PsychologyLife Lessons

3 Psychological Principles That Will Help You Understand Yourself Better

Stream Of Consciousness

Stream of Consciousness is most commonly described as the “flow of thoughts” in the conscious mind. This is best exemplified as moment-to-moment self-awareness. While the stream of consciousness is still considered “in the moment” that does not mean the past cannot trigger the present. Stream of consciousness can be affected by attachments and conditioning.

The “flow of thoughts” is your mind uncensored. It is your feelings unfiltered. It is what you are thinking before you are saying it. William James defines this psychological principle as “nothing joined.” It is basically your thoughts before they are fully developed. It is your feelings before you overanalyze and alter your opinion for approval. It is your vulnerability. The stream of consciousness doesn’t care about being right, or “fitting in”, it doesn’t care what people think.

In a literary point of view, the “stream of consciousness” writing style can be defined as excitement or a sudden change with lack of punctuation. The stream of consciousness can be portrayed as a sudden revelation.

The stream of consciousness helps one understand oneself by empowering your first instinct. If I could define this concept in one word it would be first. It is your first feeling. By trusting your “stream of consciousness” you are learning to trust your instincts without letting your anxiety get in the way. You are learning who you really are before you changed to who you thought everyone wanted you to be. It is the beauty of not caring and acting on your emotions.

The stream of consciousness is raw, it does not always make sense yet. It is the first draft. It is your reaction before you have revised it. The stream of consciousness is your internal thoughts. It is that “voice in your head.”

Emotion

Emotion is clearly an extremely broad subject in Psychology. Emotion is analyzed by various theories including physiological arousal, psychological appraisal, and subjective experiences. The James Lang theory focuses on physiological arousal. This theory has to do with the sympathetic nervous system- the fight or flight response. It can be a bodily response that can threaten your environment- i.e. your heart racing in an extremely nerve-racking situation. The James Lang Theory states that you would only feel “fear” or “nervousness” after the physiological arousal has occurred.

Cognitive appraisal theory believes thinking must happen first before emotion can develop. The timeline to this theory is a consecution of events, a stimulus occurs, followed by thought which then produces a physiological response then finally emotion has arrived.

Subjective experience of emotion involves the feeling of adaption. This is based on the primary Theory of Evolution introduced by Charles Darwin. Each feeling or experience can lead to action. The feeling of fear can cause one to fight. The feeling of love can lead to reproduction. This theory implies the simplicity of 1 plus 1 can equal 2. You feel something and you act on it.

Now we all now in this time in modern-day dating nobody acts this way anymore. Well maybe I jumped by saying no one, but it is fair to say that this theory of dealing with your emotions is outdated (at least in the dating aspect). Now everything is a game. Yes means maybe and no can really mean yes. Nobody really knows what’s going on in anyone’s head anymore, because we are all too scared to wear our heart on our sleeve. Maybe we can learn something by taking a page from our history books. In the time of survival of the fittest, there was no time for emotional mind games.

All and all to be completely honest the more research I find on emotion. The more confused I am about it myself. What to really take from this, is emotion can be explained in a million different ways. I believe the healthiest way to deal with your emotions is to act on them honestly. Now we are not living in the stone ages there is a time and place for everything. However, if you are not confronting your emotions you are denying them. This behavior can lead to bottled up repressive feelings that may never get resolved. One day this bottle will break and I promise you, that you will regret not speaking up sooner.

Habit

Habit is described as behavior or routine. Habit can happen subconsciously more so rather than less. Habits can become automatic and as the saying goes “old habits are hard to break.” Yet it is possible to form new habitual actions.

Habits can be analyzed through formation, goals, nervousness, and intention. Formation is the process that makes an action a regular habit. This formation occurs with regular behavior and soon enough these actions become in sync. Formation can start slow on average it can take 66 times for something to become “automatic” to you. The timeline varies anywhere from 18 to 254 times. As we all know everyone works at their own pace.

Habit forming can involve 3 parts; cue, behavior, and reward. Cue is the subject or the reason the habit evolved in the first place. The cue could symbolize a childhood dream, long-term goal, it could even be a form of escapism or distraction. The behavior is the work and action needed to lead to your reward, i.e. a habit for studying could be rewarding yourself with a 30 minute Netflix break. Or a job well done can be celebrated with buying a new sweater. This reward high reinforces the “because I am worth it” factor.

The goals factor has a lot to do with memory and past experiences. As mentioned above the cue of the habit in the first place can involve a childhood dream or life-long goal. Goals usually occur successfully when the habit is repeated regularly and for a long duration. Most successful habits are not created overnight. There needs to be some form of commitment. Obviously, there are many things that many people are just naturally good at firsthand. However, everything can be polished to perfection. That is the difference between good and greatness.

Nervousness is represented by an emotional reaction. Whether it be biting your nails when you are anxious, grunting your teeth out of anger, or slamming the door in rage. It is a bad habit that signifies your emotion at that given time.

Habits represent the action of earning and the power of achievement. Habits help you understand yourself better by being aware of your routine. If you are aware of your habits then you can have the power to change them. If you know how to control your habits you can better yourself into accomplishing a long-awaited goal. Once you perfect your habitual behavior and discover what works for you and what doesn’t, there is no telling what you can do. Life is all about trial and error. Not every habit is positive, but you can learn to make it that way or at least control the habit for the better. TC mark

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