Tag Archives: Better Living

Warning: this is bad for your health!

Warning: this article contains healthy subject matter ✎ By Wayne K. Spear

Warning
Photo courtesy of Thomas Leth-Olsen, Flickr

Some things are so bad for you, they come with warning labels.

WARNING: Smoking Causes Lung Cancer, Heart Disease, Emphysema, And May Complicate Pregnancy.

Many things that are bad for you don’t come with a warning label. Yet you know they are bad, because you can feel the badness.

Some things that are bad for you may be good for someone else. Health is complicated. It is individual. It comes in various forms.

Mental health, physical health, emotional health.

It is up to you to make your own labels.

WARNING: Reading The Comment Section Only Makes You Angry.

WARNING: You Are Getting Nothing Of Value From Social Media, And You Know It.

WARNING: You Are Surrounding Yourself With Toxic Relationships.

What do you love? What makes you feel good? What nourishes your body, soul, and mind? Make a health label for this, too.

WARNING: You have let your love of nature fall by the wayside. Put down the smart phone right now and go for a walk in the woods.

Write a list of ten things that make you feel good. A favorite song, a movie, a friend, a place, a meal, a book that changed your life, a vacation, a hobby. Whatever it may be, write it down.

When was the last time you enjoyed these pleasures? Days ago? Months? Years?

WARNING: Life is busy. We are all surrounded by distractions. It is easy to lose sight of the things that make you healthy, and to fill your life instead with unhealthy substitutes.

Put your list of loves where you are most assailed by distractions and toxicity. It is your personal warning label.

Time to trick your brain

Think outside the watts. ✎ By Wayne K. Spear

Brain

Your brain is lazy. Here is the proof.

Take a piece of paper and a pen. Make two dots. Below the dots, draw a line. Like this:

Smile

Your brain decides immediately that this is a face and files the information accordingly. But two dots and a line could be any number of things, or nothing.

We know it’s not a face, but we can’t not see a face. The brain is a tyrant.

Your brain, the lazy tyrant, takes the easiest route.

Every piece of information that the brain receives is treated in the same way, usually without your awareness. It organizes the world into boxes, whether you like it or not.

In a perfect world, from your brain’s point-of-view, nothing new or strange ever happens. Dots and lines are forever going to be faces. Your brain is not interested in whether or not it’s really a face. It’s interested in putting the information into a box, already.

Everything is assigned by the brain to pre-fabricated categories determined by assumption, prejudice, routine, familiarity, and efficiency.

To do this, your brain needs less than 20 watts of electricity.

According to Moore’s Law, the power of computers will double every two years. A computer as powerful as the brain would consume 10,000,000 watts of energy, about the amount required by a small city.

Your brain is more interested in efficiency than it is in insight or innovation. It has evolved to make quick decisions in potentially life-threatening situations, with minimal expenditure of energy.

The brain thrives on routine.

And so, we are creatures of habit, set in our ways.

The script in our head keeps us from considering new ways of seeing and being. The brain is happy to remain set in its ways. This is efficiency.

To change your life, you first have to overcome the lazy tyrant that is your brain.

Go somewhere you have never been before—a country, a neighborhood, a part of town. Surround yourself with unfamiliar people and languages. Eat new foods, redecorate your office, shake up your routine. Make your brain think new, more healthy thoughts.

Reinvent yourself and reinvigorate your life by making your brain do something it doesn’t like to do—break out of the routine.