DISCUSSION QUESTIONS 5-1 5-2
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
One aspect of the Christian worldview is that God provides for his creation (for all of us, as we were created in His image). Going out into the world, how can we remind ourselves to look for what God provides when we are met with a stressful situation? What responsibility do we have to take care of ourselves as we would others if we are made in God’s image? What types of examples can you think of from your own life that illustrate this?
STRESS AND TESTS OF FAITH
Consider James 1:2-4, and reflect on how stress can provide an opportunity to strengthen our faith even as it is tested. While God is immanent and loving, how does even negative stress in our lives strengthen our faith? Consider the role of perseverance in particular as it is mentioned here.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:2-4)
Across the lifespan and thinking about the things we focus on at each stage of our lives, how does what we feel as “stressful” change from stage to stage? How do our priorities and responsibilities as we grow older also dictate the stressors in our lives?
CAREERS AND STRESS
Careers alone can be a significant source of stress in many ways. What are some careers that may put people at a higher risk for chronic stress? What can people in those careers do to help maintain healthy levels of stress so they can continue to do their jobs? Think about your desired career as you move forward in your educational path- will your career be high-stress? Why or why not? How will you handle the stress?
WRAP-UP OF WEEK 4
Can you think of one or two way that you have been conditioned to feel stress? Consider how we learn behaviors through both classical conditioning and operant conditioning. Have you been conditioned to feel stress?
FRUSTRATION AND MOTIVATION
Frustration is a good emotion to discuss in relation to motivation. Think about how frustration might influence both types of motivation (both extrinsic as well as intrinsic). In what circumstances might frustration improve versus decrease one or both types of motivation?
STRESS AND MOTIVATION
Consider also the role of stress in motivation. How might stress decrease, or increase, motivation? Does it do both? How, and why? Consider how this might also be illustrated in your own lives as students.
To work toward a long-term goal, we must be able to delay gratification to feel the achievement of success. Think about it, when you start a degree program, it takes anywhere from 3-5 years to complete that goal. Along the way, we must be able to stay focused and motivated to continue working toward this goal.
What are some ways that you have been able to delay gratification in working toward your long-term goal? What have been some reasons you have had to delay gratification? Was your attempt at delaying gratification successful? What are some other ways that you have been able to keep yourself motivated along the way?
Motivation in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is broken up into stages, with a natural progression from one stage to another when the previous need is fulfilled. What motivates us to move from one stage to the next?
In recent years, psychologists have been very interested in the concept of grit. Grit refers to the ability to stick to your long-term goals and to keep working hard to achieve them, no matter what obstacles or difficulties you face along the way (Duckworth, Peterson, Matthews, & Kelly, 2007). Explain a time, while working toward your long-term goals, where you had to dig deep to keep going. Would you consider yourself to have grit? Why or why not?
Women and stress
Interestingly, there is a lot of research that supports the idea that women, in general, are more likely to have problems with stress (and higher stress) than their male counterparts. What factors (social, cultural, family, physical) might be contributing to this? How does gender (for men or women) play a role in the type and amount of stress one deals with?
PLEASE READ Read “Secrets of People With Highly Stressful Jobs” by Crouch from Prevention (2017).
Consider the information in our course materials this week titled “Secrets of People with Highly Stressful Jobs”. What might attribute to the difference between those who succeed and are motivated in high stress jobs, and those who become burnt out or unmotivated in the same situations? Where do you feel you fall in this range, and how do you think you might do in a high-stress job?
Using Proximity to manage stress
I wanted to also mention a psychological concept called “Maslow’s hierarchy of needs”. In a nutshell, Maslow stated that we each have the potential to accomplish great things, but that our basic needs need to be fulfilled first before we can start climbing the ladder towards success and positive relationships. Of course, sleep and other basics like food and shelter are at the very base of those needs. So, sleep first- everything else can come after
Here is a quick summary of Maslow’s Theory if you are interested. While this isn’t a scholarly resource it has a good image illustrating the idea:
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DISCUSSION QUESTIONS 5-1 5-2