The Draw of Cell Phones

everydaymomideas.com

everydaymomideas.com

Bzzzt! Bzzt! Did I just receive a text? Am I getting a call? Email? Facebook notification? Oh wait, I guess it was just my imagination. Or was it…

The other day I left my cell phone at home and worked a 12 hour shift only to find myself completely bored out of my mind during the slow periods. Nobody to text, no news to read, no status updates to follow/comment/post on facebook, but worst of all no Wondergressive articles to browse through! Oh the humanity!

In this day and age a cell phone deprived person seems to be at a great disadvantage. A prime example of this happened last week. My girlfriend forgot her cell phone at home and her house keys in my car while she was out running some errands.That got me thinking. Without a cell phone she could easily have gotten hurt or lost or needed assistance and there would have been no way of me reaching her. Needless to say, she showed up where I was and got her keys, but I was still left with the thought of how important and intertwined our lives have become with cell phones.

inthebestofhealth.wordpress.com

inthebestofhealth.wordpress.com

For those of us suffering from nomophobia, and for those that are in denial, let me ask you: could you really part with your digital friend? Think of all of your daily routines, think of all of your leisure time and what you spend doing during that time, think about what you do while driving or while you are stuck in traffic, and finally, think of how you reach your friends/family/lovers/doctors/Wondergressive authors etc. If you can honestly avoid using your cell phone for any of these activities then congratulations! You may not be a zombie like the rest of us. Yet. A preliminary study on cell phone addiction by Baylor University yields that:

mobile phones are conspicuous artifacts of acquisition and sometimes are viewed as extensions of the self.

 

How deep is THAT?! Cell phones as a part of ourselves! Or is it the other way around… In the same way that some would argue that people suffer from hoarding items because they project emotions, experiences, and self onto the items they are keeping, cell phones are now becoming an integral part of our body and mind! In a way, my cell phone is my best friend: it always listens and does what I want it to do, well most of the time at least, so it is no wonder that I feel lost if I am without it. Not too long now, and the singularity will be nigh upon us, at which point I wonder if we will greet it with open arms?

The study goes on to say that

Much in the same way as consumers who use materialistic pursuits to cope with stress, anxiety, and feelings of low self-worth, cell phone and other technological addictions are likely similar attempts to cope with the exigencies of life and self esteem struggles.

A lot of people resort to cell phone sexting instead of real human interaction and that may be partially caused by stress and low self worth. Digitally displaying something is easier than having to deal with real life encounters and embarrassment.  I think, at least, that its easier to get rejected digitally than it is in person.

Lets re-rail this focus train and stop with all the sexting talk for a second. Speaking of re-railing thoughts, Multi tasking while using your cell phone has almost become impossible not to do. Just think of all those recipes you looked up on your smartphone while cooking or those soundtracks you listened to while working on something. One would think headlines like “Brain and Spinal tumors caused by cell phones” would put a stop to our obsessions but then again why do we continue to smoke, and not the good kind, when we know it is killing us?

I am as guilty as the rest of you, however this is my conscious effort at lessening my cell phone dependency. Here are a couple of tips to help with our digital addictions, but the most important thing to remember is to be as involved with other humans as we are with our electronic devices. Remember, when your battery dies, it is comforting to know that the person next to you will keep you not only interested, but also as warm as your cell phone does when it overheats in your hands from overuse. And for those of us that prefer to live in denial, check out this awesome tablet/phone concept designers are working on! Cheers!

 

Research:

Baylor University Preliminary Cell Phone Study

Nomophobia – Wikipedia

Tips to Overcoming Digital Addiction

Wondergressive – Cannabis Cures Cancer

Wondergressive – Singularity is Nigh Upon Us

Wondergressive – TVs, Brains, and Zombies

Wondergressive – Sexting

Wondergressive – From Multi to Mono

Wondergressive – Cellphones Cause Tumors

Wondergressive – Lumpy Tablets

Unsweet Dreams: Nightmares and Health

You’re naked. In front of people you know and respect (and all your archenemies). Everyone is pointing and laughing in that over-the-top, full-body way that you imagine laugh track audiences do. You are humiliated beyond belief and take a step back, wishing the ground would swallow you whole. Oh, and there was a surprise staircase behind you which you didn’t know about earlier. Off you go, tumbling into the vast, unending abyss—WHAM! You’re awake.

How’s your pulse—probably speedwalking, right? A little out of breath? Unnerved? Slightly sweaty? Maybe you gotta pee. You should probably take care of that, first.

According to the Mayo Clinic,

Nightmares are common. They may begin in childhood and tend to decrease after about age 10. However, some people have them as teens or adults, or throughout their lives.

