Essay, Pages 6 (1378 words)
Psychology is the study of mind and behavior. This includes the study of human thought, development, personality, emotion, and motivation. With an understanding of psychology a person can not only help others but also better help themselves with insight into one’s actions as well as a better understanding of why people do what they do. The media tends to bend things out of proportion and give the notion that psychologists are crime fighting detectives that can use their understanding of the human mind to solve crimes and know exactly what the bad guys are going to do next.
The other traditional representation of psychologists are portraying them as old and wise beyond their years, seated in a neat office lined with books, and listening to clients ramble on about their problems. While there are some truths to these stereotypes, I think Psychology is much more than that. What I found most interesting in psychology is how the study can help you to cope with stress, how vital good sleep habits are for your mental health, and how fear can change the way you live your life.
Stress is something everyone has dealt with in their lives. As a full time student athlete I have grown quite accustomed to the feeling of dread that stress brings. Between balancing school, baseball, family, and friends, I am always dealing with stress in some way. Some days I do not even want to get out of bed to go about my day because of the anxiety that stress causes but after learning how to manage and cope with the stress the anxiety does not hold any power over me anymore.
Not all stress is negative or impacts us in a bad way. Some stress allows us to learn and grow as a person to help us reach our goals. Everyone has their own ways of coping with stress, according to Cohen (2010), “Diet and exercise have a large impact on our stress levels” (pg. 7). From personal experience, I know this to be true. Any type of exercise or working out is proven to relieve stress. Ever since I started lifting weights regularly, it has been much easier to cope with my stress in a healthy manner. After actively using this method to cope with my stress I’ve never felt better about myself. Lifting weights has made me feel better about myself which has resulted in a stronger body image. This stronger body image has boosted my confidence which has carried over into other aspects of my life. Other strategies I could try that I have looked into is yoga. Yoga has been known to help you sleep as well as melt your stress away.
Psychology also taught me how bad sleeping habits can negatively affect your mental state. Sleep and mental health are directly tied together. The most common symptoms of poor sleeping habits according to an article called Insomnia.net are “Constant tiredness, irritability, temper and moodiness, loss of concentration, and in severe cases memory loss and hallucinations (pg. 1). People with psychiatric conditions like anxiety, ADHD, and bipolar disorder are more susceptible to insomnia and sleep deprivation. So you may be thinking that you are safe because you do not have these disorders, but that is not the case. Sleep is so vital to your mental state that once your body is denied a good night’s rest for too long, you can actually start developing some of the conditions I listed above.
Studies show that depressed patients who continue to experience insomnia are less likely to respond to treatment than those without sleep problems. So just having good sleep patterns can contribute to curing a mental state like depression. Depressed patients who suffer from sleep deprivation are more likely to think about suicide and die by suicide than depressed patients who are able to sleep normally. Sleeping can literally save your life.
Though getting sleep can sometimes be very difficult, there are some strategies that can make it easier to get the much needed rest our brains need. Regular physical activity is also a big way to fix your sleep schedule as it results in longer time in REM sleep as well as awaken less times during the night. My personal favorite sleep exercises that I have found the most helpful is called “sleep hygiene.” This means actively trying to stick to a sleep and wake schedule. Meaning being in bed asleep by a certain time and waking up every day at a certain time. Other strategies included are using the bedroom strictly for sleeping and not lounging as well as keeping electronics out of the bedroom. After using some of these strategies I found that sleep was much easier to come by and I was getting a deeper sleep as well.
Fear is one of the most prominent emotions humans have. Fear may have the strongest effect on your mind and body. Fear can come in handy when you are being attacked, it triggers your flight or fight response but it can also be a nuisance. Fear can kick in when faced with non- dangerous events like going on a first date or a party. Fear is the natural response for humans when they are put into situations that are either perceived or real. Fear can also put your life on hold. In some severe cases fear has been known to affect a person’s ability to sleep, travel, or even something as simple as leaving the house. Fear is a bully and it can affect your mental health.
There are three types of fear according to (Reiss, 1991), “the fear of injury, the fear of anxiety, and the fear of negative evaluation” (pp. 1). There are tons of things out in the world to make people feel afraid and this is useful. Fearing fire for example can keep you safe which would be the fear of injury. There are also illogical things out in the world that make it hard for people to live the life they want due to their fears. I fear failure which would fall under the fear of negative evaluation. This fear makes me try to do so well and it has kept me going when I have wanted nothing more then to give up and take a loss making it a handy driving force to push me past my comfort zone. This fear has also made want do well at everything because I do not like to lose or fail but it has stopped me from doing other things because the feeling of fear at being adequate or bad was too great. In my opinion, knowing what you are afraid of and why you are afraid of it is the first step to facing your fears.
If you are like me and try to avoid situations that make you feel uncomfortable and scared, it might stop you from doing things you want to do. But 10/10 the situation you are dreading is not going to be as bad as you think. Taking a stand and facing your fears will help you confront them, I know it seems scary but at the end of the day you will feel so much better about yourself.
This class has opened my eyes to things I never really spent time on. This entry level course of psychology has shown me that there are countless factors that make people do the things they do and think the way they think. Though everyone is not the same, everyone is pretty similar. Most people deal with stress the same as others whether it be exercising or something as simple as petting a dog. This class showed me that sleep is a key factor in every single person’s daily life, without sleep our minds can not function the way they are supposed to and if we do not get enough sleep there are consequences. This class showed me that humans are motivated by fear, whether it be the fear of injury, anxiety, or negative evaluation. The class made me realize that everyone really is not so different and if we all worked together the world could be a better place. After all former Beatle George Harrison said “It’s all in the Mind.
Cite this essay
Traditional representation of psychology. (2019, Dec 11). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/traditional-representation-of-psychology-essay