How do you deal with overwhelming emotions

Myers - Chapter 13: Emotions, Stress, and Health


  • 13.1 Cognitions and emotions
    • 13.1.1 Historical theories of emotion
    • 13.1.2 Cognition can determine emotion: Schachter and Singer
    • 13.1.3 Cognition does not always precede emotion: Zajonc, LeDoux and Lazarus
  • 13.2 emotion and body
    • 13.2.1 Emotions and the autonomic nervous system
    • 13.2.2 The physiology of emotions
  • 13.3 Emotion and Expression
    • 13.3.1 Recognizing emotions in others
    • 13.3.2 Gender, emotion and non-verbal behavior
    • 13.3.3 Expression of emotions in a cultural context
    • 13.3.4 Facial expression
  • 13.4 emotion and experience
    • 13.4.1 Anger
    • 13.4.2 Happiness
  • 13.5 Stress and Health
    • 13.5.1 Stress: Basic Principles
    • 13.5.2 Stress and susceptibility to illness
  • 13.6 Health Promotion
    • 13.6.1 Coping with Stress
    • 13.6.2 Reduce stress
  • 13.7 Chapter review
    • 13.7.1 Questions of understanding
    • 13.7.2 Key Terms
    • 13.7.3 Further German literature


Emotion theories

The 3 components of emotions are:

  1. the physiological arousal,
  2. the Expressive behavior and
  3. the conscious experience.

William James and Carl Long assumed that we feel emotions after perceiving our physiological responses.

Walter Cannon and Philip Bard believed that we feel the emotions at the same time as our body reacts.

The Two-factor theory of emotion by Schachter and Singer focused on the interplay of thinking and feeling, not on the timing of feelings. They made the suggestion that emotions 2 components should have that physical excitement and a cognitive interpretation.

Emotion and body

The autonomic nervous system controls the excitement. Part of the autonomic nervous system that Sympathetic, mobilizes us for action by causing the adrenal cortex to release stress hormones, which in turn increase heart rate, blood pressure and blood sugar levels, and by triggering other physical defenses in us. The other part of the autonomic nervous system, the Parasympathetic nervous system, calms us down after we are through the crisis, but the excitement only gradually decreases.

The relationship between Excitement and performance: Very strong or very little excitement can be disturbing. We perform best when the arousal is in the medium range, although this also depends on the difficulty of the task. In simple, well-learned tasks, the best performance is associated with high arousal. For difficult tasks, the top performance is achieved at a lower level.

3 emotions associated with a similar physiological arousal: At anxiety, Anger and sexual arousal we show a similar physiological arousal. Observers have difficulty distinguishing these states if only physiological measures are taken; but our emotional experiences (and sometimes our facial expressions) are different in these 3 states.

Physiological indicators and indicators for patterns of brain activity in certain emotions: With the help of complicated devices, researchers have found connections between some emotions and slight muscle movements in the brow (for fear) and cheeks (for joy) as well as under the eyes (for joy). Slice images of the brain also show increased activity in the amygdala when there is fear. Differences also appear in the cortical areas of the brain. Negative emotions (e.g. disgust) trigger more activity in the right prefrontal cortex, while positive moods (e.g. enthusiasm) can be determined in the left frontal lobe, where there is an abundant supply of dopamine receptors.

The Transmission effect occurs when our arousal to one event affects our response to other events. Even if emotional arousal is not completely undifferentiated, it is sometimes so general that it is necessary to define the emotion we are experiencing. The physiological arousal drives the emotions that cognition shows them the direction.

2 alternative trackson which sensory stimuli are transmitted when they trigger an emotional reaction: Emotional reactions occur immediately when the sensory signal is sent via the thalamus directly to the amygdala; it then does not go through the cortex and triggers a quick reaction that we are often not aware of. Responses to complex emotions (such as guilt, happiness, or love) require interpretation and are directed via the slower route to the cortex for further evaluation.

Emotion and expression

Most people can non-verbal cues and we are particularly sensitive to non-verbal threats. As studies with abused children have shown, experience helps us to be sensitive to cues.

Gender differences in Emotion perception and expression: Women can i. Generally understand people's emotional cues better than men; and this also includes the cues that occur in the event of a deception. Women also give more detailed descriptions of their emotional responses, describe themselves more readily than emotional, and are more likely to express empathy in both words and facial expressions. Women are superior to men in showing that they are happy; but men are better at communicating anger.

