Posted by: Anne E. Stuart | November 23, 2012

Friday Five – November 23, 2012

Happy Black Friday. That bizarre day when people rush out and mob the stores in search for the perfect gift. I worked retail through high school and my undergraduate years, so I avoid shopping on Black Friday. Well, I will hit the grocery store, because Black Friday is actually the slowest day for supermarkets. They had their equivalent of Black Friday on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Most of the links for this week came across on either Monday or Tuesday. I only had a two day work week. We were off from classes on Wednesday and again today.

In the spirit of Black Friday sales, this week you read 5 links and get 2 free! (Plus a free gift of 2 additional links.) (Tia Ghose) – November 16, 2012

This article resonated with me because I often have trouble relaxing. I recall my trip to Maui while in grad school. Sure, Maui had nice scenery and pretty beaches, but not a whole lot of other stuff to do. I got twitchy pretty quickly. I was reminded about my difficulty relaxing on Thursday morning when we had time to kill prior to leaving my sister-in-law’s house before the Manchester Road Race. My husband was calmly sitting on the sofa and I was, once again, a twitchy mess.

BTW: I huge thank you to my sister-in-law for puppy sitting my two dogs while my husband and I were racing. Also, I finished the race in 1:04:58 which is less than 4 minutes slower than last year, so I’m pretty happy with the outcome.

PsychCentral (Darlene Lancer) – November 5, 2012

For many, Thanksgiving is a time for giving thanks. However, it shouldn’t be the only day we pause and give thanks. Research from the field of positive psychology has shown that grateful people are better-off psychologically and physically than those who are not grateful. This article describes way to build up gratitude throughout the year.

In a related PsychCentral link, Margarita Tartakovsky describes how cultivating gratitude can help boost one’s body image.

Scientific American (Dwayne Godwin & George Chan) – November 17, 2012

I don’t have much to say about this link other than I’m a geek about random facts. I’m even more of a geek when it comes to random facts about the brain. Also, this is a pretty cool graphic, and I love George Chan’s PhD comics.

Psychology Today: Fulfillment at Any Age (Susan Krauss Whitbourne) – November 20, 2012

Who are you? What do your memories say about you? Those are the questions Susan Krauss Whitbourne is posing in her research and this column. Specifically, she is arguing that our sense of self is somewhat defined by the vivid memories we can recall from earlier in our lives.

Personally, I found this article interesting because I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my attitude towards my birthday over the last year. For many years, I’ve disliked my birthday. In more recent years, I’ve grown more neutral about it, but I still have a sneaking suspicion that it will blow up in some sort of disaster. Why? Because it did blow up – horribly – on my 12th birthday. I would say it’s a traumatic memory. In fact, the retelling has become quite humorous in my family. However, following the research of the linked article, it was a pretty formative memory.

thegaurdian: teacher network (Marc Smith) – November 21, 2012

In many of the seminars on teaching I have attended, I have heard people stress higher-order learning processes such as “application” and “evaluation”. I’m not trying to say these aren’t good goals for students to achieve. However, we need to look at the beginning and realize that in order for students to apply and evaluate well, they first need to know the facts. And by know the facts, they need to have them in their memory – not just accessible from Google and Wikipedia.

So students, if you want to be successful, you’re going to need to memorize stuff.

Human sexuality students, I realize that my five picks left you guys out. I also know that there are some of you who are counting on the blog to earn some points for your You Choose assignments. So for you guys (and everyone else), here are two links relevant to your class.

Psychology Today: Overcoming Pain (Mark Borigini) – November 20, 2012

Kinsey Confidential (Natalie Ingraham) – November 20, 2009



  1. I liked the article ” thanksgiving and gratitude in hard times” especially in the spirit of thanksgiving.. It’s amazing to find out what each religion prospective is in regards to their own belief.. I liked the 9 steps suggestion and will consider doing a couple of them in the weeks to come. Christmas is my favorite holiday and I welcome and embrace its coming.

    I found the article ” relaxing is difficult for some” quite interested because imagine telling someone with ADHD to try and relax on a beach or meditation or even relaxation… It’s a pretty neat article because it shows you different methods of trying to relax and it also goes on to say that the inability of being unable to relax, does not mean that something is wrong with you.

  2. I picked the articles “Sexual Healing” and “Relaxing is Stressful For Some.”

    “Sexual Healing” taught me that orgasm’s and arousal are pain theresholds. They have pain reducing effects that increase levels of endorphins. It is said thta orgasm’s and arousal ease the pain of head aches, and menstual cramps. People have been saying for years that it’s healthy to masterbate. Oxytocin and orgasm’s go together and reduce stress.

    In the second article I read “Relaxing is Stressfull For Some” a twenty one point survey was given to three hundred under graduate students. The survey asked an assortment of questions and for people to weigh their stress. This atricle also states that people whoa re resistant to calming down may be sensitive to change. I feel like I’m this type of person. I feel one hundred precent better if I’m running around do alot verses sitting down and watching television.

