002). Authentic happiness: Unsing the new positive psychology to realize your potential for lasting fulfillment. New York, New York: Free Press Smith, A.J., Greer, T., Sheets, T., & Watson, S. (2011, May/June). Is there more to yoga than exercise? Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, 17(3), 22-29. Retrieved from http://www.alternative-therapies.com/index.cfm/ Smith, B.W., Tooley, E.M., Christopher, P.J., & Kay, V.S.(2010, May). Resilience as the ability to bounce back from stress: A neglected personal resource? The Journal of Positive Psychology, 5(3), 166-176. doi:10.1080/17439760.2010.482186 Sprangers, M.A.G., Bartels, M., Veenhoven, R., Baas, F., Martin, N., Mosing, M.,…The GENEQOL Consortium (2010). Which patient will feel down, which will be happy? The need to study the genetic disposition of emotional states. Quality of Life Research, 19, 1429-1437. doi: 10.1007/s11136-010-9652-2
References Steptoe, A., Dockray, S., & Wardle, J. (2009, December). Positive affect and psychobiological processes relevant to health. Journal of Personality, 77(6), 1747-1776. doi: 10.1111/j.14676494.2009.00599.x Tindle, H.A., Chang, Y-F., Kuller, L.H., Manson, J.E., Robinson, J.G., Rosal, M.C., Siegle, G.J., & Matthews, K.A. (2009). Optimism, cynical hostility, and incident coronary heart disease and mortality in the women’s health initiative. Circulation, 120(8), 656 – 662. doi 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.108.827642: Vaillant, G.E. (2011, Jan-Dec). The neuroendocrine system and stress, emotions, thoughts and feelings. Mens Sana Monographs, 9(1), 113-128. doi: 10.4103/0973-1229.77430 Watson, D., Clark, L.A., & Tellegan, A. (1988). Development and validation of brief measures of positive and nagative affect: The PANAS scales. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 54(6), 1063-1070. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/psp/index.aspx Wenner, M. (2009, February). The serious need for play. Scientific American Mind, 20(1), 22-29. Retrieved from http://www.scientificamerican.com/sciammind/ Wiles, R., Cott, C., & Gibson, B.E. (2008, December). Hope, expectations and recovery from illness: A narrative synthesis of qualitative research. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 64(6), 564-573. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2648.2008.04815.x5