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Laila

@lai65

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Technology Addiction: Myth Vs Reality

Tech addiction may be real in some cases but is mostly fear-mongering.

Many studies linking technology addiction with mental health problems may be setting a false narrative and blaming technology for unrelated psychological problems.

@lai65

Debunking the 6 biggest myths about 'technology addiction'

theconversation.com

Many studies link tech addiction (like playing video games) to cocaine, or methamphetamine usage, as it stimulates the same pleasure centres of the brain.

The dopamine release is blamed for the addiction, but research shows that video games release far less dopamine than drugs, approximately the same as having food.

Only about 3 percent of gamers develop problematic behaviours leading to bad grades. A vast majority of the problems are mild.

Kids who use smartphones aren’t all addicted, and having a smartphone won’t cause major interference in work or social relationships.

The addiction to games or gaming disorder has been classified as a disease, but it could only be a symptom of other mental health issues like chronic anxiety and depression.

The truth is that most cases are mild and easily cured.

If a person is depressed, chronically anxious, or having attention problems, he or she may be showing abnormal behaviour and symptoms, and one of those symptoms may be to use technology in a disproportionate way and be affected by it.

If such a person starts to sleep all day, one doesn’t blame the bed and think that it is a ‘bed addiction’. The mistake is that a symptom is being treated with the real problem being neglected.

Apart from using technology, many people indulge in a wide range of activities disproportionately, like exercise, eating, sex or shopping.

The activity isn’t the problem in these cases, but the person’ underlying mental health needs to be diagnosed.

Sleep Demand Is On An All-Time High

Sleep is one of the three pillars of health, along with exercise and nutrition.

The need to sleep better is topping the charts, as app makers and manufacturers struggle to meet the demand for services and products designed for better sleep, like live sleep sessions, weighted blankets, sleep masks, and high-tech mattresses.

Can you buy a better night’s sleep?

bbc.com

  • According to 2019 research, the amount of money spent on sleep products like mattresses, pillows, tracking devices and lamps globally tops USD 400 billion.
  • Social media, E-commerce websites and even online magazines have jumped on the snooze bandwagon, with pictures, ideas, mantras and articles about sleep.
  • Pinterest has put ‘Sleep Care’ as its 2021 trend, with a surge in keywords like Sleep Yoga, or Night Affirmations Sleep.

The pandemic and the resulting lockdowns have changed our work patterns and made us more sedentary.

Sleep was always neglected but apart from insomniacs and people having sleep disorders, not many talked about getting better sleep earlier, as it was considered a necessary activity constantly disturbing their life (partying, watching Netflix etc.)

Apart from a few herbs, exercise, and nutritional changes, most sleep-related products are not backed by scientific research. Many people who cannot sleep become dysfunctional as their body triggers alarms, and start to panic. They become gullible to buy anything that the market offers promising better sleep.

Going to bed early without engaging with the phone or TV screens at night, for example, is an effective measure to ensure quality sleep, then buying cooling mattress pads or humidifiers.

Humans didn’t need lotions, apps or even mattresses for millions of years, and yet they slept naturally. Nutrition and exercise, the two other pillars of health, are also milked by capitalism into billion-dollar industries for stuff we can do by ourselves naturally and with zero investment.

We need to treat the underlying causes of non-sleep and make our body and our environment conducive to it. The sleeping area should be quiet, dark, cool and comfortable. The mind should be quiet and the body relaxed.

Intermittent fasting

Paying attention to when you eat is as important as what you're eating. Intermittent fasting is a simple way to start experimenting with a diet. It requires you to abstain from food, or at least most food, for specific periods.

Diets based on intermittent fasting shows a huge list of benefits, such as weight loss, balancing out one's blood sugar, and mental clarity.

How to Overhaul Your Diet With Intermittent Fasting

gq.com

There are three approaches to take:

  • Alternate day fasting: Eat whatever you want on off days, but limit calories to around 500 on fasting days.
  • The 5:2 diet, which involves fasting during the week and making eating what you want on weekends.
  • Time-restricted eating. Eating is limited to an eight-hour window each day. Most people make it from noon to 8 p.m.

The diet doesn't specify what you should be eating, only when.

Typical Western diets consist of simple carbohydrates, such as pizza or sandwiches. These food items provide the glucose your body uses as fuel. Spiking glucose increases insulin levels, which the body uses to process blood sugars.

  • Fasting for 16 hours evens these spikes out and recalibrates the body.
  • A longer fast leads to lower blood pressure.
  • Time-restricted eating is associated with better cardiovascular health because the body starts to burn fat, and as the body releases more fat, the level of insulin drops.

A 12-week randomized trial found that overweight adults who started time-restricted eating lost about the same weight as a control group, and most of the weight lost was lean muscle mass, not fat.