  3. The two articles I chose to read were “Relaxing is Stressful for Some”, and “Thanksgiving and Gratitude in Hard Times”.

    I chose to read the article about relaxation causing stress because I am able to relate. While some people believe that when one is stressed all they need to do is relax, others believe that relaxation can actually create more stress than it can relieve. Personally, I believe that relaxation actually creates stress. I feel that the act of relaxing gives one too much time to think about unnecessary subjects. For example, if one is trying to reduce stress by relaxing, it may actually cause them to think about negative and stressful thoughts. It is proven that stress effects everyone. However, people may choose different courses of action to reduce the stress.

    The article about Thanksgiving was not only timely, but emotional as well. I have never thought about Thanksgiving as a negative holiday. However, I was unaware that for many people in the world Thanksgiving is a difficult time. The article brought up the fact that those who are not well off financially often find it hard to be thankful or grateful. As for myself, my family is able to provide me with a time that allows me to be grateful. However, even those who cannot “afford” to be grateful should still give thanks for everyday life. The article offers many ways to be grateful. It suggests listing everything that is important to yourself. Also, it suggests reading a list out loud to others. By doing this, it forces one to actually be grateful for life. Overall, no matter what the financial status, every person in the world has something to be thankful for.

  4. The first article that i read was sexual healing. In that article I found out some what interesting because me being a male it was cool to find out about the female body and how it works. Orgasms in women are carried through pain thresholds. Sex is pretty much a pain reliever according to the article. So sexual activity brings well beings to the human body.

    The second article that I read was the Thanksgiving article. This article kept my attention because it told me the difference of gratitude within different religions. The article also gave a few facts on why to be grateful and some steps on developing your attitude on gratitude. I am grateful so the article is not as amusing to me but towards those who aren’t it will be.

  5. The two articles I read were “Relaxing is Stressful for Some” and “What Your Most Vivid Memories Say About You.”

    I chose to read the first article because I felt that I could relate to it. I have anxiety and I find it very hard to relax and every time I do, the anxious feelings return very suddenly because of the change in my physical state. I found this article interesting because it was good to know that it’s normal to react to relaxation that way. Also I found it helpful that there were other ways to “relax” without causing stress. Sometimes the relaxing can cause more stress.

    The second article I read was about what vivid memories say about you. This article was about how your most vivid memories can determine a lot of your identity. The part of the article I found interesting was when the author mentioned that we grow from the vivid memories. She used the example of getting drunk at a family party and learning from the experience from finding the meaning of the memory of that event. By integrating that event in your life, you learn from the mistake (cut back on drinking).

  6. The first article i read was “Relaxing is Stressful for Some”. This article basically describes what i go through. When i try to relax, it becomes stressful because I can never feel relaxed knowing there are things to be down. They mention that some people do not like the feeling of being relaxed. I personally love feeling relaxed, even though it doesn’t happen a lot. When my body is relaxed without me trying to relax it is when i am happiest. I feel bad for people who cant relaxed.

    The second article i read was ” What Vivid Memories Say About You”. It basically related memories to our personality. It said that we grow on vivid memories. I think it makes sense because when we do something wrong, we tend to remember it more than correct events because we dont want to repeat it. Vivid memories basically tell us what not to do or what to do. The more vivid memories we have, the more we learn. You probably do not want a lot of bad vivid memories though.

  7. •Sexual Healing
    I thought this was an interesting article but im not suprised with what it had to say. It makes sense that sex can help relieve pain and stress because it is a form of exercise and exercise raises endorphins which make us feel better.

    •International Transgender Day of Remembrance
    I think it is terrible that people could have such a hatred for a certain group of people. I think the day of remembrance is a great thing and really can help spread awareness. Hopefully this day will help people recognize that issues that transgenders face on a daily basis.

  8. The first article I read was “Relaxing is Stressful For Some.” I agree that some people do not like relaxing. Depending on how you relax, you can feel lazy sometimes. I do believe that it could make people feel as if they do not have control of their body because all your muscles feel as if they are weak. Maybe what needs to happen is that there is more talk about relaxing. Such as, how to do it the right way and how not to feel worse after doing it.

    The second article I read was “Sexual Healing.” I read something like this before in a magazine and it said that sex reduces stress and everything else that was stated in this article. I never heard of oxytocin but it makes sense that it would make you feel better after because the feeling of warmth and comfort is a good feeling to most people.

  9. – Thanksgiving and Gratitude

    I thought this article was very accurate and made me realize that I am very fortunate, to have the possessions I have today. Also to appreciate all the material things and people that are in my life. This article made me open my eyes and realize that I am blessed to have a place to call home and being able to further my intelligence and go to school and seek a degree. Not many people can say that now a days and that makes me grateful.

    -Sexual Healing

    This article was very interesting and helped me realize somethings about how sexuality works. I never knew that sex can help reduce stress and help females with their menstrual cycle and makes it less painful. So in a way I kind of take it as sex for females can be a pain killer while they are encountering their period once a month.

