Fear & Bravery are Two Sides of the Same Coin.

Guest Post: Meryl Sharlene Siongco

We all have experienced the feeling of being scared, right? But with that feeling comes the option of being brave.

Being brave means many things. For example, being brave to talk to that person you really like or even telling someone you love them. To be brave is to also have courage to do something that we are scared to do or scared that it might end badly.

New-Cool-LogoWe get negative feelings anticipating bravery and that can cause us to back out of a situation because we fear change or pain. For example, there was a time I was really scared to go sky diving because in the beginning I was blind folded and I took off my blind fold only right before I was going to jump.

When I saw how high I was from the ground it was frightening at first…but I knew I didn’t want to back out from experiencing something worth remembering. As a result, I summoned the courage and I jumped off the plane, that’s when being in the air sky diving was very joyful and a wonderful experience. It was worth trying out.

Being scared equally provides us the potential to be brave and have courage. You simply never know how the situation will turn out if you don’t go for it. No matter whatever situation, always have the courage and the bravery to go for it. It will change your life and make you glad you took a chance.

Copyright (c) Brāv

What You Should Spend 5 Minutes on Daily

Guest Post: Meryl Sharlene Siongco

5 Minutes seems really short for some, but those minutes are actually quite a lot of time to do “good” for yourself.


I know what you’re thinking…”What! Five minutes for myself! I don’t have time.” …with busy schedules and work, us humans forget our priorities…particularly to ourselves. It is somewhat taboo to wish to focus on ourselves and some coquettishly misdiagnosis doing this as “narcissistic.” It is indeed a good idea to not only focus on but enjoy ourselves. To embrace who we are as unique individuals as well as part of the collective of humankind.

We can begin doing this every morning – proclaim a few great mantras including “I love being me” or even anticipate the day ahead and how you plan to make it better for yourself and those who you must interact with – arbitrarily or regularly.

Or if we give ourselves five minutes each day to read to gain insight, look at ourselves in the mirror to gain perspective, or drink tea to nourish ourselves, or even just embrace life to create good memories, many of us could begin to appreciate not only ourselves but others much more.

Life can get busy and hard and sobering – particularly when we don’t stop and think…

…but please take the time to enjoy who you are. Life is too short to forget yourself.


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Our Memories May not be as Accurate as We Like to Believe

Ever had foot-in-mouth disease? I’d wager it happens more often than not.

New research published this week in Psychological Science by cognitive scientist Andreas Lind and his colleagues at Lund University in Sweden suggests that speech is not entirely planned. brain

These scientists were determined to find out what happens when someone said one word, although actually hearing themselves state another. “If we use auditory feedback to compare what we say with a well-specified intention, then any mismatch should be quickly detected,” scientist Lind said. “But if the feedback is instead a powerful factor in a dynamic, interpretative process, then the manipulation could go undetected.”

Participants took a Stroop test, an example of this test is when a person is shown the word ‘yellow’ although it is printed in green. They are then  asked to name the color of the print (in this example, green). During the test, participants heard their responses through headphones. “The responses were recorded so that Lind could occasionally play back the wrong word, giving participants auditory feedback of their own voice saying something different from what they had just said.”

After participants heard a manipulated word, a question popped up on the screen asking what they had just said, and were then quizzed after the test to see whether they had detected the switch. When the voice-activated software got the timing just right (that the wrong word began within 5–20 milliseconds of the participant starting to speak) the change went undetected more than 2/3 or approximately 66% of the time.

In 85% of undetected substitutions, the participant accepted that they had said the wrong word, indicating that speakers listen to their own voices to help specify the meaning of what they are saying. The remaining 15% didn’t notice the manipulations, but also did not seem to notice that the word had changed – scientist Lind is unclear why.

What this means for Brāv? Since our observations can be unreliable, it stands to wager that many of our interactions and memories of interactions with others can be just that. Let’s clarify through Brāv.


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Do Negative Emotions Increase your Chances of Strokes & Heart Attacks?

Know anyone who has suffered a stroke or heart attack? broken_heart13What was their life generally like? Know of what they were going through, if anything?

Scientists have discovered that anger, anxiety, and depression affect the functioning of the heart as well as increases the risk for heart disease. Atherosclerosis is a process where blood vessels supply the heart and brain, and strokes and heart attacks are caused by progressive damage to these vessels. Atherosclerosis increases when there are high levels pro-inflammatory cytokines or chemicals in the body.

Some scientists believe there is a link between atherosclerosis and stress levels in the body. Ultimately, negative emotions are thought to increase the risk for atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease by raising the levels of pro-inflammatory chemicals in the body. These scientists believe in a link between negative emotions and stress because many of the same brain areas involved in these emotions are also involved in sensing and regulating levels of inflammation in the body and thus causing physical signs of risk for heart disease. 

Let’s find a way to decrease our stress through decreasing negative emotions often experienced with unnecessary conflicts with others.