Until age 13, boys and girls have nightmares in equal numbers. At age 13, nightmares become more prevalent in girls than boys.

At 24, I can safely say I look to be one of those people who will have nightmares throughout my life. It’s okay to be jealous. WebMD lists several reasons why adults might experience this free horror show, and some of the reasons might be surprising.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) also commonly causes people to experience chronic, recurrent nightmares.

Other causes include stress, anxiety, depression, fevered illness, withdrawal from drugs and medication (whether prescription or recreational) and sleep deprivation. Surprisingly enough, late-night snacking also made the list! According to the Mayo Clinic:

For some, eating right before bed—and the resulting boost in metabolism and brain activity—leads to nightmares.

Although for the most part, having nightmares appears to be one of those relatively harmless quirks of living, chronic nightmares can be problematic for your health. Particularly for those who already suffer from some level of anxiety or depression, nightmares can cause them further distress and psychological ill effects. Also, though there hasn’t been enough research done, nor is the relationship fully understood, there is some correlation between nightmares and suicide. When nightmares lead to sleep deprivation, you’re looking at a host of other issues including heart disease and obesity.

Though it might seem new-age and trendy, deep breathing exercises before bed have been proven to help. This is not to say they eliminate nightmares, but if you’re someone who suffers from the after hours acid trip often, try it and see if it lessens the frequency. If you’re having the same recurring nightmare every time, rehearsing a better ending before bed can actually lead to a different ending in your sleep. Again, I know this can sound kooky, but when you go to sleep and repeatedly see your loved ones slaughtered, suddenly, a few minutes of coaching your mind to understand that “it turns out, we were just playing zombies!” seems totally worth it. Harvard psychologist Deirdre Barrett first described this “image rehearsal” technique in her 1996 book Trauma and Dreams. Research has concluded that this technique is effective in reducing the occurrence of nightmares.

So the next time you find your mental faculties trapped in an abandoned carnival late at night and that giant clown with razor teeth and harpy claws riding a unicycle of death while wielding a bloodied machete advances upon you, just think about a positive outcome instead.
Sources:

Mayo Clinic: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/nightmares/DS01010
WebMD: http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/guide/nightmares-in-adults
Trauma and Dreams: http://www.amazon.com/Trauma-Dreams-Deirdre-Barrett/dp/0674006909
Case series utilizing exposure, relaxation, and rescripting therapy: impact on nightmares, sleep quality, and psychological distress: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15984916

Quit Cumming, Save MANkind: The Detrimental Effects of Porn

porn hardoff

Watching porn only takes up like half of your day, it can’t be that bad! cracked.com

Though we’re a news site, I strive not to post on the bummers unless there are solutions to couple with ’em, especially when it comes to porn. The mainstream fear mongers feed enough of that drivel to the hungry baby boomer crowd, and here, we want your life to be better, at least in some way. So when I lay this terrible news on you, don’t freak out; there is an easy fix…

Get ready for…

Raw unbridled power. Soon you’ll have unparalleled focus, strength, and animal-magnetism enveloping your being like some all-mighty aura of tenacious suavity. Awesomeness. But first…

Before we take a stab at why you don’t have these things, women, this article isn’t meant for you. Glean some nifty tricks if you can, but the research happens to all be aimed at the fellas. And be forewarned, the Pandora’s Box of the male psyche really is disturbingly straight forward, so endeavor further at your own peril.

porn thumb drive

There are activities besides porn where my thumbs can come in handy? http://blogannath.blogspot.com

Gentlemen, I have some mixed news for you regarding porn. We’ve been shooting ourselves in the groin for countless generations, completely oblivious. As it turns out, when our monkey forefathers sprouted opposable thumbs nearly 70 million years ago, they launched our chimp brothers into a vortex of technological advancement, but unfortunately, in this same step, doomed our fraternal lineage to a fate of epidemic depression, anxiety, inferiority-complexes and erectile-dysfunction. No need to take bolt cutters to that wonderful fifth digit, there is an easier fix.

What’s wrong with my thumbs? And what does it have to do with porn?

Aside from allowing us, collectively, to construct tools, carry said tools, flush toilets and headshot noobs, our thumbs have been responsible for basically all of civilization as we know it, separating us through dexterity from the rest of the animal kingdom. Similarly magnanimous, from the pyramids of Giza to sliced bread, every great human advancement those little babies have rendered us capable of has stemmed from a single, all-encompassing species-driving motive: we wanted to impress women. Literally, all facets of culture and society can be broken into that basest motivation: mating. So when our primate cousins found their fingers all those generations ago, suddenly the rules of the game changed, because our every hardwired purpose for living could now be overridden in one effortless squirt. I’m talking about masturbation.