  10. The first article I read was, “Relaxing is Stressful For Some.” I can connect to this article because I usually have trouble relaxing without thinking that my time could be better spent. I am always looking for something to do and it’s refreshing to know that my lack of relaxation is normal. Too much time relaxing can also cause unnecessary thoughts.

    The second article I read was, “What Vivid Memories Say About You.” I liked this article as it related memories to our personality. Vivid memories help us grow as people. We learn from our vivid memories, mostly the bad ones. Using the example of getting drunk at a family party, those vivid memories are a great learning block for life. You learn from your past mistakes.

  11. The first article I read was, “Thanksgiving and Gratitude in Hard Times”. Sometimes when the holidays come up, you are not in the holiday mood. Alot of people these days are struggling financially, making them not want to even participate in the holiday preparations. What people have to remember is that they need to be grateful for what they have, their families and God. Spending time with the people you love makes your days a little better and brighter.

    The second article I read was, “International Transgender Day of Rememberance”. This article is very interesting and touching. Many people dont know how their comments affect people. It doesnt matter how you as long as you’re being yourself. You cant be yourself if you dont know who you really want to be. People are killing themselves because of what people are saying to their face or behind their backs about what gender they want to be. If a boy wants to be a girl and vice versa thats their business not ours.

  12. In the article, relaxing is stressful for some, it really makes me think how I can never stay relaxed for a long period of time. Because once I get relaxed then I get anxious. And this is the same with alot of people, because we are never at ease. And it’s hard to stay focused.

  13. The first article I read was “Relaxing is Stressful for Some”. I understand this article completely because i have difficulty relaxing and with my anxiety it gets even more difficult. I try and breathe deep when relaxing but i just become more impatient with relaxation. If I lay down and try to relax I begin to think too much and it causes more stress and anxiety on me. Hopefully I can find something to do to change that.
    The second article I read was “Thanksgiving and Gratitude in Hard Times”. During the holidays especially thanksgiving people think very much about giving thanks to everything they have but also taking things for granted. The facts put in the article developing an attitude for gratitude would definitely help people think more and take things for granted less. It may even help loosen the stress with the relaxing article as well.

  14. The first article that I read was “Relaxing is Stressfulfor Some.” I agree with this article because there are times I have a hard time relaxing. I feel like if you try too hard to relax, you become even more stressed and you won’t be able to relax in th end. Other reasons why I can’t relax sometimes is because I have a lot on my mind. So I find it better that I find something to do instead of getting frustrated and wasting my time trying to relax myself.

    The other article that I read “What Vivid Memories Say About You” is about how memories that you mostly remember help you learn things throughout your life. For example, if you areabout to do something but it reminds you of a bad memory about it then you might not do whatever you were going to do.

  15. I decieded to read the article that talked about how relaxing might be stressful for some because relaxing is way to easy for me and i couldnt understand how something so easy could be stressful towards someone else. at first i really didnt understand how that could be stressful towards someone. relaxing is probably one of the easiest things for me to do..maybe a little to easy because thats what im always doing. while i was reading the article i was becoming more and more understand as to why some relaxing techniques can be stressful to certain people. The other article i decied to read was the article that describes how are memories make us who we are. I think its an interesing fact that toddlers are able to notice themselves in the mirror at 18. ive always wondered if my god son actually knew who he was and who takes care of him.

  16. The two articles I read were “Sexual Healing” and “Identifying those stressed out by relaxing”.

    The first article I read “Sexual Healing” was very interesting. I found it quite interesting that over 50 % of women who masturbate while having headaches or other illness’s, help assist in the pain relief. I also Found it interesting that quite a few women masturbate during menstrual cycles to relieve cramps.

    The second article I read was ” Identifying those stressed out by relaxing”. Personally when I find myself trying to relax, I do indeed end up getting more anxious because I finally stop and am able to think about what I still need to do or accomplish and the anxiety sets in knowing that I should be getting those things done rather than just relaxing.

  17. The first article I read talked about how relaxing can be stressful for some people. The article stated that sometimes relaxation is not always the most effect treatment. I believe that relaxing is stressful for me at times. I constantly think about all of the things I need to get done.

    The next article I read involved sexual healing methods. I thought it was interesting that many people use sex as an outlet for pain. It was also interesting that about 40% of women masturbated in order to feel relief, as opposed to pleasure.

  18. The two articles I read this week were “Sexual Healing” and “Relaxing is Stressful For Some.”

    I really enjoyed reading about the relaxing article because I have a very difficult time trying to do so. I get bad anxiety and breathing heavy and loud actually increases it. I agree with the article in saying that relaxing doesn’t actually help stress for a lot of people. My mom used to do yoga to relax and would make me go sometimes to try to help my anxiety and it just made it worse and non enjoyable.

    The sexual healing article was so interesting to read about. I never would have guess that masturbating would help headaches or cramps or anything at all for that matter. It does make sense though that orgasms help relieve stress though. I found this article to be very intriguing and I learned a lot.


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