In this section we look at the psychological effects of stress and the impact they can have. First, though, a short definition:
"the human faculty for thought, judgment, and emotion; the mental life, including both conscious and unconscious processes; the mind in its totality, as distinguished from the body"
"the soul or self"Dorland's Medical Dictionary for Health Consumers. © 2007 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved. Adapted from medicaldictionary.com
So thought, judgment and emotion. How are they affected by the psychological effects of stress?
Note that there are many definitions out there - I just like working with the medical ones, since I find definitions such as "soul and mind" too loose.
It is clear to see that the three may very well be interacting or affecting each other - see my illustration to the left
So an emotion may affect how you think about a decision you have to make, and that can affect you judgment. So the psychological effects of stress affect the entire process of thinking (also known as cognitive process)
Let's look at the psychological effects of stress a bit more...
Stress often causes a more negative than positive feeling, you may feel
I don't want to sound like an all-out hippie, but listen to your body. Notice what your emotions tell you. Write them down on a piece of paper or download The Stressor Chart to help you map your causes of stress.
Now, I know that asking you to "think about what you are thinking", is hard. But that is however what we need to do. It is known that negative people (pessimists) are more prone to stress and they live shorter!
A good philosophy I use is Loretta Laroche's saying:
... So if you are struggling with general negativity towards yourself and the world around you, try that simple mantra. Think positively! But back to the theme.
If you expect the worst and get the worst, you suffer twice. If you expect the best and get the worst, you only suffer once.
After that imagine two of the best scenarios. For example: You may make 3 touchdowns in the first and 5 in the second. What this will do for you is making you see more good outcomes, and it is a very effective coping technique.
Mentally picture what you are saying to yourself
Try and picture your thoughts and overdo it or use associations:
If in traffic you think "Jesus, what a snail" or "Get a move on! You JERK": Imagine what would happen if that car in front of you was actually a giant snail! Or if slow person was really beef JERKy…
I use this a lot in supermarket lines - guess why ;)
Long term exposure to pressure often leads to