The Facial muscles give clues to an emotion. But there is still no polygraph method based on facial expression; and most of us have difficulty seeing the expression of delusion. Since there are no vocal or emotional cues in e-mails, we are cut off from an important source of information.

The culture-specific and cross-cultural aspects of emotion expression: The meaning of gestures varies widely between cultures, but many facial expressions, such as those for happiness and fear, can be found all over the world (even in children born blind). This suggests that the facial expressions are cross-cultural aspects of the emotion. However, cultures differ in how much emotional expression they consider acceptable. In prelinguistic prehistoric times, the expression of emotions may have improved the chances of survival by making it possible to communicate through threats, greetings, and submission. Some emotional expression behaviors help absorb more sensory information and prevent toxic substances from being ingested.

With the hypothesis of Feedback through the face The following is suggested: Expressive behavior makes our emotions more intense by activating muscles that are associated with certain conditions. And the muscles signal the body to react as if we were experiencing these states. When we simulate the facial expressions normally associated with happiness, we may feel happier. In the hypothesis of Feedback about behavior It is believed that if we move our bodies the way we would when we experience a certain emotion (shuffling on with lowered eyes when we are sad), it is likely that we will feel that emotion to some extent.

Emotion and experience

Caroll Izard found in her research 10 basic emotions: Joy, interest / enthusiasm, surprise, sadness, anger, disgust, contempt, fear / fear, shame and guilt. Some psychologists believe that pride and love are also basic emotions. Emotions can be in one System of 2 basic dimensions being represented:

  • excitement (strong versus low)
  • valence (pleasant / positive versus uncomfortable / negative)

2 ways we learn to be afraid: What we learn through experience best explains the diversity of people's fears. We learn specific fears through Conditioning (Associating emotions with special situations) and through Observational learning (Watching others show fear in response to certain events or external circumstances).

Biological components of fear: We are biologically prepared to learn some fears (of snakes, spiders, and heights) and others not (of driving fast, bombs, and electricity). The Amygdala plays a key role in learning about fear, which involves associating fear with certain situations. The amygdala receives information from cortical areas that process emotions and sends information to other areas that process emotions physical symptoms of fear. People differ in how fearful or fearless they are; and this difference is e.g. Partly genetic.

Disappointing and hurtful actions that we interpret as intentional, unjustified, and avoidable can provoke anger. The Catharsis hypothesis (the idea that we can vent off aggressive tendencies by evacuating negative energy) is not supported by research. Letting off steam can temporarily calm us down, but in the long run it doesn't reduce anger and may even make it stronger. Anger is best handled by waiting for the level of physical arousal to decrease, calming down, and expressing resentment in ways that lead to reconciliation rather than retaliation. If reconciliation fails, forgiveness can reduce one's anger and the associated physical symptoms.

The Phenomenon "You feel good and do good" is our greater willingness to help others when we are in a good mood. The research direction of positive psychology is currently exploring the causes and consequences of subjective well-being (self-perceived happiness or life satisfaction); this is a complement to the traditional focus of psychology on negative emotions.

Negative emotions are most intense shortly after we wake up or just before we fall asleep. The mood created by the positive or negative events of a day rarely lasts longer than that one day. Even significant bad events, such as serious illness, rarely ruin a feeling of happiness for a long time, although we usually underestimate our adaptability.

Relationship between wealth and happiness: At a basic level, money helps prevent grief by providing better nutrition, health care, education and study; but all this in turn makes you happy. More prosperity can also make you happier in the short term. In the long term, however, research shows that you will not be happier if you live in wealth individually and in comparison to other countries.

At the Phenomenon ofLevels of adjustment it is about our tendency to perceive stimuli (including material possessions) by contrasting them with a neutral level that changes with our experience. The principle of relative deprivation consists in our perception that we are worse off than others with whom we compare ourselves. Happiness is therefore something relative, relative both to previous experiences and in comparison with others.

Methods with which we can influence our own happiness level. T. genetically inherited and is z. T. under our own control. The recommendations for Improving our level of happinessbased on research are:

  1. Realize that continued happiness does not depend on financial success.
  2. Maintain agency over your time.
  3. Act like you are happy.
  4. Find a job and hobbies where you can use your skills.
  5. Do you do sports regulary.
  6. Make sure you get enough sleep.
  7. Maintain close relationships.
  8. Look beyond yourself.
  9. Be grateful for what you have.
  10. Take care of your spiritual self.

