StressAndEros:

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Stress state · LogosStress state · LogosEros state · Eros state

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Glossary

Affirmation · Assertiveness training · Automatic thinking · body’s anti-stress system, The · Brainstorming · Burnout · Cognition · Cognitive program · Cognitive theory of emotion · Coping · Defence mechanism · Emotion · Emotion-focused coping · Empathy · Eros · Eros factors · Eros states · Flow · Frustration reaction · Hardiness · Holism · Independence · Intuition · Irrationality · Libido · Locus of control · Logos · Mental training · Negative stress · Optimism · Perfectionism · Personal development · Personality trait · Phobia · Physical eros factors · Physical stressors· Positive psychology · Positive stress · Positive stressor · Problem-focused coping · Psyche · Rationality · Self-confidence · Self-esteem · Social anxiety · Social phobia · Stress · Stress management · Systemizing · “Tend and befriend” reaction · Type A personality

Affirmation
Recognising your own capabilities, progress, persistence and will to make a difference. (See ‘Mental training’).

Assertiveness training
A behavioural training in which you learn to communicate openly and appropriately, make your opinion known, stick to your guns, defend your position and say “no” where necessary. It is a behaviour we usually have opportunity to train ourselves in in the situations we are in, so that we improve our social skills.

Automatic thinking
Thought processes that occur without conscious awareness and control, do not require mental exertion, and can take place in parallel with other processes. Opposite to controlled thinking.

body’s anti-stress system, The
The relaxation reaction. The system not only counters stress, but also increases tolerance during strain. Like the stress system, it involves complex processes in the hormone and nervous system. It is an active counter to stress.
In an anti-stress state, you rest, and your body is recharged and healed. This anti-stress system is activated by various types of calming stimuli, e.g. closeness/intimacy, touching and social support. In this state, peace and calm reigns, and energy is used for constructive processes.

Brainstorming
A method of creative thinking that involves generating/noting down, without inhibition, as many new ideas for the solution of a problem as possible.

Burnout
A long-term and severe frustration reaction that has developed into a fatigue depression.

Cognition
Cognition is the conscious or unconscious aspect of behaviour and reactions, which consists of perception, experience, memory, reasoning and learning. These processes are conveyed in language or in mental images. Cognition is normally contrasted with emotion, but they are actually simultaneous interactive processes that influence each other. Emotions can be involved in the process to varying degrees.

Cognitive program
Can either be an individual or social program:
  • The individual program consists of affirmations using positive thoughts which improve your confidence so that you can manage what you want to do, and make you as calm and relaxed as possible.
  • The social program is a learning program relating to cognitive skills, such as learning to think carefully and interact socially and professionally.
     

Cognitive theory of emotion
Theories about how emotions are controlled by or embedded in perceptions, thoughts and other cognitive patterns.

Coping
Problem solving under strain is called coping. This refers to our thinking and behaviour in interactions with our environment that are difficult or involve conflict. It is about handling a stressor. There are both good and bad ways of doing this. See also ‘Problem-focused coping’ and ‘Emotion-focused coping

Defence mechanism
Coping method to ward off emotions that are a threat to the ego’s control. Typical defence mechanisms include repression, rationalisation (explaining things away), intellectualisation (emotional distance) and projection (transferring the bad characteristics we are not willing to recognise we have onto others).

Emotion
Feeling, agitation, passion. Can comprise up to four different components to varying degrees:
  • The purely emotional component, e.g. fear or happiness.
  • The cognitive component, i.e. knowledge about what triggers the emotion and what kind of emotion it is.
  • The motivational or behavioural component, e.g. flight or fight.
  • Finally, the physiological component, i.e. changes in the body.
     

Emotion-focused coping
It involves managing stress feelings by relaxing and distracting oneself, for example, by taking a break, talking to somebody, listening to music, watching television, eating or exercising.

Empathy
A sympathetic insight into another person's world of experience. It involves both a cognitive and an emotional aspect. You put yourself in the other person’s position and feel with them.

Eros
Greek god – original primeval force that creates everything. He is one of the most powerful gods, born before the world, having arisen from chaos. Eros means longing or love, and Eros later became the god of love. Sigmund Freud used eros as a name for the life instincts, consisting of the instinct for self preservation and the drive towards reproduction. In StressAndEros, eros is used to refer to life energy and all positive emotions.

Eros factors
They involve something you want, something you desire, something significant and meaningful.

Eros states
Are states with weak or strong positive emotions – the LogosEros state and Eros state respectively.