More information: The article is “An Inflammatory Pathway Links Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease Risk to Neural Activity Evoked by the Cognitive Regulation of Emotion” by Peter J. Gianaros, Anna L. Marsland, Dora C.-H. Kuan, Brittney L. Schirda, J. Richard Jennings, Lei K. Sheu, Ahmad R. Hariri, James J. Gross, and Stephen B. Manuck, DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2013.10.012

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Report: 1 in 13 U.S. kids (mostly boys) take psych meds

A new government report states that more than 7 percent of American schoolchildren are taking at least one medication for emotional or behavioral difficulties.


In addition, researchers discovered that 7.5 percent of U.S. children between the ages of 6 and 17 were taking medication for an emotional or behavioral problem. Also, many more boys than girls were given medication — 9.7 percent of boys compared with 5.2 percent of girls. Older females were more likely than younger females to be given medication, but the age difference among males wasn’t significant, according to the report.

White children were the most likely to be on psychiatric medications (9.2 percent), followed by black children (7.4 percent) and Hispanic children (4.5 percent), according to the report.

The study found that significantly more children on Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program were on medication f

or emotional and behavioral problems (9.9 percent), versus 6.7 percent with private insurance and just 2.7 percent of children without insurance.

Additionally, more families living below 100 percent of the federal poverty level had children taking medications for emotional and behavioral problems than those above the federal poverty level.

55% percent of parents reported that these medications helped their children “a lot,” while another 26 percent said they helped “some.” Just under 19 percent said they didn’t help at all or helped just a little.

Parents of younger children (between 6 and 11) were a little more likely to feel the medications helped a lot compared to parents of older children. Parents of males were also more likely to feel the medications helped a lot — about 58 percent of parents of males reported that they helped a lot compared to about 50 percent of the parents of females.

In addition, the study showed that parents with incomes less than 100 percent of the federal poverty level were the least likely to feel the medications helped a lot. Just 43 percent of those parents said the medications helped a lot, while about 31 percent said they helped some. More than one-quarter of these parents said the medications only helped a little or not at all.

More information: 

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A Better Way to Handle Negative Memories

Icons 2-03How often in your head do you replay traumatic times…humiliating horrors…or painful pasts?

If you’re like me…and many others, it’s pretty often. Psychologists have argued in favor of a variety of theories to best deal with past emotions. This includes everything from getting lobotomies to physically remove parts of the brain to remove bad memories, to utilizing the avoidant theory, which is each time a negative memory occurs, simply stop thinking about it. Hard, huh?

A new way to deal has been suggested by researchers at the Beckman Institute at the University of Illinois, led by psychology professor Florin Dolcos of the Cognitive Neuroscience Group. Their studies claim that once a negative memory enters your mind, recall the event holistically, which allows us to remember not only the bad, but the positives that occurred too.

For example, hurt after being called out at work for poor performance? Did your coworkers comfort you or did you rehash to your friends and were you then reminded of your accomplishments? Did you end up working harder to prove them wrong and triumph? Were you able to at least go home and enjoy a nice bath…or a really good meal…or dessert?

Recalling some positives surrounding our bad memories allows us to gain a more well rounded perspective on the matter.

Making us able to handle a bad thought a little bit better. Think about it.

More on the studyscan.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2014/03/05/scan.nsu039.abstract

“New study suggests a better way to deal with bad memories.” April 18th, 2014. http://medicalxpress.com/news/2014-04-bad-memories.html

Copyright (c) Brāv

Are you “Fragile”?

Be honest. How often do you grin and bear it when you would much rather scream, cry or hit the source of your troubles? We are all fragile…and it just takes one tap to wreck us like a glass fallen to the floor.

But…have you heard of the song t9“Fragile” by Tech N9ne ft. Kendrick Lamar?

Despite having almost 3 million viewers, “Fragile” remains an underrated song that touches on the aspects of human psyche and how constant derision affects it…to the core.

“Fragile” ultimately touches on the side that most of us wish not to admit to: we are all just that. Let’s get Brāv.

See for yourself:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKs5OsT4dIY

Lyrics below:

[Verse 1: Wrekonize & Bernz]
You said you’d never ever break… down
But here I am sweeping… pieces off of the ground

You said you’d never, ever play… to crowds
But I’ve seen you hoping to play songs to them now
I’ve spent all night long scared of tomorrow, I broke my alarm
Everything is almost lost, pick it up slow, before it’s gone…

[Hook: Wrekonize & Kendall Morgan]
We’re fragile
(Wish I’d have known)
I never thought I’d be so fragile
(You’re not alone)

If it didn’t break before, it’s about to
(We’ve been here before)
I don’t ever want to change
I’m fragile
I don’t ever want…
I don’t ever…

[Verse 2: Tech N9ne]
Some of the people appointed to give an opinion
Never do get it
I want you to come on and gobble a jimmy and… die
N9na be givin the remedy and why?
Critics are really the enemy and I
Can’t stand the way they slam today’s gifted