Stress and health

Causes of illness and death related to behavior: Our behaviors such as smoking, regular exercise, diet and exposure to constant stress can have an impact on our susceptibility to heart disease, cancer, strokes and chronic lung diseases (currently the 4 most important causes of death), but they can also make us susceptible to high blood pressure and skin rashes and other diseases.

stress is neither an action nor a state; however, it is a process by which we respond to stressful events. And these are called Stressors. An important part of this process is whether we judge an event as threatening, challenging, or unimportant. Our ratings help determine whether our response consists of healthy feelings of mobilized and purposeful arousal or overwhelming feelings of distress.

The Two-lane system and the 3 phases of the general adaptation syndrome: Our reaction to stress is a prime example of the interaction between body and soul. The first (and faster) lane of theStress response system is the Fight-flight response, which was discovered by Walter Cannon and in which the sympathetic nervous system reacts to a stressor on several fronts: the inner parts of the adrenal glands release adrenaline and noradrenaline, heartbeat and breathing become faster, blood is drawn from the digestive organs and directed to the skeletal muscles, the Sensitivity to pain decreases and the body releases stored sugars and fats. At the slower path of the system Via the cerebral cortex, the perception of a stressor stimulates the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland to release glucocorticoid stress hormones such as cortisol in the outer parts of the adrenal glands. The 3 phases of general adaptation syndrome are

  • alarm (temporary state of shock in which the body mobilizes resources),
  • resistance (Time to cope with the stressor) and
  • exhaustion (Depletion of reserves after prolonged stress).

Size Disasters can increase depression and anxiety, and cause difficulty concentrating and sleeping. Significant personal events In life like a loss (death of a loved one, divorce, job loss) or even change (marriage, relocation), people can become susceptible to illness. But for most people, daily anger - the continuous succession of small, everyday stressors - is the number one source of stress; it can affect health (e.g. by increasing blood pressure) and well-being.

Stress can increase the risk of coronary artery disease. The determining factors in this link between stress and illness are negative emotions - Depression, pessimism, but most of all anger. The Friedman and Rosenman study, which first demonstrated the link between anger and heart disease, established the Type A personalities (competitive, ambitious, impatient and prone to anger) den Type B personalities (calm and relaxed) opposite. Type A people are physiologically more responsive under stress; they secrete hormones that accelerate the build-up of plaques in the arterial walls, lead to high blood pressure and an increased risk of stroke and heart attacks.

Psychologists use the term psychophysiological illnessto describe stress-related physical illnesses, such as hypertension (high blood pressure) and some types of headache. These real diseases are different from that hypochondria or misinterpreting normal bodily sensations as symptoms of an illness.

The effect of stress on the functioning of the immune system: The immune system's B lymphocytes (made in the spinal cord) release antibodies that fight off bacterial infections. The T lymphocytes (they are made in the tissues of the thymus gland and lymph nodes) fight cancer cells, viruses and foreign substances. Other immune system agents, the macrophages, eat up harmful invaders, used cells, and other waste materials. Stress does not lead directly to illness; but as it drains energy from the activities of the immune system, we become more susceptible to infection and disease.

Relationship between stress and AIDS: AIDS is caused by the HIV virus, not stress.But stress and negative emotions can accelerate the process from being infected by the virus to becoming infected with AIDS. HIV positive people make more use of drug treatment, but programs that reduce stress seem to help in some ways.

Relationship Between Stress and Cancer: Stress does not create cancer cells. Researchers disagree on whether stress affects disease progression; but they agree that avoidance of stress and a determined demeanor cannot reverse the destructive processes that occur in advanced cancer.

Researchers have that Suppression of the immune system conditioned in laboratory experiments. Encouraged by these results, others are working on methods that can help achieve the Strengthening the immune system can condition.

Health promotion

If we problem-focused coping At the start, we try to reduce stress by directly altering the events that trigger stress responses or by changing the way we respond to those events. We sit emotion-focused coping (Creating distance between us and a stressor or paying attention to our own emotional needs) when we believe - rightly or not - that we cannot change a stressful situation.

A subjective perceived lack of control has been linked to increased susceptibility to bacterial infections, cardiovascular disease and possibly shorter life spans due to higher levels of stress hormones and decreased immune system responses.

Relationship between style of explanation, stress and health: Compared to people who have a pessimistic style of explanation have tend Optimists to feel more in control of stressors, deal better with stressful events, be in a better mood, have a stronger immune system, and live longer than pessimists. Laugh (but not sarcasm) can reduce stress and strengthen the immune system.

