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
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
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
Recognising your own capabilities, progress, persistence and
will to make a difference. (See ‘Mental
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
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.
A method of creative thinking that involves generating/noting
down, without inhibition, as many new ideas for the solution
of a problem as possible.
A long-term and severe frustration
reaction that has developed
into a fatigue depression.
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.
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
- 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.
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 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).
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.
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.
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
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.
They involve something you want, something you desire, something
significant and meaningful.
Are states with weak or strong positive emotions – the
LogosEros state and Eros state respectively.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
Apparently irrational behaviour, although this may, at an unconscious
level, be meaningful.
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.
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.
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.
Distress (despair, suffering). A state involving strong negative
emotions = strong stress emotions. The cognition and body state
are similarly quite negative and unpleasant.
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
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.
The development of personal characteristics such as attitudes,
values, views of life, and ways of thinking and acting.
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.
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 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 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
Alan Carr: Positive Psychology.
The Science of happiness and human strengths,
Brunner-Routledge, Hove and New York, 2004.
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
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.
A coping mechanism that focuses on the stressor. One attempts
to resolve, remove or reduce the problem. (In contrast to emotion-focused
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.
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.
An experience of effectiveness. Being convinced that you have
the necessary strength to handle a problem. Self-confidence
can be learned. See ‘Assertiveness
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.
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.
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 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
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.
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
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).