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Overview of the Day

Overview of the Day. Health psychology Are you sick? Promoting Health exercise, relaxation, social support Modifying illness-related behaviors smoking, poor diet, lack of exercise, weight control Films

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Overview of the Day

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  1. Overview of the Day • Health psychology • Are you sick? • Promoting Health • exercise, relaxation, social support • Modifying illness-related behaviors • smoking, poor diet, lack of exercise, weight control • Films • Think about: Why do we do things that are not good for us (evolution and modern world, ignorance, being a young male)

  2. How do we know when we are ill? • Obvious vs. Subtle symptoms • Some symptoms are subtle and hard to notice • People often fail to seek treatment for high blood pressure because they fail to notice that they are suffering from high blood pressure*

  3. Ambiguous Symptoms • Concerned when symptoms correspond to familiar disease schemas* • PMS • women are more likely to recall being out of sorts just before periods (and attribute it to PMS); less recall for being out of sorts at other times • Hayfever vs. cold

  4. Men, Women, and Illness • Who goes to the doctor more often? • Women (40% more often): report symptoms more, use prescriptions more • Who is more likely to be ill? • Men • Why the difference • Women are more: sensitive to internal states, more likely to admit something is wrong, more biologically aware (periods, childbirth)

  5. Promoting Health • Aerobic exercise • Its a good idea: • reduces depression*; increases confidence, self-discipline, and psychological resilience; increases longevity; fewer hospital stays; 50% fewer heart attacks; strengthens heart, lowers blood pressure; increases resistance to stress; increases production of serotonin and endorphins (neurotransmitters associated with relaxation and resistance to pain)

  6. Promoting Health • Biofeedback • Amplifying, recording and feedback back subtle physiological responses • Learn to control bodily functions regulated by the autonomic nervous system* • Blood pressure, heart rate • Heart rate monitors and athletic training • Relaxation • Relaxation response • Naps • Sleep 9 hours a night

  7. Promoting Health • Alter life-style • Diet, exercise, behave more slowly, smile, admit mistakes, enjoy life, have a religious faith--all these associated with better physical health

  8. Promoting Health • Social Support • Being liked, affirmed, and encouraged by friends and family--promotes health and happiness • When are people most vulnerable to disease • childhood illnesses after divorce or parental conflict • better results after operations when there is social support • 20-50% increase survival and recovery rate for leukemia and heart attacks

  9. Why does Social Support Work? • Encourage treatment • People who are married live longer • Get naked and inspect one another • Evaluate and deal with stressful events • Confide painful experiences • Writing in journal

  10. Modifying illness-related behaviors • Smoking • Bummer: 420,000 smoking related deaths per year • Why it is difficult to quit • Programs to stop: inoculation of children (warn of hazards, overcome peer pressure), make it painful (expensive, etc). Nicotine pills (addictive)

  11. Modifying illness-related behaviors • Nutrition • Eat healthy foods • Carbohydrates • energy • produce serotonin* (sleepy, relaxed, mood lifter) • Protein • builds muscle • increases concentration and alertness

  12. Modifying Illness-related behaviors • Weight Control • One third of Americans are overweight • High blood pressure, arthritis, heart disease • Why is it difficult to lose weight? • Fat cells grow and divide, and when they divide, they stay divided (but can shrink) • Genetics (metabolism rates) • Early childhood (and adult eating patterns) • Fat cells require less energy to maintain than muscle cells* • Set point: when weight drops below set point, hunger increases and metabolism decreases

  13. Modifying illness-related behaviors • How to lose weight • Eat fewer calories than you burn • Don’t starve yourself (eat regular meals) • Exercise (burns calories, keeps metabolism from slowing down) • Build some muscle (muscle burns more calories than fat)

  14. Summary of the day • Health psychology • Are you sick? • Promoting Health • exercise, relaxation, social support • Modifying illness-related behaviors • smoking, poor diet, lack of exercise, weight control • Think about: Why do we do things that are not good for us (evolution and modern world, ignorance, being a young male)

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