Social support as a buffer against stress: Supportive family members, spouses, close friends, and loyal pets help people navigate stressful events. Social support improves the functioning of the immune system, calms the cardiovascular system and lowers blood pressure.

Programs for dealing with stress often include a aerobic exercise (Endurance training that improves the fitness of the heart and lungs) that Energy level increases, increases self-confidence, lowers blood pressure and can reduce depression and anxiety. In studies, aerobic exercise has been linked to lower blood pressure, increased arousal, higher levels of neurotransmitters that improve mood (such as norepinephrine, serotonin, and the endorphins), improved cognitive abilities, and (in mice) new brain cell growth.

Biofeedback has helped people manage tension headaches, but also simple ones Relaxation exercises were equally effective in fighting high blood pressure, anxiety, insomnia and reducing the rate of recurring heart attacks. Some people use it complementary or alternative medicinewhich, like conventional medicine, has to empirically prove its effectiveness. Studies in people who were meditating have shown that this is associated with increased activity in the left frontal lobe and improved function of the immune system compared to the control group.

The Correlation between religiosity and longevity: Regular attendance at religious events has been shown to be a reliable predictor of longer lifespan. Researchers trying to determine the cause and effect relationship isolated 3 intervening variables:

  1. Have religiously active people a healthy lifestyle.
  2. Faith communities often have the function of Social support networks and often support the marital relationship (which, when happy, comes with better health and longer lifespans).
  3. Participation in religious events - along with the associated consistent worldview, feeling of hope for the future, feelings of acceptance and a relaxed meditative state - can Reinforce feelings of positive emotions and relieve feelings of stress and anxiety.

The Attraction of smoking partially works with teenagers social rewards back - the identification with and acceptance by "cool" people. Depending on their genetic makeup, 1 in 3 early smokers will become one physiological dependence from nicotine, which is just as difficult to combat as addiction to heroin or cocaine. By triggering the release of adrenaline, noradrenaline, dopamine and opioids, nicotine quenches the uncomfortably strong craving for tobacco and rewards the smoker.

Many approaches offer smokers short-term help in quitting smoking, but long-term benefits are still a long time coming. Helpful tips for quitting smoking include setting an appointment to quit, informing family and friends of the decision, and removing all cigarettes from around the world. Smoking cessation programs for young people

  1. inform about the effects of smoking,
  2. educate further about the influence of peers, parents and the media and
  3. use model learning and role play to build the ability to reject something. Increasing the tobacco tax is also an effective way of reducing consumption.

fat is a concentrated energy reserve. And a body that can store this reserve can use it in times of famine. This tendency was adapted to our ancestors who gathered and hunted their food; but it is mismatched for modern humans in a world full of readily available foods. Coupled with a lack of physical activity, the excess of foods high in calories has led to a high rate of obesity (defined as a body mass index of 30 and above) with an increased risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, gallstones, arthritis, sleep disorders, and certain types of cancer.

Goal 21: Describe some of the social effects of obesity. Obesity threatens both well-being and physical health. Obese people, especially obese women, encounter body weight discrimination when applying for a job, when looking for a partner to be in love with, and when interacting with family members.

The Role of heredity and the environment as determining factors in body weight: Studies with twins and adopted children suggest that obesity is at least in part an inherited trait. But genes only have one effect on body weight - they don't determine it. For example, some people are predisposed to have more and larger fat cells than other people. In an obese person, however, the original fat cells are two or three times the size, and then they divide (causing the neighboring immature fat cells to divide); this is an irreversible environmental effect. People also differ in basal metabolic rate; but when someone gains weight in the form of fat cells, it takes less energy to maintain that tissue than muscle tissue. Environmental factors are also important, such as frequent consumption of high-calorie foods and a sedentary lifestyle. Genes are most likely to determine why one person is heavier than another. But mainly the environment ensures that a person is heavier today than his grandfather was at the same age.

Chances of success of an overweight person who wants to lose weight: Participant in structured programs for Lose weight are faced with a very high failure rate; but these individuals represent a particularly high risk group (they may not have been able to help themselves before opting for the program). In addition, surveys indicate that 25-60% of people who were once significantly overweight have successfully lost weight and maintained their weight for at least 1 year, some even for 5 years. There are also overweight people who realize that obesity is not a matter of willpower and choose to accept their weight. Others who want to lose weight can improve their chances by, for example, limiting their exposure to tempting cues to a minimum or by increasing energy expenditure through physical activity.