Posted by: Anne E. Stuart | March 15, 2012

Thursday Three (w/a bonus) – March 15, 2012

To celebrate the second half of my spring break & St. Patrick’s day, I’m off to visit with good friends in Atlanta. I’m currently sitting in the Philadelphia airport working on this post (gotta love modern technology and free wi-fi). I apologize in advance for any random typos. In the effort to pack “lighter”, my husband and I only brought one computer with us (his) – I’m still working out the quirks of the track pad if I get lazy in my typing posture.

I had trouble narrowing my choices down to just three links for today’s post, so I added a bonus to make up for the fact that I didn’t come up with five links last Friday. (For my PSY102 students: You can respond to either today’s Thursday Three or last week’s Friday Five in order to complete the web assignment due for Monday, March 19th.)

Here are this week’s links:

Psychology Today: High Octane Women (Sherrie Bourg Carter, Psy.D) – March 14, 2012

I will acknowledge that  I jumped on this link as soon as it came across Twitter. I HATE clutter. I also know that clutter, and particularly a cluttered work space, is a huge source of stress for me.

In this post for her High Octane Women blog, Sherrie Bourg Carter describes how mess leads to stress and clutter makes us feel hopeless. However, she also provides hope. She states that stress is one of the easiest sources of stress to fix. It simply requires uncluttering and organizing one’s space. For mental clutter, she advises that one should focus on one task at a time without distractions.

Psychology Today: Vacation Mentality (Lauren Fritsky) – March 14, 2012

I found this link particularly timely this morning. I have four flights over the next four days. Thankfully, there were no screaming kids on my first flight. I hope the same holds for the next three and I haven’t just jinxed myself.

In this post for Vacation Mentality, Lauren Fritsky comments on the recent event where a toddler and family were kicked off a JetBlue flight from the Caribbean. She states that kids build on and feed into the stress and anxiety already caused by travel. She also comments that what many passengers are truly frustrated at are the parents who let their entitled brat ruin everyone’s flight.

Note: Lauren Fritsky may not have said it so strongly. I fully admit that I do not have kids. I also acknowledge that my dogs are not exactly models of perfect obedience. However, I do make a point to keep my dogs from bothering people when out in public. Why is it so hard for people with kids to do the same?

Psychology Today: The Human Equation (Joni E. Johnston, Psy.D.) – April 27, 2011

Don’t let the date on this link confuse you. This link did come across Twitter this week.

In this post for The Human Equation, Joni Johnston discusses the different motivations behind animal cruelty and the reasons kids may harm an animal. She also points out what types of behaviors are part of normal development as kids learn about their world, and she distinguishes how these differ from the red flag behaviors that indicate more troublesome problems.

American Psychological Association: Your Mind Your Body (Dr. Stephanie Smith) – March 12, 2012

In this post for Your Mind Your Body, Stephanie Smith describes a study that found that children who are obsessed with success and perfection may actually suffer academically due to their fear of failure. She comments that children should be allowed, even expected, to fail. Doing so may actually strengthen their abilities. She also comments that children should see adults fail at difficult tasks.

This reminds me of two quotes by Sir Winston Churchill that I stumbled upon recently:

“Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.”

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”

Now, I just need to adopt this mindset to my own pursuits.



  1. “Learning is Hard and That’s OK” particularly resonates with me because I have always strove for perfection in my academic classes and when I did not succeed I thought that there was something wrong with me as a human being. I definitely think that there is a benefit for not forcing children to be perfect in whatever they try. I see children who are being forced to read by their parents at age 2 and wonder what kind of stress that child will have to deal with for the rest of their life because they were forced to learn to read at age 2. Because if a child learned to read at age 2, wouldn’t that mean that they feel more pressure because of the acceleration of accomplishments?

    I’m sitting in my brother’s dorm room right now and thought that he could take some advice from “Why Mess Causes Stress: 8 Reasons, 8 Remedies”. I can understand maybe being too busy during the week with his hectic schedule to clean up everyday, but I don’t think he’s done anything besides laundry since I was here at the beginning of December. I would say that I don’t know how he can live this way, except that he’s always been like this. I think it might be better for him to clean things, but I think no matter what he reads or what I say,he’s stuck in his ways.

  2. Why Mess Causes Stress: 8 Reasons, 8 Remedies
    What’s funny about this is that i just saw the mess i had in my room, and have been stressed out. I read this article and it explains exactly how i feel. I usually look at the mess, freak out, and walk away from it because i’m way too lazy to clean it all up. I know though that i would feel better if i do clean it up, but the stress i had was how to start. But the pointers this article gave seem very helpful. I’m going to try and attempt to clean this room now. Wish me luck!

    Learning Is Hard and That’s OK
    Thank Goodness someone wrote an article about this! People can finally understand that everything we do in the learning process takes time. We need to be patient in everything, especially when learning something new. In my life i felt pressured to be perfect at everyting. It was tough, but i know now as an adult that we all learn at a different pace.

  3. “Why Mess Causes Stress: 8 Reasons, 8 Remedies”
    When I read this article, everything was making more and more sense the farther I read. I realized that these are all of the reasons why I am an organized person. When I was a child I had no problem with clutter in my room, I saved everything! I was a total packrat. But as I grew up, I started to throw more things out and make sure everything had a spot in my room. I have know that mess causes stress for quite some time now and that is why I like to put things away where they belong, not just laying out. The article also gave me some great remedies to try if needed.

    “Learning I Hard and That’s OK”
    I agree with this article 100%. If people strive for excellence every time it becomes a habit which is not good. Like if you study too much and tend the get anxiety before a big test, your more likely to do bad because your worried about failing. My mother always told me that perfection is not a real thing, and it is impossible to achieve. It is true that you will miss out on opportunities because you’re focusing more on being perfect in your own life than doing something else. I think it is okay to fail yes, but I feel embarrassed when it happens. I get mad and blame myself.

  4. Hi Dr Stuart
    Thanks for including my post about failure in your Thursday 3 + 1! Love reading the comments and how others, like me, view perfection with suspicion. Thanks again for the link, glad I found your blog!

    • You are welcome. The comments you are reading are all from students!

  5. -Learning is hard and that’s ok: This article shows how it is alright to fail every now and again. It states that perfectionists tend to suffer academically because of their obsession of achieving perfection. The article also provides advice on raising a child stating that it’s good to show a young child that you too (the parent) fails occasionally.

    -Whats the real reason why we hate kids on planes: This article offers an explanation on why we hate kids on a plane. Everyone hate a crying/screaming kid on a flight but turns out that the real reason why we hate a crying kid on a plane is mostly because the crying kid is kind of like adding salt to the wound. Some travelers are anxious/afraid of flying and the crying kid does not help one bit.

  6. Why Mess Causes Stress
    I agree that mess causes stress. When i have a messy desk, I feel like I have a messy brain, and can’t get work done. I feel the same way when I’m trying to sleep. If my room is messy I cant fall asleep.

    Whats the real reason we hate kids on planes.
    When I’m on a plane, or at the airport, I find myself way more agitated and anxious then normal. I think people take to long to sit down, and take too long to get off the plane. I think airports are just the worst place for human interaction. On top of that, having to hear an annoying little kid would make an airport even worse.


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