Flow
Linked to enchantment and mental absorption to refer to a special type of energy with a high level of consciousness, concentration, and a sense of being goal-focused. In a flow experience we become so absorbed in what we do that we lose touch with ourselves, our body states, our internal conflicts and our preoccupations. We experience the activity as serious and we get continuing feedback on our performance. We feel “immersed” in the activity, we are not conscious of ourselves. This lack of self-consciousness reduces our stress, and is characteristically followed by happiness, euphoria.

Frustration reaction
Capitulation, defeat reaction, type D behaviour, is triggered when a situation is perceived as overwhelming and hopeless, and is accompanied by emotions like despair, powerlessness, desperation, and grief.

Hardiness
An extended concept of internal locus of control. Hardiness is a mixture of the internal locus of control, and a person’s quest for challenges and a deep and focused participation.

Holism
A comprehensive view expressing the fact that the properties of parts that make up a whole cannot explain the properties of the whole. On the contrary, the design and function of the parts are influenced by the properties of the whole (consider, for example, the human body).

Independence
The ability to make a decision that is not determined by one’s environment. Involves autonomy, i.e. self-determination and being one’s own authority. But at the same time, we live in a society in which everyone is dependent on everyone else. It is a progressive process for the individual, the group, and society to find an appropriate balance between independence and dependence. From a psychological perspective, autonomy means: the ability and courage to stand by your own experiences, thoughts, opinions and feelings, without disqualifying those of others beforehand.

Intuition
A direct perception of something, without understanding how you have arrived at it. This might, for example, be the holistic perception of the state a person is in (e.g. hidden anger) – by simultaneous assessment of their gestures, actions and tone (even though they might deny that they are angry). It might also be doing something you had not planned to do, but which you feel compelled to do, without being able to explain why. Intuition is a factor in creativity. In mysticism, intuition is a perception of existence, where the boundary between subject and object has been abolished.

Irrationality
Apparently irrational behaviour, although this may, at an unconscious level, be meaningful.

Libido
Life force or life energy. It is a general energy source which has procreation as a goal, but which also expresses all the things that are characteristic for the positive aspects of our psyche and culture.

Locus of control
Perception of where control over negative and positive events is localised. An internal locus means that control resides in the individual, and an external locus of control means that it is outside the individual.

Logos
Means concept, sense, knowledge, and wisdom. In the StressLogosEros model, logos is defined in contrast to strong emotional, irrational thinking, but there is no sharp boundary. Logos is a reasoning that seeks to be realistic and objective. In the LogosStress state the thinking is primarily about problem solving, in the LogosEros state about creativity.
In the LogosStress state logos is a critical reasoning, involving curiosity for knowledge, tolerance for different perspectives, systematic analysis, and reasoning forward with an interest in finding a practical, useable, problem solution.
In the LogosEros state, logos is creative thinking with good imagination. It can also be called divergent (moving in different directions) in contrast to convergent.

Swiss psychiatrist, Carl Jung, used the term logos as a principle for knowledge, a principle that has traditionally been identified as a masculine trait. He defined the term Eros in contrast to this – a principle for unity, cohesion and relationship with others, with warm, positive, interactive emotions and spontaneity. Eros has traditionally been identified as a feminine principle.

Mental training
Exercises in controlling mental functions. It is done by placing yourself in a state which is both concentrated and relaxed at the same time. Within this state, you prepare yourself for a task that requires particularly good performance.

Negative stress
Distress (despair, suffering). A state involving strong negative emotions = strong stress emotions. The cognition and body state are similarly quite negative and unpleasant.

Optimism
Conceptions and expectations of positive events. Is related to mental and physical well-being. Optimists have a thinking style that entails, for example, not necessarily blaming themselves for unpleasant events, and not seeing the cause – whatever it might be – as something lasting that will lead to more negative experiences in the future.
Learned optimism can be developed using cognitive strategies, for example, being conscious of and working with automatic negative thinking.

Perfectionism
A personality trait involving high standards and goals for one’s behaviour – and possibly the behaviour of others. Occurs in normal, well-adjusted forms, accompanied by positive feelings, but also in negative forms involving exaggerated demands, for example, to avoid feelings of defeat. The latter lowers one’s stress threshold and can contribute to the development of depression.

Personal development
The development of personal characteristics such as attitudes, values, views of life, and ways of thinking and acting.

Personality trait
Disposition to react in a constant, uniform way at different times and in different places – a stable tendency to act in a certain manner. Traits are distinguished (but not sharply) from states, which are more short term and dependent on the situation. The four states in the StressLogosEros model can, if they are maintained over a longer period, have the character of personality traits. For example, one might generally react with anxiety, hostility or compassion. Emotional traits are also called temperament traits.

