Health, Lessons in life

The addicted generation

Since the invention of alcohol, drugs and unhealthy food, we have had addictions. This is nothing new. But I honestly am extremely worried of the current and future generations. (yeah that means myself too)

It is so easy to find something to get addicted to. And you honestly don’t need to use much money for it, if at all. Porn, social media, junk food, over the counter medicine. Some of these things aren’t bad in small doses. But we do quite often forget where the limit is.

If you click on Youtube, you will find huge amounts of content. You can get addicted to always clicking the next video. And if that already isn’t enough, a huge trend right now is to look at people eat huge amounts of foods and make 15 000- 20 000 calorie challenges. And as it is human nature we end up craving food and chances are we watch those videos while eating food or go get junk food after watching them.

Is this type of content inherently bad? No. I honestly don’t think there is anything bad at watching someone sharing stories while eating and eating yourself. If you know where the limit goes…. but like with most addictions, they start from going over the limit couple of times too much. And not noticing it becoming a habit and an issue.

Our brain are amazing and at the same time they are very sensitive to over stimulation. They like it and they get used to it. Not only do we chemically get addicted to the dopamine hit that we get from food, porn or constant new content from social media. Our brains also form neurological pathways that make it hard to stop the habit of doing something. For a smoker it might be about holding the cigarette between their fingers, for someone addicted to coffee its about the making of the coffee, or having a cup to hold.

So how do we stop this from happening. I honestly think that having a conversation at schools and at home is something that is really important. Make it a family thing to go on walks as often as possible. Have a family dinner that is always without any phones (the parents included, no work is so important you can’t eat with your family) Make sure that kids under 8 don’t even use their phones/ipads etc unless absolutely necessary. And so on.

I am one of the children almost born with a phone in my hands. I know how hard parents and schools have to fight against kids using it. But honestly we will thank them later on. I am extremely thankful today for the limitations my parents had on my games and phone/computer. Did I fight them and think they were stupid at the time? Absolutely! Did I actually have a good childhood where I could have my own imaginary friends without having to have virtual reality glasses? Yes, and honestly it is the best thing ever.

Today’s world is an amazing place. There is so much that is changing and becoming better. The thing is, that we make things better and invent things because we have an imagination and creativity. If the future generations won’t get to play themselves and won’t become creative because all of the brain stimulation is given to them in the form of AR and VR, we will eventually stagnate.

This is why I implore all of the parents new and future ones, to form limits. Make your kids read books, make them draw, let them have their imaginary friends and play in the sand and get all dirty. This is all part of childhood. I get it is hard to do all of this, because everyone has the news gadget and then your kid wonders why you can’t have it. But when they are older they will thank you.

Thank you for reading! I hope this resonated with you. What do you think about all of the new technology and how much kids get to spend time online?

Xoxo, Alisa

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Personal development

Boredom leads to death

Paint this picture in your mind. You are just sitting around a campfire and you are listening to the chirping of the evening birds, you hear the crickets singing and the fire crackling? Now, most of you will be like that sounds like a calm, romantic and nice environment to be in. And I agree with it 100%. However, if you would be there with your phone, a possibility to watch a film even read a book, would you despite all those distractions concentrate on nature and the moment? I would bet on no. And calm your horses, I know you would want to say that you would enjoy the moment. I know you would want to say you are strong enough to ignore the automatic curiosity your brain has to check that bling on your phone. But you (probably)wouldn’t and nor would I (unless I really put my mind to it)

Would you just sit and listen to a fire crackling and birds chirping?

The reason I am talking about this is that in society today it is more appreciated that you react to that bing and answer the email right away. It is cool to have an Instagram account and post every 5 minutes. And since this is the norm, our brain, that is formed so that we are easily bored, to adapt the fastest, now is bored with those things that make us healthier.