Don’t get all preachy on me now!

Relax. This isn’t some moralistic pseudo-religious naysaying on the evils of your naughty bits. The palm hair is safe.

The capacity to watch porn and masturbate has put us in a dilemma. We have a choice as men: we can study hard, trouncing all competitors, create an empire, amass a fortune, and (possibly) win the affections of some elusive supermodel goddess. Or, for the price of a bottle of Lubriderm and a stolen Wi-Fi connection, we can download ultra-high resolution close-ups of lady-bits and let our imaginations skip all that effort.

Low hanging fruit tastes better, we like to pretend.

I happen to enjoy my porn, thank you! Why is that a problem? 

It isn’t, necessarily. But there are definite drawbacks. Each ejaculation takes a toll on the philanderer’s wellbeing in several potent ways.

First, with each climax, a man losses a whole slew of essential vitamins and nutrients because semen is designed to give as much of a fighting chance to the new embryo as possible. In fact, each time we cum, we lose the protein equivalent of a large egg. That’s why we just want to nap afterward or find the whole thing gross; literally, our entire physiology is designed to propel us into this point of mutual orgasm, storing massive energy reserves to be spent at copulation, not to be squandered into a crusty sock.

Worse still, ejaculation expels testosterone reserves. Every fap session makes you less of a man in a very real sense, depleting you of your very chemical maleness (This does not apply to actual sex, however, which we’ll look at shortly. High-five!). Lastly, and we’ve covered this deeper in previous articles, masturbation effects dopamine levels on a similar scale to heroin, leading to obsessive-compulsiveness, thought-disorders, social anxiety and depression. Be honest, at some level, does that seem familiar?

You said there was good news?

Indeed, I did. Friends, if you masturbate because porn is easy and getting laid eludes you, we have some great news. Masturbating is why you’re not getting laid. You see, each time you lose that testosterone, first your body produces less pheromones, your natural arousal cologne, and the renewed secretion of pheromones creates this cloud of alpha-male essence around you, effortlessly attracting women and impressing your dominance upon fellow men.

Better still, with this unsquandered natural energy and social prowess, comfort and confidence in your own skin skyrockets, and your body instinctually makes you want to set aside the MMORPG’s and interact with other humans. You’re a natural at talking to girls, just not so much after the instant gratification of manual stimulation. Face to face socializing is what you were designed for.

Too good to be true? There are thousands of first-hand accounts of 180 degree life changes from simply giving your little buddy a rest, and closing out of the porn site. There are also massive support communities to help the transition into the new Casanova lifestyle. We all love our porn fellas, and the idea of losing our parents to cholera is probably more soothing than withdrawal from the sweet, sweet glories of a photoshopped Kate Upton…

porn kate upton

Damn, she looks good. But guess what? So do real girls. Porn is a poor substitute.

So how bout a quick self-check:

  • Do you exercise, dress classy, and/or groom your billy-goat beard from time to time, but still feel invisible to women?
  • Have you read any how-to’s by Neal Strauss?
  • Did you linger at that last photo (we all did)?
  • Does there seem like a collective decision by all woman-kind to blue-ball you?
  • Do you suspect you give the vibe of a man passing out candy from his windowless van?
  • Is your go-to stress relief the instant-gratification of internet porn?

Back to the science: Something About Mary had it backwards. Just go a few days without relief and a switch flips. Suddenly, you’re the center of everyone’s attention. Oh, thank God (teeth were gritted down to nubs of insecurity).

Can we talk about Porn?

I thought you’d never ask. Porn, fantastic as it may be, acts directly on the addiction centers of the brain. Our caveman minds are, frankly, not equipped for handling the endless feast of flesh at our fingertips thanks to the internet, because, physiologically, sex is geared to be the highest possible reward meant only for the healthiest most contributing-to-the-tribe males. This instant access is a major cause of the growing trend in apathy in the developed world. With the dopamine high of life’s ultimate purpose so reticently available, there is a dwindling (possibly non-human) percentage driven to true accomplishments.

Come on. It’s natural to like to look at women.

Totally. That’s not the point. No one’s judging. No one want’s to be told one of their favorite pastimes is a drain on them, or worse, that it’s an addiction. That’s between you and your penis to decide. By no means are we suggesting you become celibate (though many of the great minds in history went that route), or that you focus your chi to transmute your sex energy, but if your gut instinct was defensiveness, maybe try the no porn challenge for kicks.

As with all addictions, porn needs escalation to get the same thrill. So soft-core turns to hardcore turns to fetishes to taboos and tentacle-rape to friction scars and cut out front-pockets for easy access, until you’re crying over a bottle of merlot fantasizing about accidental eye-contact with the hostess at Applebee’s. (That’s universal, right?)