Phobia
Strong fear of particular situations. The fear is disproportionately large in relation to the real danger. It is irrational and leads to the desire to avoid certain situations. Typical phobias relate to, for example, open spaces, heights and crowds. It is believed that we have inherited phobias from our early ancestors, but that they can now be triggered in us in different ways.

Physical eros factors
Factors that stimulate the body’s anti-stress system. Examples of physical eros factors are:
positive sensory impressions: (e.g.: loving touch, massage), quietness and relaxation, rest and sleep.

Physical stressors
Physical factors that can trigger or amplify a stress state. They can be divided into:
  • Internal stressors, e.g. too little rest and sleep, physical symptoms and illness.
  • External to internal stressors, e.g. smoking, unhealthy diet, too much caffeine and alcohol.
  • External stressors, e.g. extreme heat, cold or noise.
     

Positive psychology
Positive psychology is concerned with the enhancement of happiness and well-being, involving the study of the role of personal strengths and positive social systems in the promotion of optimal well-being.

Alan Carr: Positive Psychology. The Science of happiness and human strengths, Brunner-Routledge, Hove and New York, 2004.

Positive stress
Eustress (eu: Greek=good, light). In this state we are interacting with our environment and with influences that are perceived as opportunities and challenges, which we feel that we can handle.

Positive stressor
A challenge that motivates and initiates strength, personal development and maturity. Whether a stressor is negative or positive in relation to our resources is individual, and can change for each person depending on our current state and resources.

Problem-focused coping
A coping mechanism that focuses on the stressor. One attempts to resolve, remove or reduce the problem. (In contrast to emotion-focused coping).

Psyche
Original meaning: soul, but in psychology it is the facet of one's personality that carries thoughts, feelings, sensory reactions, motives, drives and needs – even if these are not consciously perceived.

Rationality
The opportunity for recognition, objectivity and impartiality. In many contexts, rationality is set in opposition to emotions. In everyday speech, rationality is often synonymous with reason.

Self-confidence
An experience of effectiveness. Being convinced that you have the necessary strength to handle a problem. Self-confidence can be learned. See ‘Assertiveness training’.

Self-esteem
To have an intrinsic value. To ascribe value to yourself, without slipping into obstinacy or self-righteousness. One can also talk about positive and negative self-esteem, referring to the perceptions one has about one’s abilities, appearance, skills and qualities.

Social anxiety
Fear of social interactions with others, such as meeting people of the opposite sex and difficulty asserting oneself over others. Anxiety of this nature is quite normal. If the anxiety is strong, it is called social phobia.

Social phobia
Fear of being critically examined by others, leading to the person avoiding various social situations. The person fears being judged as weak or stupid. Physical stress symptoms are normal in association with social phobia.

Stress
Stress refers both to the stress states we can be in, and the stress factors that trigger stress in us. Stress is triggered by and is inherent in the interaction we have with our environment. Stress states are states with negative emotions of a certain strength. The typical stress emotions are anxiety (flight), aggression (fight), and frustration/despair (capitulation). These emotions are manifested as the experience of stress, but also as physical (physiological) reactions in the body, which goes into an alarm state. Stress factors can be psychological (e.g. conflicts) or physical. (See ‘Physical stressors’).

Geneva Studies in Emotion and Communication claims that stress is best analyzed as an emotion that is too intense and lasts too long. In consequence, it is claimed that there is no pure stress but different stress-emotions.
Scherer, K. R. (1990). Stress et Coping: Nouvelles approches. Cahiers Psychiatriques, Genevois, 9, 155-162.
See also: Richard S. Lazarus: Stress and Emotion. A New Synthesis, Springer Publishing Company, Inc., 1999.

Stress management
Initiatives designed to alleviate stress, in relation to one’s stressors and one’s resources and reactions. These initiatives can relate to individual, group, organisational, and work-related factors.

Systemizing
The drive and ability to analyse, explore and construct a system. It involves a motivation to create control. The systemizer figures out how things work, or extracts the underlying rules that govern the behaviour of a system. This is done in order to understand and predict the system, or to invent a new one. Systems can be found in almost everything we think, investigate, plan and do. Six major kinds of system that exist are: technical, natural, abstract, social, organizable and motoric systems.
Simon Baron-Cohen: The Essential Difference, Allen Lane. The Penguin Press, 2003.

“Tend and befriend” reaction
A friendly, caring reaction used in connection with conflict interaction, in contrast to the ‘fight or flight’ reaction. One chooses to strive to care about the other person and create an emotional bond (in contrast to ‘fighting or fleeing’).

Type A personality
Lifestyle and pattern of reacting in working and private life that is particularly characterised by aggression and hostility. Also by impatience and performance demands. (Type D behaviour: see ‘Frustration reaction’ = defeat reaction, capitulation).





Proverbs