It has been proven by various studies that even just a little walk in nature will lower your stress. For one of the most recent examples science daily has posted a report 6th of July 2018. The report is based on gathered evidence from over 140 studies with more 290 million people included.  “The report reveals that expose to greenspace, reduces the risk of type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, premature death, preterm birth, stress, and high blood pressure” To read in more, visit here: ScienceDaily. So, what happens when we are bored with the most natural aspects of life?  When we must have some kind of noise on the daily? To have music on when you get dressed, take your phone with you to the bathroom, because you are too bored to take a fucking shit without having something to check all the time. What does this lead to?

Death.

I don’t mean the literal kind where you raise the stairs to say good day to St. Peter or where the lights are turned off or whatever you believe is death. Though it leads to it indirectly. But what I mean is the death where you don’t enjoy life, being depressed or just existing without purpose. Isn’t it disturbing that we see breathing unimportant? Sure, we will think about it if we can’t take a breath. But what about enjoying breathing during a crisp winter morning or the smell of petrichor; the sent right after the rain.  Instead of going through the emotions about your family member passing away you feel you owe to tell it to your followers. And instead of those followers living and feeling their own lives they feel they have the right to demand of you to tell your private lives for thousands of people just because they are bored with their own lives. Bored with the silence. Bored of not having attention from others.


Boredom is simply the absence of an interesting perspective. 

Brandon A. Trean

If day in and day out your brain is used to watching constantly new videos, pictures, and memes or whatever else you come up with. It gets used to it. The brain becomes bored with the constant similarity of listening to birds or the wind in the trees or whatever else because it becomes too “boring”. The thing is that in the past having a concentration that is broken fast by a twig breaking under an animal’s foot etc. But even then, people were able to stay focused and do “boring” things all the time. Have you ever gone berry gathering? That is boring and hard, but you had to do it to have food. So how was it that people then were able to do it but now it is way too difficult to even have silence in the room for 5 minutes? Or not have content to feed on?

As I am not a health professional I would suggest you do an honest check with yourself and see a doctor if you feel like you are addicted to your phone/Internet. There are a lot of health issues linked to internet addiction, like being more depressed, more anxious and even aggressive. And on top of this there are many ways of being addicted online, being a shopaholic, feeling the constant need to be social; with the fear, of missing out if you don’t check Facebook.

If you were already calming yourself up thinking that you aren’t addicted because you would never be interested in something as stupid as Facebook, wait up. I will disrupt your calm. If you are constantly researching things online, watching to educational videos that can be an addiction as well, and since it is technically productive it feels like it can’t be a bad thing. But just like you can be addicted to going to the gym in an unhealthy manner or feeling you must restrict eating even after you’ve lost weight already, you can be addicted to research. To read more about this addiction visit: Mentalhealthamerica


Photo by Daniel Korpai on Unsplash

You must retrain your brain to be ok with the silence. To concentrate on one thing for hours. The issue is that if you want to develop yourself you must become comfortable with what today we see as boring. You might need to learn a presentation so by heart that even if someone interrupts it you will be able to answer the question and continue. You might be a dancer and need to train for hours so you finally master something. Or you might have forgotten that those things you are bored with now, used to fill you with joy. The calm romantic evening around a campfire. The walking in the forest, without the phone or the camera without any company. Just you.

Even for the basic day to day life. You must learn to make sure your brain is ok with silence. If going to nature is so healthy for us, but we feel bored doing it, we won’t go. And that will cause huge risks for us. Not only with considering the stress factor but also fitness and getting cleaner air.

One of my biggest fears is to wake up one day and not want to do anything but lay in bed and scroll Instagram. To find it too difficult to get up to get out for a walk. To hate doing the basic things to such an extent I would rather be on the phone watching others live their lives while I waste away and die. Boredom, trying to get a quick fix of whatever instant gratification you have chosen can lead to actual premature death. Whether this is due to overeating and not moving or becoming depressed enough due to self-comparison you end up killing yourself. Or it can be less dramatic at this moment, it could just mean wasting your life away and regretting it on your death bed. And that freaks the crap out of me. Living 80+ years (if I get that far) and regretting my life.