Effin’ incredible, get fanned away with grands to pay
This jam will lay scripted
Deaf and impeccable
Write a rhyme and I put everything in a flow
I’m the N9ne I’mma look very mean
When a foe scribe a line but he has never been at a show
By the times it’ll be better, leave it in the sto
Cause they wrote nothin’ but lies, quotes stuck in my eyes
Amateur writer dissin’
He’s a beginner and hopes for your demise,
 folks I’mma despise
Never do try to listen
It’s real – I’m mad
Clueless when you scribble on your pad
How you gonna criticize now with a chisel on your nads sizzling your ad
You don’t really get why I’m so pissed? Understand this:
I’m an artist, and I’m sensitive about my shit, yes I’m


[Verse 3: Kendrick Lamar]
Tell me that I’m famous
Tell me that my name is

Big as Venus Jupiter and then Uranus
Tell me that your anus got your head in it
I can smell the articles and know you’re heinous
Tell me that you love me, always thinkin’ of me
Unconditional, I’m hoping I’m your favourite

Grab a fishing pole and throw me with the sharks
That’s the feelin’ I get when you’re concentratin’
On this pen, on this pad

Tell me you’re willin’ to diss on my craft
Tell me the feelin’ of pickin’ apart this track
Puttin’ my heart and my soul in these lines
Tellin’ me platinum and gold all the time
Lookin’ to bury, a deep hole for mine
This is more than you, and this is more than you
And your entire building slanderin’ and abusin’
What I call the realest comin’ from a student

Told myself to use a poem as an UZI
Empty magazine, I seen a magazine
You seen my trigger finger, then I started shootin’
That was nicotine, I’m bout to smoke ’em all
And journalists involved should’ve known my music


Copyright (c) Brāv

Why Brāv Isn’t Just For Kids

When did you last feel annoyed?


Chances are that didn’t end at 13 years of age.

Similarly, more and more adults are acknowledging work place conflicts, street harassment, and conflicts with friends and family. We are often told that to be an ‘adult’ means to dismiss these issues, although the tension often continues to build up.

Ultimately, annoyance comes about when you find yourself not able to achieve a desirable result. Too many times, we allow ourselves to dismiss our frustrations in lieu of tackling it. Overtime, dismissing, rationalizing and disengaging leads to a build up within us, increasing our levels of stress and illness – both physical and mental. In actuality, we really need an outlet for getting out our fears and frustrations.

In general, we do not know how to handle our conflicts effectively. There is a break down in communication all over the world and everyone must be held more accountable. It is in fact why we are seeing more and more school and work place violence and shootings, homicides…and suicides.

Brāv helps foster targeted communication with the source of our frustrations before it gets to that level.

Let’s learn how to better cope with life – together.

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How Do You Know If You Are Being Harassed?

You know that gut feeling that tells you something isn’t right? Start listening to it. Too often we dismiss our brain’s way of protecting ourselves in order to remain polite, non-confrontational or for other various reasons, including fear.

Ask yourself what is causing you Brave Logo-30Lionto feel scared, angry, resentful, upset, etc. If you can pin point a particular situation, person or issue involved, you’re closer than most people.

Like many things, getting harassed or bullied is subjective – based on your own point of view. Ultimately, if you feel like you’re being bullied, than you are. If you don’t feel good about an interaction – no matter who is involved – and yes that includes friends, family members and other trusted individuals, than you should reassess your relationships with them. You don’t want to ultimately endure through weeks, months, and even years of abuse only to assess then.

In case you still might not know, common signs of being harassed or bullied include:

  1. Physical trauma – have bruises, cuts, bumps, etc from another that were not by accident, from a sport, and/or you did not consent to? Are they touching you simply and you have asked them to stop and they continue?
  2. Emotional trauma – is someone stating hurtful comments to you? Are they ignoring you? Dismissing your feelings or point of view? Shunning you from others? Spreading rumors, lies or attacking your reputation? Screaming at you?
  3. Sexual trauma – Are they saying inappropriate sexual comments? Are you you getting touched inappropriately without permission?
  4. Proximity – are they too close for comfort? Are they invading your personal boundaries?
  5. Online abuse – Are you getting spoken badly about online? Is your intimate information or web cam personal details getting spread to others?
  6. Do you feel bad around another without explanation?

Let’s solve all of these and more, effectively through Brāv.

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Getting Bullies to Respond Civilly

How do you respond to a belligerent attacker? You can ignore, avoid, “kill with kindness,” assert yourself, confront or grow violent. Missing any?

handshake2Often times bullies aren’t interested in acting civil; they want to win, they want submission, and they want – power. A small minority are looking to be put in their place, but overall, bullies aren’t interested in anything but dominance. So what else can be done?

Some bullies need to learn from another and gain another perspective on a situation. Using virtual and interactive games like Grand Theft Auto is fun as players can place themselves in a situation that they could never do in real life. Similarly, when users engage in our Brāv challenges, everyone can place themselves in the position of another whom they could not have understood without this. 

We think that these games in conjunction with speaking to those we have disagreements with through our face to face chat platform (or avatar with facial expressions or using our instant messaging platform) would be the best way for bullies to finally understand the position they place others in.

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