Making peace with fear

We can make peace with the anxiety of antipication. But it’s the hope that kills. What we need to gauge the nerves is preparation. One way of accomplishing this is through fear-setting, a practice which requires that we envision the worst outcome. By going toward the fear, we  undermine its strength and power our resolve.  […]

What introverts do at parties

If you read Susan Cain’s Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, you’d realize introversion is not a disease nor does it make poor leaders. The opposite is true. Introverts are often more sociable in intimate settings although they like to “recharge at parties,” with a preference on listening, thinking, […]

The link between imagination and anxiety

“Anxiety is the price we pay for an ability to imagine the future. That’s what anxiety is, an imagination of a future that hasn’t happened yet, but that you are concerned with, worried about, dreading, and so on.” Neuroscientist Joseph LeDoux, Anxious: Using the Brain to Understand and Treat Fear and Anxiety art by @aishwaryasadasivan

In a state, trying every space

Browsing online is really being nowhere. In a sedentary position, we traverse the world through bits and bytes. Web pages and apps flash in the blink of an eye. Of course, the same is true for books and cell phones—they take us places beyond our immediate sensory experience. What is reality but severe closeupness? It’s […]

A sober risk to deny reality

Alcohol and coffee are a study in consciousness – they both trigger experiences beyond the normal architecture of aliveness.  Neither beverage medicates problems away. Rather, they open the door to other choices and chapters in life that we may not have otherwise made. That second beer gives us the courage to ask that girl to […]

The link between boredom and creativity

Boredom drives creativity for no other reason than that your mind needs something to latch onto in idle times. When you’re bored, anything goes. Ambiguity and hyperbole are the name of the game. Your mind loves stretching the imagination and failing reality. Sometimes people are too corrupted by reality and everydayness. To perceive something that […]

Placebos: the lies we make true

What the mind believes, the body can achieve. Look no further than a placebo who’s sole power is in its real effects. If it’s broken, only then do you fix it. But placebos work just as an app’s colors dupe the brain into submission. The slightest taste of sugar helps the medicine go down. The […]

Medicating off the placebo

If you want to instantly feel better, step into a hospital. The placebo works every time. Unfortunately, the opposite is also true. Hospitals can make the healthy feel a bit ill. Does anyone like hanging out in hospitals? Placebo is a mere expectation. It helps only because we think it helps. But that psychological boon could […]

The sharing virus

The biggest threat to a virus is its own exhaustion. It wants to be said, repeated, and spread until it cements into a meme. Words, ideas, and apps are all types of viruses. Pretty much anything that spreads. Most are benign of course but perhaps none is more pervasive and self-inflicted than the sickness of […]

How complaining affects the brain

“Don’t whine, don’t complain, don’t make excuses, just do the best you can do,” said UCLA coach John Wooden. It turns out coach was on to something. Recent studies show that complaining every day changes the structure of the brain. Harmful behaviors such as complaining, if allowed to loop within the brain continually, will inevitably […]

When sharing is not so self-caring

Social media is a world where everyone tries to out self-promote each other and in doing so, stretch their lives further from reality. Even the destinations — whether it be a restaurant, hotel resort, or kayaking trip — want to make their experiences more Instagrammable. Sharing has commoditized life, turning us into an avalanche of […]

What holds attention determines distraction

Even checked distractions will lead you to distraction. What holds attention determines distraction.  This very day I have been repeating over and over to myself a verbal jingle whose mawkish silliness was the secret of its haunting power. I loathed yet could not banish it.  What holds attention determines action. William James, The Principles of Psychology Was […]

The courage to believe

If you don’t believe in yourself, who will? Faith drives action. Faith drives results. Without faith, nothing works. Indifference and pessimism are attractive because they’re the easiest to obtain, the most accessible to deploy and practice. “Ask yourself this: would your childhood self be proud of you, or embarrassed?” — Julien Smith, The Flinch Pursuing […]

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