Americans may be getting less violent, but we should absolutely not be getting more apathetic and isolationist. The world is a dangerous place with some very violent people in it, as well as some very unfortunate wars between groups that have been set against each other by proxies.
When we receive communication from other people that does not support our safety zone, most of us will either fight or flight. The challenge is every person's safety zone has been developed by unique experiences, beliefs, values and knowledge.
I came across a situation -- the details don't matter -- where well-meaning professionals who were faced with a situation they knew was a violation of organizational policies but yet were completely paralyzed into inaction.
These days, scientifically sound ideas about adrenaline are often unknowingly intermixed with some fanciful and sensational capacities. I have recently written a biography of adrenaline to tell the full story of this intriguing molecule.
The survival instinct designed to give us tools to fight or flee has turned on us. Now that it is on inappropriately, this response can have the opposite effect. Instead of saving our lives, it can contribute to insomnia, depression, panic attacks, and a host of other health concerns.
I traveled with IUP's ROTC to Camp Dawson to act as a journalist embedded into a military unit. Four of my staff members and I ate with the cadets, slept in the same barracks as the cadets and, in some cases, attempted to participate in the same activities.
Work. Just the word can cause your stress level to rise. But what most of us don't realize is that we can use our brains to control our stress response wherever we are right now. Here are four ways to de-stress without even leaving your desk.
Grounding yourself in body sensitivity serves as a circuit breaker to take you out of your chronic "fight or flight" state. Practice becoming aware of another's experience, especially when that other is your own body.
If the fight-or-flight survival instinct, which is so deeply woven into our DNA, no longer fulfills our most basic needs to survive, what new form of survival instinct do we need to evolve to help us to survive in the concrete, metal, and hard-wired world in which we now live?
The fight-or-flight reaction to threats is far too simplistic to effectively overcome many of the threats we are confronted with today. In fact, not only is this hardwired response often not effective, but it can be counterproductive to our survival.
Don't beat yourself up for beating yourself up in the vain hope that somehow it will help you stop beating yourself up. Instead, take a step back and give your inner critic some slack. In its ineffective, counterproductive way, your inner critic is actually trying to keep you safe.
Fear is a natural response to threats; it is part of our biological legacy to have a "fight or flight" system. Emotional systems are targeted by political marketers seeking to manipulate voting behavior.
I'm talking about "worth" as in self-worth and "value," as in the degree to which we feel valued by others, and valuable in the world. Nothing more powerfully influences our behavior and our effectiveness at work.