But the take on time-restricted eating is still open because so few studies exist that examine its effects.

How To Sleep Better
  • Many people have trouble sleeping and need to set a path toward better sleep.
  • The first step to the path is to wake up at the same time every day, including weekends.
  • It does not matter what time you decide to wake up, as different people have different lifestyles and sleeping patterns.

Rise and Shine! Sleep Better and Wake Up at the Same Time Every Day

verywellhealth.com

Our bodies follow a certain circadian rhythm that relies on us following a consistent sleeping time.

One can use the morning sunrise as an anchor to your wake time. Having a fixed time also builds a sleep drive gradually, as the body gets in the habit of falling asleep at the same time at night.

  1. Less sleep inertia and an easier transition from sleep.
  2. Easier to fall asleep, with less sleep depravity or need for naps.
  3. Less need for coffee, and a cheery mood.
  4. An alert mind, sharper focus, and improved short-term memory.
  5. More healing of the body.
  6. Less irritation during the day.
  7. Better immune system functioning.
  8. Better working and driving ability.

We should follow the alarm that is set, and get up at the time. If it is slightly difficult, you can set up multiple alarms in the initial mornings, but do not hit the snooze button while half asleep. That’s cheating.

If you have trouble sleeping due to sleep apnea or are showing signs of insomnia, do consult a sleep specialist.

8 Ways to Stay Active All Day - Fitness Center - Everyday Health

everydayhealth.com

Mindfulness In Sleep

Sleep heals our mind and body, but in today’s fast-paced and distracted world, many people are sleep deprived, wreaking havoc on their attention spans, mood and brain functioning. Less sleep also results in weight gain, distress and risk of insomnia.

Mindfulness, or meditation/movement techniques that cultivate awareness and aid rest can tame our never-ending thought patterns, calming our minds for a better sleep.

The Ultimate Guide to Mindfulness for Sleep - Mindful

mindful.org

  1. Daily meditation: Having a daily meditation practice, be it mindfulness, a mental body scan or even chanting is crucial.
  2. Away from the bed: If you are unable to sleep, try to change your place, as the bed has to be associated with sleep.
  3. Sleep apps don’t work: Sleep apps are not to be relied on for sleeping, and one should cultivate our own body to be able to sleep without any aid like sleep apps or even sleeping pills.
  4. Don’t try too hard: Sleeping is an effortless effort, and your mind and body has to be conducive for it to happen. Forced sleep is the primary mistake many insomniacs make. Sleep happens on it’s own if you allow it.
  1. Eliminate distractions, like your smartphones or tablets, that hinder sleep by their radiation, constant notifications and the blue light they emit.
  2. Don’t pressure yourself to sleep and instead focus on calming your mind and practicing mindfulness and relaxed breathing.
  3. Mental body scan is an effective mindfulness meditation that promotes sleep, where one notices one’s breathing and various bodily sensations, while mentally scanning one’s body parts.
  1. Positive distractions: Let your imagination get into engaging scenery and situations that help you move into a dreamy state.
  2. Allow the anxiety: If a certain stressful event or situation is keeping you awake, try to relax and allow it to come to your mind instead of blocking it.
  3. Practice mindfulness: Daily meditation or body scan(mental scanning of your body while resting and breathing) is essential.
  4. Being grateful: Practicing gratitude helps us focus on the good and makes the brain calm and relaxed.
  1. Gentle, Loving Sounds: Your day should not start with a jarring alarm, but with gentle and soothing chimes and bells.
  2. Body Needs Water: Drink lots of water before you fill yourself up with coffee.
  3. Go In Nature: Don’t lie in bed with your smartphone, but go in nature and make your morning richer.
Having An Existential Crisis

The feeling of unease, meaninglessness and hopelessness about life, freedom and life’s choices is referred to as an existential crisis, also called existential anxiety. One feels that the foundations on which their life was built are crumbling.

This feeling arises due to loss of safety and security, transitions and difficulty in adapting, leading one to question the meaning of existence and our place in it. Example: A student moving away from home or someone going through a difficult divorce.

What Is an Existential Crisis?

verywellmind.com

The phrase ‘existential crisis’ has its roots on the philosophy of existentialism.

Existentialists view life in terms of meaning, freedom, isolation, death and ponder about the choices that are made everyday. They look towards problems and obstacles in a deeply penetrating way, trying to find meaning and purpose of their existence.

Common symptoms include anxiety, depression, isolation, loneliness and obsessive worry. Chronic sufferers of depression, Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and other mental disorders are more prone to an existential crisis.

Causes of an existential crisis can be the death of a loved one, serious illness, entering into a certain age-group, or having a certain traumatic experience.

