Thursday, October 28, 2010

Psychological health and stress

Its not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it. - Hans Selye 
When we react to stressors, a wide variety of cognitive and emotional responses can occur. Examples of cognitive responses are concentration problems, indecision, forgetfulness, and sensitivity to criticism, self-critical thoughts, and rigid attitudes. Examples of emotional responses are nervousness, tension, irritability and anger. Stress contributes not only physical ill health but also psychological ill health. Taking care of our psychological health is very important. We need to learn how to preserve and promote psychological health to cope more effectively with our stressful life situations.

Psychological health is dependent on the fit between the entire configuration of a person's characteristics and potentials with those of the environments in which the person functions, such as family, job, school, church, and recreation.   Psychological health is about doing things that give you a sense of enjoyment and achievement, holding helpful and balanced attitudes toward life, and building satisfying relationships.

A theoretical model of psychological health encompasses 6 distinct dimensions
1.     Autonomy,
2.     Environmental Mastery,
3.     Personal Growth,
4.     Positive Relations with Others,
5.     Purpose in Life,
6.     Self-Acceptance

Psychological health includes
1. Emotional health
Learning the skills needed to handle emotional problems will give you a foundation of psychological health. Everyone, including people who are emotionally healthy, has problems. Emotionally healthy people are able to adjust to and solve problems, and in doing so they help others as well as themselves to get satisfaction out of life. Mood is central to psychological health, and disturbances in mood are related to subsequent psychological maladjustment.
2. Spiritual health
Learn to love. Cultivate the skill of loving each other and ourselves.
3. Social health
People are able to coexist peacefully in communities with opportunities for advancement.

Psychological health produce varied outcomes including
(a) Reduced stress, strain, anxiety, absenteeism, turnover intentions, and turnover;
(b) Improved physical health, psychological health, emotional stability, adjustment, goal-setting behavior, coping, adaptation, attitudes toward learning, and vocational choice; and
(c) Increased creativity, motivation, performance, occupational success, commitment, tenure, satisfaction, and morale.

Positive psychology: psychological health
Positive psychology expands our view of psychological health beyond the absence of symptoms and disorders, and provides hope that a healthy, fulfilled, and productive life is possible for all.

Primary enhancement of psychological health suggests that our relationships are crucial for life satisfaction. Indeed, for most people, interpersonal relationships with lovers, family, and good friends provide the most powerful sources of well-being and life satisfaction. Beyond the relationship with one's mate, primary enhancement satisfactions also can come from other relationships, such as family and friends. Arranging living circumstances to be within close physical proximity to kin also can produce the social supports that are so crucial.

Secondary enhancement of psychological health enables people to maximize their pleasures by building on their preexisting positive mental health. Peak psychological moments often involve important human connections, such as the birth of child, a wedding, the graduation of a loved one, or perhaps the passionate and companionate love of one's mate. There are psychological group experiences the purpose of which is to help people to achieve the extreme pleasures of in-depth relating with others.

Rational emotive behavioural theory: criteria of psychological health 

Rational emotive behavioural theory also puts forward a number of criteria of psychological health. These include the following:

1. Self-interest: Sensible and emotionally healthy people tend to be primarily interested in themselves and to put their own interests at least a little above the interests of others. They sacrifice themselves to some degree for those for whom they care but not overwhelmingly or completely.

2. Social interest: Social interest is usually rational and self-helping because most people choose to live and enjoy themselves in a social group or community. If they do not act morally, protect the rights of others, and abet social survival, it is unlikely that they will create the kind of world in which they themselves can live comfortably and happily.

3. Self-direction: Healthy people tend mainly to assume responsibility for their own lives while simultaneously preferring to cooperate with others. They do not need or demand considerable support or succoring from others, though they may prefer and work for this.

4. High frustration tolerance: Rational individuals give both themselves and others the right to be wrong. Even when they intensely dislike their own and others' behavior, they refrain from damning themselves or others, as persons, for unacceptable or obnoxious behavior. They are capable of changing the changeable and accepting those they cannot, and having the wisdom to know the difference between the two.

5. Flexibility: Healthy and mature individuals tend to be flexible in their thinking, open to change, and unbigoted and pluralistic in their view of other people. They do not make rigid, invariant rules for themselves and others.

6. Acceptance of uncertainty: Healthy men and women tend to acknowledge and accept the idea that we seem to live in a world of probability and chance where absolute certainties do not and probably never will exist. They realize that it is often fascinating and exciting and definitely not horrible to live in this kind of probabilistic and uncertain world. They enjoy a good degree of order but do not demands to know exactly what dies future will bring or what will happen to them.

7. Commitment to creative pursuits: Most people tend to be headier and happier when they are vitally absorbed in something outside themselves and preferably have at least one powerful creative interest, as well as some major human involvement, that they structure a good part of their life around it.

8. Scientific thinking: Non-disturbed individuals tend to be more objective, realistic, and scientific than more disturbed ones. They are able to feel deeply and act concertedly, but they tend to regulate their emotions and actions by reflecting on them and evaluating their consequences in terms of the extent to which they lead to the attainment of short-term and long-term goals.

9. Self-acceptance: Healthy people are usually glad to be alive and accept themselves just because they are alive and have some capacity to enjoy themselves. They refuse to measure their intrinsic worth by their extrinsic achievements or by what others think of them. They try to avoid rating themselves-- their totality or their being. They attempt to enjoy rather than to prove themselves

10. Risk-taking: Emotionally healthy people tend to take a fair amount of risk and to try to do what they want to do, even when there is a good chance that they may fail. They tend to be adventurous but not foolhardy.
11. Long-range hedonism: Well-adjusted people tend to seek both the pleasures of the moment and those of the future and do not often court future pain for present gain. They are hedonistic, that is, happiness-seeking and pain avoidant, but they assume that they will probably live for quite a few years and that they had therefore better think of both today and tomorrow and not be obsessed with immediate gratification.

12. Non-utopianism: Healthy people accept the fact that Utopias are probably unachievable and that they are never likely to get everything they want and to avoid all pain. They refuse to strive unrealistically for total joy, happiness, or perfection or for total lack of anxiety, depression, self-downing, and hostility.

13. Self-responsibility for own emotional disturbance: Healthy individuals tend to accept a great deal of responsibility for their own disturbance rather than defensively blame others or social conditions for their self-defeating thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
Creating and reinforcing psychological health is the goal in successfully living a balanced lifestyle. Learn to preserve and promote psychological health!.


Ted said...

cool Post. I learnt alot to be cool and relaxed and manage my stress and anxiety with he help of Hypnotherapy treatment. It really works out very well.

Excessive perspiration said...

It is a useful post . I did came to know some ideas to control stress. Thanks for posting.

Stress Management said...

This is such an amazing post. I read the whole article and I find it very interesting and informative as well. It is must to read. I am so glad that I found this post.