What Makes Men Violent?

What Makes Men Violent?

When I heard about the last mass shooting in Vegas, I felt physically ill.  If the shooter was a Muslim or anything other than White, the media and politicians would label him as a terrorist.

If the shooter is White, they say that he has mental health issues.

But what has been the common denominator in 88 out of the last 91 shootings?  It is that the shooter is a male.

While most men are not violent, most of the violence is committed by men.   In fact, 90% of homicides are by men.   And it is time that we as a country start to address the underlying causes before more lives are lost!

So what makes men violent?

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The Power of Our Friend’s Subconscious Influence

The Power of Our Friend’s Subconscious Influence

We have all probably noticed the subtle influence we get from our friends. Maybe they want a beer after a hike, desert after a meal, or maybe they just got a cool new phone.   At some point, you are likely to want what they have.   These social influences are much more powerful than we realize, and as a healer, I regularly see the profound impact of our environment. The messages we receive implicitly or explicitly shape who we are and how we think, and one of the most powerful ways to improve as a person is to be picky about who you spend time with.

What evidence is there to suggest that who we surround ourselves with matters?

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The Real Reasons People Are Cruel

The Real Reasons People Are Cruel

I used to keep abreast of the news, but I find that I no longer can. Why? Because the news is barraged with reports of things cruel people said, cruel people did or cruel new laws that were passed, and I’m finding it too distressing to follow closely.

Similarly, I’ve noticed in my personal life and as a Holistic Brain Health practitioner, cruelty seems to be on the rise.

I was thinking this as I discovered the latest issue of Psychology Today, where the featured article discussed the rise of toxic behavior. According to the global communications firm Weber Shandwick, a record number of Americans (69% ) believe that American has a civility problem.   It was 65% is 2010.

So what is causing the increase in cruelty?

According to the research by Weber Shandwick, most people blame politicians and social media.   As I wrote in my article Why We Lack Control Over Our Thoughts, our environment and what we are exposed to has a profound influence on what we think. If we have any tendency to be cruel, the cruelty we see regularly in the news, in our social media and entertainment gives us unconscious permission to do the same.   We are not immune from our environment. If we were, politicians and advertisers wouldn’t spend as much as they do trying to influence us.

That being said, we don’t all respond to watching cruelty in the same way.

Interestingly, in a study published in 2014, researchers showed that watching violence activates the brains differently in aggressive people than calm people. Aggressive people had reduced activity in the decision making part of their brain (the orbitofrontal cortex), and more activity in the emotional center of the brain (the amygdala).   They also showed a rise in blood pressure.

So if aggressive people respond differently to watching violence than calm people, what makes people unkind in the first place?

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A Powerful Strategy to Become the Best You

A Powerful Strategy to Become the Best You

As I child I was told early on that I asked too many questions and had too many needs.   My father was constantly angry, and he told me it was my responsibility to not make him so.   So my response was to belittle my needs, and try to be less demanding.

Recently, I found myself in a similar pattern in a project I was working on, where I felt like I was walking on eggshells to fulfill the needs of someone else. I dismissed my own needs in favor of theirs and began getting resentful.

Yet I am a firm believer that we need to stand up for our rights and what we believe in, and that if we stay silent, we will lose our voice and our power.

I realized that I am caught in this conflict of not knowing, when is it OK to speak up, and when is it better to shut up?

I’ve recently noticed the pattern that people with healthier relationships do speak up. They feel more entitled to being treated well than I do, and there is even research to support this.

I was in the midst of pondering this conundrum, when I showed up for my yoga class. The teacher talked about setting an intention for our practice, but said that to face our current times, we need something deeper, something more long lasting, we need to concept of the sankalpa.

What is the sankalpa?

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How Releasing Subconscious Barriers Changes the Brain

How Releasing Subconscious Barriers Changes the Brain

I call myself a Holistic Healer for a Happy & Healthy Brain, and yet I release subconscious barriers.   So how does releasing subconscious barriers change the brain?

While I can’t provide decisive evidence about how it changes the brain, I can conjecture a theory based on current findings in neuroscience.

We know, thanks to the discoveries of neuroplasticity, that our brains are constantly evolving, and that habit changes rewire the brain.

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How to Deal With Bullies, Trolls and Haters

How to Deal With Bullies, Trolls and Haters

Last week, I submitted a comment on a blog, and got back the wrath of what I like to call an “angry man-child”.   This person insulted me and everything that I said, and it was clear that he was ready to pick a fight.   I felt myself getting defensive, and I started to think how I’d retaliate.   But I quickly realized that my emotions were getting in the way of me. I decided that I’d try to call him out on his behavior by labeling it, and then I tried to respectfully use reason to argue my point.

I had hoped that I would increase his awareness of how he came across, but he came back with more vehement insults and lambasted me for not addressing his points.

I knew that he was an angry man-child, and that he was trying to defend an ego that someone in his past had insulted.   But I still wanted to find a way to silence him. I wanted him to realize he was spreading anger and hatred that only hurt people and himself.

I couldn’t seem to let the issue go!

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