Selection from research paper
Yoga which is a practice that aims to attain consciousness, spiritual awareness and overall well-being for the mind and body as a whole is gaining popularity from all walks of life to achieve not only physical health but calmness and quietness of the mind. For example, a specified class known as Pranayama focuses on one’s breath and developing one’s awareness of the feeling of the body’s movement as the respiratory organs expand and contract. This breath work can lower the heart rate as well as deepen one’s breath moving it from quick inhales with tightened chest muscles to a relaxed Diaphragm with slower inhales and exhales. Increased heart rate and shortened breathing are two behavioral symptoms of GAD. A weekly yoga practice for physical and mental health is a core assumption of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s flow theory, Kurt Goldstein’s holistic methodology and Gestalt theory which is a subdivision of Gestalt Psychology originated by Christian von Ehrenfels and other eastern medicines such as meditation and specific breathing patterns during yoga. Though there are theories which indicate the importance of the oneness of the mind and body for overall physical and mental health, the practice of yoga which is holistic in nature has only begun to be researched by scientists, let alone the health benefits on those with GAD. As described by Dr. Ishwar Basavaraddi (2015), “the process of yoga begins with the body, then the breath, the mind, and the inner self”. Understanding one’s own needs for overall well-being as laid out in CBT for patients suffering from GAD while initiating a weekly yoga practice has a great potential to either subside or eliminate all symptoms and effects seen amongst undergraduate college students.
Can you explain the difference between a positive psychologist and clinical psychologist?
There is a slogan on a pamphlet I recently picked up from a psychological services group which states, “the purpose of treatment is to end treatment,” which strings together the overarching similarity between positive psychology and clinical psychology. Christopher Peterson (2006) describes positive psychology as “the scientific study of what goes right in life, from birth to death and at all stops in between” (p. 4). The American Psychological Association describes clinical psychology as “a specialty which addresses behavioral and mental health issues faced by individuals across the lifespan” (n.d.). Positive psychology complements clinical psychology by learning how to prevent the addressed problem rather than focusing solely on the problem. Learning what is right (positive), and then focusing on how this “right” or client’s trait can be heightened to help deal with the mental disorder or issue at hand (clinical). Maybe this “right” or “trait” can help put the client on a path towards self-actualization which in turn would help them achieve a state of “flow”, a term coined by positive psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. Achieving this state could be a goal for the positive and clinical psychologist. As described by Csikszentmihalyi (1990) “the key aspect to flow is control: in the flow-like state, we exercise control over the contents of our consciousness rather than allowing ourselves to be passively determined by external forces” (p. 3). For the positive psychologist, the flow could help encourage positive emotions and flow for the clinician, the flow would aim to distract the client from things that heighten negative thoughts and emotions. By not allowing external forces to slowly take control over our thoughts, a feeling of “being grounded” makes itself known. This feeling or state of consciousness is something often mentioned in mindfulness-based practices such as yoga and meditation to help allow you to feel present and connected no matter what is going on around you. As for differences, clinical psychologists who have gone through extensive years of research during their education will apply these learned theories towards those who suffer from mental health issues such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia or learning disabilities such as ADHD. Positive psychologists on the other hand, who go through the same extensive years of training will apply the same knowledge differently. They will apply the effects of positive thoughts to help prevent problems in the first place. I could see positive psychology having a greater effect on someone who is going through a difficult time in life such as working through depressive thoughts due to the grief of a loved one versus having a larger effect on someone who suffers from PTSD or ADHD, something which may be much harder to control. Positive psychology aims to “prevent the problem in the first place” as mentioned above, but I don’t think it has the power to eliminate the noted mental health issues that could be due to a chemical imbalance, genetically passed down, etc. Not all psychological disorders are best treated solely on the effects of positive psychology. Positive thinking on its own cannot help someone who has Schizophrenia. This person will be a combination of medicines. Someone who deals with the anxiety of a public speaking could possibly be helped by just the use of positive psychology and controlling one’s own thoughts.
What is the meaning of life?
There are around eight billion people in the world and there will come a time when each one of us will cross paths with another human, and we will call them our soulmate, better half, true love, and or "the one". Some say that finding this other half gives you a sense of feeling complete. This feeling may come and go many times in our lives but when it is present, I’ve found that in my life things suddenly become more meaningful. Small everyday tasks can become more sincere. I think that emotional connectedness with a person can lead to other forms of connectedness in our lives such as physical. I’ve been in a relationship where emotional and physical connectedness were so powerful that I found my mood and health to change for the better. Connectedness allows us to give and receive. When you don’t have this connection, or feel that you are losing a connection with someone it feels as if your world may be falling apart even when so many things are going right, because losing a connection to me means that I am losing a purpose. Connectedness makes me think back to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. The tiers that have been affected in my life positively or negatively through connectedness are self-actualization (potential and fulfillment), esteem (appreciation and respect), and love and belonging (acceptance, giving and receiving, trust). Many of our basic human needs can be found within connectedness which is why I have found it so prominent in within myself when it comes to finding my meaning in life.