LAVC Psy 60 Discussion 2 – Emotional and Intellectual Basis of Stress, Should, ought, must, & negative and irrational beliefs

Emotional and Intellectual Basis of Stress




This paper extensively assesses various experiences that cause different psychological effects owing to the choice of words. It expounds on these concepts through the use of real time and personal experiences that clearly portray the effects of the usage of certain words. Additionally, it covers the aspect of self-talk and how it leads to irrational perceptions that hinder emotional prowess. Through the discussed experiences and examples, this paper gives a variety of alternative words that would have otherwise been used in stress mitigation.

Emotional and Intellectual Basis of Stress

Choice of words greatly depicts the nature, mood and reactions expected from a conversation or any interactions. Different words might have the same meaning but portray completely different tones. While some words impose intense stress to either the speaker or the listener, others motivate and inspire. It is, therefore, important to establish an appropriate choice of words that would foster motivation and joy.

A very close friend of mine was admitted to a drug rehabilitation center. “I should have been born in a good neighborhood,” she would always say. She attributes her drug problems to her upbringing in Brooklyn, New York. She was raised by relatively poor parents who cared less about her upbringing. She is evidently regretting a natural course of nature. There was no way she could speak up to her parents due to their violent nature and recurrent fights. It is important to note that the usage of the word “should” shows clear regret. Regret is not a good psychological approach to solve such problems. I believe if she said, “I am going to change my society,” she would get a faster recovery and acceptance. With this, should would have resolved to ‘hope’ other than drugs.

In my previous school, my tutor would occasionally tell us, “Your assignments must be submitted in time or else…” This would instill a lot of fear among the students and would greatly affect their performance. A case in mind is when I had to forgo all my activities to at least create time for the assignment. This made me miss some sessions of my gym class and other equally essential co-curricular activities. I jumbled up my schedules just because of my fear of punishment caused by missing the deadline. Had the teacher used more encouraging words like “…your assignments should be…” then most of my other activities would not have been affected. Additionally, my performance in his class would have improved a great deal.

Still on my friend who has drug problems. For confidentiality purposes, I will call her Kimberly- not her real name though. Kimberly was hooked to marijuana and she feels, by the book, that its addiction is irreversible. She has been in the rehabilitation center for three months now. She has always thought that she has stayed there for way too long after seeing her mates get discharged. This has taken a really negative toll in her psychological stability. It is a completely irrational belief since she has not realized that her mates had different drug problems. She has also improved immensely but due to her irrational self-talk, her improvements go unnoticed.

Therefore, in conclusion, the choices of words really dictate our attitudes towards various aspects in life. We tend to poison our progress by negative words or words used in the wrong contexts, Blonna (2012). The above examples and personal experiences clearly depict the importance of motivational words that would help consolidate stress.


Blonna, R. (2012). Coping with stress in a changing world. New York: McGraw-Hill Higher Education.

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