What is your biggest fear? What is it that you spend the most time doing online? So much so that it ends up affecting how much actual work you get done in a day? If you feel like you need help please seek help. Sometimes, however, we can figure these things on our own, if we see the issues early enough. Then we must work hard on disrupting out patterns. So, I challenge all of you who spend way too much time online, to go and do 5 push ups every time you feel like reaching for your phone/computers or if you realize you are scrolling mindlessly already. Once 5 push-ups get too easy (or if it is easy already) push yourself further. We can change our lives and make it interesting putting some effort into things we do. And pushing ourselves to enjoy the silence and appreciate it as well will help enjoy our lives.

One of my biggest goals is to become proud of myself and of what I’ve been able to achieve by pushing myself. Therefore personal development and learning about successful people has become so addicting for me. I shouldn’t confuse inspiration for action. Therefore I write these posts, and this is why especially today’s topic was so important for me. What is your biggest current goal? And what is the one thing that is standing in your way, regarding your habits/addictions?

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to comment below, let’s have a conversation! 🙂

Health, Personal development

Phone addiction; why is it bad?

Today we use our phones a stupid amount. According to Business Insider, we check our phones up to 2, 617 times a day. And that is our “normal use” if you are a heavy user then that number rises up to 5, 400 times. That means you touch it about 180 times an hour if you are using it within a time period of 12 hours. (As a normal user). And that sounds to me that it’s a huge issue. And I don’t think that it sounds like a healthy amount at all.

Full article here: Business Insider

Photo by Paul Hanaoka on Unsplash

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Time is ticking and your thumbs are just tapping Photo by Paul Hanaoka on Unsplash

The List has interviewed a couple of doctors about the negative effects that the overuse of our device can lead to.  And to be honest not one of the symptoms is something I haven’t to an extent or another noticed in myself.

  1. Eye strain is a common issue for me. It is also something that Dr. Howard Purcell explains to Adria Valdes Greenhauff, the writer of the article “What really happens when you stare at your phone all day”. The eyes have 6 muscles that control its use and one of them is in charge of focusing the eyes. If you don’t let your eyes rest from focusing it will eventually grow tired. Ever had red, itchy and achy eyes? Maybe even a full blast headache? Yeah me too.
  2. We have a lot of overuse injuries as well, Dr. Jennifer Stagg talks about the strain using your phone causes to your neck. Even an inch of a head drop can lead to double the load on the muscles. Using your phone can lead to wrist and thumb issues as well according to Dr. Stagg.
  3. Using the phone all the time can lead to lower oxygen levels. As if all of the other issues wasn’t enough. If you have trouble sleeping you might as well first check how much you use your phone (especially during the evening)
  4. A couple of next issues are ones that scare/bother me the most. Using the phone a lot can lead to self- inflicted anxiety, depression, concentration issues, and even hallucinations. Now I can attest to almost all of them. Depression not so much all of the other ones yes. The anxiety of missing out something important if I don’t check my phone. Not being able to concentrate on something for a long time because I am so used to see something new every 5 seconds (because I mean Instagram… scroll, scroll, scroll. Oh did the 5 hours already pass, shit?!) Have you sworn you heard a *bling* from getting a message, but you swore that your phone was silent? Yeah, it is silent. That bling you hear is in your head it is almost like wishful thinking because your brain wants you to check your phone again.

If you want to read the article in full please visit: TheList

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I have so many friends why am I so alone and depressed I wonder? Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash

The thing is that no matter how much you try to tell yourself that you don’t use your phone too much. You probably do. And I know it is very hard to not use your phone because everyone else does it too but trust me it would be beneficial.