  1. Fear And Responsibility: While making a difficult decision, one’s choices and actions come with feelings of anxiety and despair. The person feels overwhelmed and is afraid of the consequences.
  2. Authenticity: An existential crisis can sometimes move us out of our day-to-day, mundane problems as we are faced with a bigger problem.
  3. Major Life Event or Phase: Marriage, divorce, having children, or transforming into an elderly person are major life changes that can trigger an existential crisis.
  4. Death and Illness: When a loved one dies, people are face-to-face with their own mortality. Serious illness can also cause one to have thoughts of death and the meaning (or lack of meaning) of life.
  1. Meditation: One can calm the mind and eradicate negative thoughts with meditation and even deep breathing.
  2. Seek Support: Talk to your loved ones or consult a psychiatrist who can prescribe cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or medication if required.
  3. Write It Down: Pulling out a notebook and pen and writing your thoughts can help us ask us relevant questions with ourselves and find answers on coping up with existential crises.
Honey In The Pyramids

Egyptian tombs excavated by modern archaeologists unearthed preserved pots of honey, which were thousands of years old, and yet unspoiled.

Pure honey, a hygroscopic food, remains preserved in a ready-to-eat form, and is medicinal in nature, unlike other resilient foods like dried rice or salt.

The Science Behind Honey’s Eternal Shelf Life

smithsonianmag.com

  • Part of the magic is that honey, which is basically a kind of sugar, has a negligible amount of moisture that does not let any bacteria or microorganisms spoil it.
  • Honey is also acidic, which does not let things survive in it.
  • Other hygroscopic sugars like molasses have a similar chemical makeup, and yet honey does not spoil(if not left out in the open for long) but molasses does.

The reason for honey’s eternal life when kept sealed, are bees.

Their wings dry out the moisture in the nectar and their stomach have an enzyme called glucose oxidase, which helps in making a natural preservative called hydrogen peroxide.

The Sumerian clay tablets have a record of the medicinal properties of honey, and the ancient Egyptians used it for medicinal purposes regularly, from skin ointments to any eye diseases.

Even modern medicine has started using honey-covered bandages that are used in hospitals.

Honey bought from the supermarket is processed and does not change its properties, as it does not have any particulates.

The honey from the farm has pollen, enzymes and other particulates, which can make it crystallized, but still unspoiled.

Finding the right rope
  • Picking the right rope starts with the handles. Most have a mechanism that allows the rope to rotate in the grips.
  • Consider your height. Some ropes list a height range while others let you choose the rope length in feet based on a sizing guide.
  • If you're starting, invest in a cable-based rope. The cable should weigh between 3 and 4 ounces.

Jumping rope is an unbeatable cardio workout—if you do it correctly

popsci.com

Once you have the rope on hand, place the middle of the rope underneath the arch of one foot.

Stand straight up, pull the cable up vertically while holding the handles parallel to the ground, so their size is excluded from the measurement. The ends of the cables should be even with, or below, the bottom of your sternum.

  • Your hands should be in front of your pelvis - generally the middle of your body - or near where your pockets are.
  • Your elbows should be slightly bent.
  • Your hands should not be too far away from your body out to the sides as it makes the rope shorter.
  • Your hands should be positioned so that your thumbs are towards the outside of your body, with your forearms facing forwards.
  • Lightly grip each handle between your thumb and index finger.
  • Once you're jumping, move your hands in "tight circles."

Start with the rope behind you, pulling on your calves, your hands in front of you, and the cable end of the handles pointing frontwards. Then do an initial swing with your arms.

For a toe catch drill, swing the rope over your head once, then trap it with the front of your feet without jumping it. After that, try to jump over it just once, then catch it. Then do it twice, and catch it, and continue.

Don't forget to bring your hands back to the position near your hips.

  • The rope should have a pleasant "horseshoe" shape.
  • Your feet should be close together.
  • The rope should contact the ground about 10 inches in front of you.
  • Stay on the balls of your feet.
Oxytocin

... also called the "love hormone" makes people more social and communal. It's a neuropeptide and hormone that we naturally produce inside our brains. It has a wide range of functions, like:

  • Making us more emotionally open, trusting, and generous.
  • Making our memory suppress the negative stuff and highlight the positive stuff.
  • Relieving our pain or making the pain bearable. It also helps in lowering stress and depression.
  • It plays a big role in our daily activities like emotions, social interaction, relationships and even our sexual feelings.

Why Oxytocin Is Incredible and How to Get More of It

scientificamerican.com

How To Produce More Oxytocin

The hormone can be produced in the body by:

  • Positive and loving human interactions like hugging, cuddling and kissing.
  • Experience of loved-filled sexual encounters high on love produce the hormone.
  • Feeling sentimental, caring and empathetic in general. For Example, Watching an emotional movie(Titanic?) raises our love hormone.
  • Giving birth to a child, and breastfeeding is found to increase the level of oxytocin to forge the bond with the baby.

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