Psychological aspects of personality play a huge role in our lives. They are risk factors for some of the most common disorders, such as insomnia, hypersomnia and parasomnia. Psychological aspects of activity (especially in hard work and extreme situations) are often the causes of psychosomatic illnesses. They are also factors in many positive events and transformations that can change a person’s life, help to cope with difficulties and even endure inhuman pain.
Psychological aspects of sleep disorders
Similarly, bad habits such as smoking, alcohol abuse, sedentary lifestyles and obesity-driven diets are risk factors for an underlying sleep disorder like hypersomnia or obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. The excessive daytime sleepiness associated with this diagnosis affects social role, employment, and cognitive function and emotional well-being. This is where the social and psychological aspects of sleep disorders come in. Well, next we will talk about other important manifestations of this overarching phenomenon.
Psychological aspects of pain
Psychological factors can increase or decrease pain. Evidence for these effects includes experimental studies in which scientists have manipulated subjects’ mood, attention, expectations, and desires for pain relief. Individual factors can reduce or increase pain, and the analgesic effects of placebos appear to be the result of multiple aspects, including the subject’s (or patient’s) desire to relieve his or her own condition.
We may be talking, for example, about the pain of surgery, which is why hypnosis was so popular as anesthesia until the middle of the last century, and is still used in some clinics today. This fact proves that the psychological aspect is a fundamental phenomenon that governs all areas of our lives.
Further evidence for the above thesis comes from clinical studies that show strong predictive links between mood and pain, mood and disability, and placebo effect (or human expectations) manipulation and pain. Clearly, there are many similarities between the various psychological mechanisms of pain modulation.
For example, the desire for relief and expectation are integral factors in placebo analgesia, but they also play an important role in the emotional impact on pain in other contexts. These are all psychological aspects of pain as an integral part of our sensations, which, in fact, are also rooted in our psychology. Much more so than is commonly thought of these days.
Attention and Emotions
On the other hand, attention and emotion have at least partial effects on pain. The neurophysiological basis of these psychological factors is partially understood, but more work needs to be done to fully understand the underlying mechanisms. In addition, the relationship and interaction of psychological factors with the more traditional physiological and drug effects are also poorly understood and ripe for further investigation.
The experience of pain is never an isolated sensory event; it is usually tied to some very specific physiological context. But pain is also influenced by beliefs, attention, expectations, and emotions, whether it occurs under controlled “laboratory” conditions, or under conditions of physical trauma and emotional stress.
Either way, the reader should understand that the psychological aspect of pain is a key part of it, and that psychology can be used to influence physiological processes as well.
As an example, consider a patient who was in remission from spinal cancer. After picking up a bag of groceries, she experienced a sudden discomfort (muscle tension) in the same area of her back where the tumor had once been localized. Her pain appears by all accounts to be significantly more intense or uncomfortable than that of a patient with recurrent muscle tension in the same area of her back.
Psychologists also found that servicemen injured in combat complained much less and required much less pain medication than civilians injured in traffic accidents. This is the psychological aspect of pain in its purest form. However, below we will look at other areas where this overarching phenomenon plays a key role.
The psychological aspect in the context of the physical sphere of life
The physical layer of life includes our health and how we treat our bodies. It also includes what we consume, how often we work, how we wash, how we endure ailments. Our body is the most precious gift we have, and we cannot exist without it. If we are not healthy, we certainly cannot enjoy all other aspects of life.
For this reason, loving our bodies is the first step toward happiness. No matter where we start, no matter how irreversible we think our poor health is, it’s never too late to start changing our habits. A healthy body is a healthy mind, and by taking care of ourselves, we will feel more confident, more motivated and have better control over our life situation.
But in order to truly love our bodies, we need to think about the psychological aspects of how we perceive them. For example, in the process of development a person often develops various complexes related to the body, as well as bad habits. That is why the most qualified psychologists work with people suffering from dysphoria of all kinds, bulimia, anorexia and other illnesses connected with aversion to one’s body. All traumas and disorders come precisely from childhood, which already prompts thoughts about the psychological aspects of development.
The Mental Sphere of Life
If you don’t take care of your body, your appearance and health will deteriorate; the same applies to your mind. The fact that you no longer need to go to school does not mean that you cannot learn new things. The mental sphere should be separated from the mental sphere, as it is solely responsible for thoughts and thinking abilities.
However, the role of the psychological aspect here is obvious, because people with serious mental disorders or even depression, for example, significantly worsens mental activity.
The Emotional Sphere and the importance of controlling it
It is easy to forget the importance of managing our emotional background. If we neglect it, we can feel unsatisfied and fall into the abyss of procrastination, discouragement, and hopelessness. Therefore, it is very important that we allow ourselves to engage our feelings, to manifest them, to listen to them.
The emotional state is very much connected with the psychological and mental state, and all together they form our physiological sense of self. It is well known that happy and confident people even get sick much less often than depressed and unhappy people.
Our body, our mind, and our emotions are all part of a single system. This system is largely tied to psychology-consciousness, unconsciousness, complexes, and experiences. It makes no sense to deal with any part of this system in isolation from all the others, because it is trivial to get nowhere.
The life psychological aspect is the link that binds together all his sensations and gives meaning to all his activities.