Even if  I have a semi-full day of school or work I somehow have been able to use my phone up to 5.5 hours. That is 1/3 of the time I am awake (about). In that amount of time, I could study my skills in Spanish or use it to research business stuff or an essay or… I am sure you get my point. I could manage about a billion things in 5+ hours but I use it to scroll the phone. Hmmm, where did the time go? I wonder…

But seriously what will it take to realize that no matter how imminent digitalization is, we don’t have to give it all the power. We can form boundaries. Because I don’t think that we have the capacity to deal with millions of people with concentration issues or who are depressed, anxious and having hallucinations.

 

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I swear I got a notification… hmmm Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

I wonder if we would spend only 30 minutes a day on the phone how much time would be freed for the things “we don’t have time for”

Thank you for reading! Let me know down in the comments below what you think!

– Alisa

 

Goals, Health, Personal development

Kicking Internet addiction to the Curb!

So last time we talked about how the Internet is addictive and how that is bad for your mental health and relationships. What can be done, in order to kick internet addiction to the curb? This depends on the severity of your addiction. This blog post will have two parts to it. 1) How do you know you might need help from a professional (that would not be me) and 2) If you think your addiction is manageable, how to make your internet use healthy and balanced.

  1. How do you know if you might need help and where to find it?
    1. Your internet addiction is affecting your life in a negative way, you don’t get any work/homework done.You lose track of time. It stops you from spending time with those who are close to you. You feel guilty about it and like you need to defend your actions. When you do use it feels euphoric (Like getting a hit from a drug would feel, I suppose) Internet overuse may lead to strained vision, sleeping issues, carpal tunnel syndrome ( the nerves in your hand are overused and get damaged due to overuse of the computer/phone)
    2. Where to find help? There are many programs and different types of therapies to go to, that can help. (For more information link at the end of the blog) If you are not from the USA then you will have to do more research but similar treatments are available all over the world. It will be good to mention about you struggles to someone, either a parent or maybe a school psychologist. There is always a solution.
  2. What to do if you think you can handle it?
    1. Figure out why you want to stop overusing internet. Because your mom said so won’t be strong enough reason for you to change your ways. Analyse what harm it causes you. Does it make your relationship strained? Or maybe you never achieve the goals you set for yourself because you just have to scroll the Instagram feed for 3 hours (even there is nothing new)
    2. What times does using social media bother you the most? Start eliminating that usage first. It might be in the morning, you hate waking up and seeing all of your emails. (You should eliminate using your phone for the first hour of the day anyway.) Maybe you really shouldn’t go on the phone after school, if you want to do some school work. See what the times are and make sure to turn off the phone for that time. And before you say but I have an alarm on my phone, you can invest in an alarm clock or you can turn of your phone after the alarm rings. Make a timetable to when you are “allowed” to use the internet for fun.
    3. What about the full cleansing? How can you stop wanting to spend time on the phone/computer? Well, time is going to help, if you will get used to not being on the Internet all the time. Some apps might help you when you are working to get rid of social media use. But what about the long-term use? Make sure to do other things during the times you would otherwise be online. Read a book, be with a friend who will hold you accountable maybe download an app that will tell you how much you actually use time on the phone for nothing. (Trust me, you will be shocked.
    4. Once in awhile just force yourself to put it away. Even if you grab it you can still put it down or if its an internet page you can close it. When going out for a walk, you don’t need your headphones and music every time. Just listen to the birds. When studying you don’t need the phone in your room. If you otherwise will go a get it, leave it with your parents. Tell them not to give it to you until much later.

Believe in yourself and you can make it. Internet and social media are great tools and they have a lot of fun things to do in order to amuse you. It is important though to understand where the fine line between healthy and unhealthy use goes.

As always thank you for reading and hope this was helpful. Leave a comment below of how you overuse internet and why you want to change it. If you have any questions do not hesitate to ask.

Sources: 

Internet and Computer Addiction Treatment Program Options:

Internet and Computer Addiction Treatment Program Options

Carpal tunnel syndrome: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carpal_tunnel_syndrome

-Alisa