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Published:August 22nd, 2009 13:18 EST
How to Change Negative and Harmful Acts

How to Change Negative and Harmful Acts

By Roya Rohani Rad, MA, PsyD

How to Change Negative and Harmful Acts:

With everything in life, there is much more than can be seen and has been discovered in this world. When it comes to hateful, harmful, and damaging acts toward others, there are many reasons or combinations of reasons for them. The reasons range from unmet or unattended needs, an unhealthy environment in which one has grown up, and in some cases, some predisposed biological factors, which all lead a person to not be able to find his or her role and place in life, causing confusion and distress. That sense of distress will be projected onto others, one way or another. This tendency emerges from two systems in the brain. One is the emotional one, the other is the rational one.

Our emotional side usually causes a shortcut response to the problem and encourages immediate action, despite what the long term effects may be. It`s impulsive and immature. The rational side helps us calculate the situation rationally, comes up with a solution that consists of both short- and long-term effects, and has the most productivity. Scientists don`t know how these two systems interact or why, sometimes, the two sides take contradictory courses of action. Scientist also don`t know how the billions of the neurons in our brains are connected to one another. Until they figure this out, it will be hard for them to understand how perception and behavior are formed. Scientists believe that they will be able to identify a common circuit for everyone, and figure out the functions of specific neuronal pathways, hopefully in the near future. Everyone, however, has different synaptic connections that result from the individual experience. In the meantime, for those of us who can`t wait until scientist are done with all their experiments, it has been shown that people who manage to find a balance between the two sides, rational and emotional,  have the most productivity in life and seem to have a healthier life style.

So, the base is the same, but may produce different reactions. The one thing that we know, working with clients and through our clinical work as counselors and psychologists, is that humans have this extraordinary power to be in control of their emotions and thoughts, and even to change a habitual behavior.  It has been noted that humans can change some of their inherited characteristics if they choose to do so.  This is the beauty of having free will.  That is true even if we were genetically pre-disposed to something. They are still given the power to change it. It may take a lot of effort and determination to go about changing something that has become a part of us for so long, but once we get to a level of self-awareness, and realize the effects in a more multifaceted fashion, we will become more dedicated to initiating the change. I would like, for one thing, to congratulate you for your willingness and your awareness to go through the process if you decide to do so. I should say that you have become a transformed person.

Source: Roya Rohani Rad, MA, PsyD