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Stress, coping, and religion

Lalouvesc (Basilique) 3

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For my research question assignment I chose to write about stress, coping, and religion. Religion was an interesting mitigating factor in how people deal with stress and I was curious to know more and how this mechanism might operate.

I was discussing this with a classmate today because I just realized that we will not be working with these research questions again for this course and it was a topic I was genuinely interested in and wanted to know more about. I am not happy with the topic I have chosen for another class where we have to form an argument about a particular public health related issue and I thought I could build on this topic and take it a lot further.

Stress

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Some initial findings of some of the studies I have found point to a shift of focus from the self to external forces as being instrumental in facilitating reductions in stress, anxiety, and depression. I wonder what it is about taking the focus off one’s self that can relieve stress. I am reminded of an article I read once about the allure of bondage sexual practices and how the lack or loss of control was a big attraction for some. Some people want to lose control, its relieves the stress, worry, and pressure to make decisions.

I wonder how believing in some kind of higher power can help alleviate stress. Is the effect more pronounce in those who have little or no perceived control in their lives? I would argue that the draw of the religion would be more powerful for those who have no control as it might take off some of the pressure they may feel due to a perceived hand in their own circumstances.

Notes

-Gender. Women speak up less when in presence of males ((Filardo, 1996). Do we like it when men take over or is it because we feel intimidated, not as smart, not as effective, won’t be taken seriously?