Understanding Your Emotions Emotions – signals that tell your mind and body how to react. Recognizing and acknowledging your emotions is a sign of good mental and emotional health. How you respond to your emotions can affect your mental/emotional, physical, and social health.
Hormones • Hormone – a chemical secreted by your glands that regulates the activities of different body cells • They can cause mood swings • Changes during puberty are caused by hormones.
Emotions • Hostility is the intentional use of unfriendly or offense behavior • a form of anger that can hurt others, as well as the hostile person. • Empathy is the ability to imagine and understand how someone else feels • One example is supporting a friend who is going through a difficult time.
Responding to Difficult Emotions Reducing the Intensity of Emotions Take several deep breaths. Relax your muscles. Get away from the situation until you calm down. Analyze your emotions by writing about them in a private journal.
Defense Mechanisms • Defense Mechanisms – Mental processes that protect individuals from strong or stressful emotions and situations • Sometimes you may use defense mechanisms unconsciously as a way to protect yourself from intense emotional pain.
Common Defense Mechanisms Repression Involuntarily pushing unpleasant feelings out of one’s mind. Returning to behaviors characteristic of a younger age, rather than mature behavior. Regression Denial Unconscious lack of recognition of something that is obvious to others. Projection Attributing your own feelings or faults to another person or group. Consciously and intentionally pushing unpleasant feelings out of one’s mind. Suppression Rationalization Making excuses to explain a situation or behavior, rather than taking responsibility for it. Making up for weaknesses and mistakes through gift giving, hard work, or extreme efforts. Compensation
Strategies for Managing Anger Do something to relax. Listen to soothing music, read a book, or imagine sitting on a beach or walking through the woods. Use the energy generated by your anger to do something positive. Take a walk, play the piano or guitar, or write. Channel your energy. Talk with someone you trust. Share your thoughts and feelings. The listener may be able to give you some tips on how to deal with the situation.
Stress • Stress – the reaction of the body and mind to everyday challenges and demands • Stressor – anything that causes stress • Biological stressors • Environmental stressors • Cognitive or thinking stressors • Personal behavior stressors • Life situation stressors
Body’s Response to Stress • Alarm – “Fight or Flight” Stage • Resistance – Actual act of “Flight” or “Fight” • Fatigue – tired felling takes over and lowers your ability to adapt to situation
Physical Response Psychosomatic Response– a physical reaction that results from stress rather than from an injury or illness Other physical health problems: • Headache • Asthma • High Blood Pressure • Weakened Immune System Mental/ Social Response • Difficulty Concentrating • Mood Swings • Risk of Substance Abuse
Chronic Stress Chronic Stress– stress associated with long term problems that are beyond a person’s control Reducing Chronic Stress: • Engage in physical activity • Look for support among family & friends • Find a relaxing hobby or activity • Avoid tobacco, alcohol and other drugs
Managing Stress • Avoiding Stress • Refusal Skills • Stress Management Skills – skills that help an individual handle stress in a healthful, effective way • Plan ahead • Get adequate sleep • Get regular physical activity • Eat nutritious foods • Avoid tobacco, alcohol and other drugs • Relaxation Response– a state of clam that can be reached if one or more relaxation techniques is practiced regularly