Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

Violent Video Games Change the Brain

posted by Linda Mintle

I’ve been following the research on violent video game playing for decades. The news isn’t usually good and gamers become highly defensive whenever I post on this topic. So here we go again!

Consider this research as you choose your holiday presents. It confirms a finding we have known for years.

The study was presented at the annual Radiological Society of North America. It involved a small group of men, ages 18-29 years, who did NOT play violent video games. The researchers divided the group into two. They had one group play violent video games for 10 hours over the course of a week, and the other group did not play video games at all. Then both groups were tested with words of aggression while undergoing a functional MRI. The MRIs allowed researchers to actually see what changes occurred in the brain.

The finding: Playing violent video games desensitized the men to violence. This is a finding noted several times in other studies as well. The changes occurred in the area of the brain responsible for controlling emotions and aggressive behavior.

However, after a week of not playing the games, the brain changes returned to baseline levels. And the study did not prove whether it was the violence or playing the game that create brain changes.

With the number of violent video games that continue to be developed and marketed to our teens and young adults, we now have physical evidence that supports the idea that playing these games may make a person less sensitive to violence.

 

Is this something we want to continue to promote in our society?

 

 

10 Reasons for Tim Tebow Hate

posted by Linda Mintle

I walked in to a radio station focused on doing an interview totally unrelated to football and the producer starts ranting about how much he hates Tim Tebow. This was a day after Tebow once again brought his Broncos to victory. So I asked why he hates him so much. He really couldn’t articulate a reason. I pushed. Still no answer.

Is it because he is a good guy and has faith in God? No answer.

So you would prefer a Brett Favre who takes pictures of his body parts and emails them to women, or a Michael Vick who bank rolled dog fights? Or Tom Brady who has babies out of wedlock?

Apparently, it is no big deal when a player in the NFL is a bad boy. We’ve come to expect this according to Jeff Benedict who wrote a column for SI.com last year. He and his research assistant, Jeff Gasser, tracked public arrests of pro and college athletes from January 1, 2010 to August 31, 2010. In this eight month span, they found  125 reported arrests, more than one every other day. And that figure did not count minor arrests!

Back to Tebow, who so far, doesn’t have an arrest record, but has a I HATE TIM TEBOW Facebook page.

When Detroit Lions’ Stephen Tulloch and Tony Scheffler fell to their knees and mocked Tebow a few weeks ago (“Tebowing”), no one was too upset. But imagine if those two player did the same to a Muslim player who bowed to Mecca. There would be complete outrage. And there should be. Instead of mocking religious faith, we should be glad people embrace it. Religious faith usually helps people live better lives.

So why are people full of hate, want Tebow to fail and insist on making fun of him? Here are my thoughts:

1) People who enjoy seeing others fail usually attack others to feel good about themselves. Healthy people take joy in the success of others.

2) People are jealous and incredibly insecure.

3) Tebow raises the standard and makes others uncomfortable.

4) People are intolerant. They don’t agree with his pro-life stance and belief in Jesus.

5) American media has no problems making fun of Christians. There are few repercussions for this rude and insensitive behavior.

5) People are judgmental. If Tebow’s beliefs don’t match theirs, they go on the attack.

6) Misery loves company.

7) By debasing another, haters enhance their self-image

8) Haters do not have to look inward -they are too busy focusing on others.

9) Tebow acknowledges his dependency on God. We prefer self-sufficiency and humanism to win the day.

10)  St. Paul reminds us that to those who are lost, the Gospel offends.

Your thoughts?

 

 

If you like this blog,

Why We Love Tim Tebow

Signs of Compulsive Shopping

posted by Linda Mintle

” I can’t believe we owe this much money on our credit cards from the holidays! What happened? This debt will take months to pay off and has put us in serious financially trouble.” ” I’m sorry. I guess I spent a little too much. I didn’t mean to put us in debt.”

Shopping can be the seasonal balm for those who are depressed, lonely and /or anxious during the holidays. The harsh reality of the consequences of such action hits hard in January when credit card bills begin to arrive. Other times of the year, shopping is the activity engaged in to numb out feelings of angry, depression and loneliness. It serves as a momentary pick-me-up but ends in depression, financial hardship and relationship problems.

If you or someone you know tends to buy things that can’t be paid for or purchase items that are completely unnecessary, here are possible warning signs that compulsive shopping may be involved.

                            You:

1) Shop when you are emotionally upset.

2) Feel a “high” or rush when you purchase things

   3) Compulsively buy certain items like shoes, kitchen towels, etc.

   4) Experience financial hardship as a result of too much buying.

    5) Argue with others over your spending habits.

  6) Don’t use purchased items.

   7) Feel out of control when spending.

   8) Spend too much time juggling accrued bills.

   9) Accrue an unmanageable credit card debt.

  10) Intend to buy one or two items but buy many more.

If you need help with Compulsive Shopping, click on Strategies to Break Compulsive Shopping in tomorrow’s blog.

How Happy Couples Deal With Conflict

posted by Linda Mintle

 

How many times have you heard a couple say they need to work on resolving conflict? Well, it may surprise you to know that conflict resolution is not the solution to happy marriages.

My parents were married 67 years when my mom died. They grappled with the same conflict issues for most of those years. According to researcher John Gottman, this is normal in stable couples.  Gottman found that 69% of couple conflict is perpetual. This means that while having conflict is normal, the bulk of it remains unresolved.

However, well functioning relationships develop a specific kind of dialogue around these problems. Even though conflict is on-going, successful couples discuss conflict without escalating to negative patterns like blame, defensiveness, cut off, etc. They use humor, affection and some irritability, but the conversation does not escalate to a negative place.

Thus, the secret to dealing with conflict is not to avoid or necessarily resolve it. The secret is to keep from escalating that conflict to a negative place. Successful couples choose relationships with a set of perpetual problems that they learn to live with them, being respectful and positive as the dialogue over those problems unfolds. Staying positive is the key.

So the next time you find yourself in a conflict with your partner, examine your dialogue around that conflict. Are you critical, feeling contempt, being defensive or even putting up a wall? If so, the relationship is going the wrong direction. But if you keep your affection, use humor and stay positive, the relationship is going to do well.

 

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