To getting a life. Cheers.

 

 

 

Sources:

5 Reasons Women are as Shallow as Men

7 Craziest Things Ever Done to Get Laid

The End of Low Hanging Fruit?

Composition of Human Semen

AskMen: What’s in Sperm?

Journal of Psychology: Sexual Exhaustion in Male Rats

Wondergressive: Sex is Just a Lack of Disgust

PubMed.gov: Ejaculation and Testosterone

Wondergressive: You and Your Internet on Porn

American Journal of Psychology: Subjective Experiences of Dopamine Depletion

PubMed.gov: Pheromonal Influences on Sociosexual Behavior in Men

Subject Experiences of Positive Porn Abstinence

IMDB: There’s Something About Mary 

Philip Zimbardo: Your Brain on Porn

Wondergressive: A Note on the Top 1%

A History of Celibacy 

Celibate Celebrities

The Mystery of Sex Transmutation

The 10 Steps to Porn Addiction

Oculolinctus: Eye Fetish

Afraid to Wake Up? Conquering Fear and Life

Do not fear! Daydream believers everywhere, Listen up. The time is now to wake up and live the life that we’ve been dreaming about living. So lets strap on those reality boots, focus on what we want to accomplish, and continue on the journey of our lives.

Easier said than done, I know. There are tons of factors that prevent us from achieving our goals. Bills, jobs, social obligations, family, bills, and the money in our wallets all get in the way of our dreams. The only way to get past these obstacles is to fight, tooth and nail, to rid ourselves of them. Well, sort of. We need to set ourselves up to be happy, not monetarily rich. If we do not, all of the hurdles to jump and mountains to climb will seem like impossible barriers. It is best to take each challenge one thought at a time.

Keep working hard and perhaps we will realise* the dreams are entirely in our control.

What is it that We’re afraid of?

Old Dude once said:

So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.

While true, that sounds utterly terrifying. What the hell is fear even? Well despite the various hells being the source of all mythical fear, it turns out that it has a very real and practical existence. Fear is an excellent teacher. Karl Albrecht, Ph.D from psychology today defines fear as

An anxious feeling, caused by our anticipation of some imagined event or experience.

And Alexander Berzin, an assumed level 87 Bodhisattva, believes this about fear.

Fear is a physical and emotional uneasiness felt about something known or unknown, over which we feel we have no ability to control, handle, or bring to the result that we wish. We want to be rid of what we fear, and thus there is a strong repulsion. Even if the fear is a general anxiety, without a specific object that we fear, still there is a strong wish to be rid of an undefined “something.”

Some imagined event. Something that has not yet happened causes us to activate fight or flight responses. Anxiety is the Sauron to fear’s Morgoth. Anxiety is what traps the brain in fear. Anxiety is the labyrinth that fortifies compulsive thoughts of terror until the brain can no longer handle it. Anxiety, Anxiety, Anxiety.

Our hearts race. Our blood pumps. We rage respond according to the traditions of the body. Karl Albrecht, mentioned above, categorizes the five root fears as the fear of extinction, mutilation, loss of autonomy, separation, and ego-death. But how do we battle these Balrogs? They aren’t allowed here, that is definitely for sure. We must muster up all of our being to defeat their musty, mustard-like, fires of mustachio’d hell.

Alex Berzin, also mentioned above, goes on to explain ways of dealing with fear, before it happens.

  • Counting the cycles of breathing with eyes closed, taking as the cycle the in and out-breaths, and focusing on the sensation of the breath coming in, going down, the lower abdomen rising, then falling, and the breath going out.
  • Counting the cycles of breathing with eyes half-opened, loosely focused, looking down at the floor, taking as the cycle the out-breath, a pause, and the in-breath, with the same focus as above, and after a while, adding awareness of the sensation of our bottoms touching the chair or floor.
  • Reaffirming the motivation or goal of what we wish to achieve (becoming more calm) and why.
  • Imagining that the mind and energy come into focus like the lens of a camera.
  • Without counting the breath, focusing on the lower abdomen rising and falling while breathing and feeling that all the energies of the body are flowing harmoniously.

 

Obviously, while staring down the barrel of a gun it will be hard to practice these techniques. If we do practice these breathing exercises perhaps when we are faced with a gun point decision, we’ll be able to duck down, disarm our various demons, and continue on. We’ll be stronger because of it.

So now that we have a somewhat better understanding of how to overcome fear, lets think about what it is exactly that is keeping us from waking up. Hint: We are almost always asleep.

Dreams

There are two types of dreams. There are those that happen during the deepest sleep of the night and those that happen during the deepest sleep of the day. Sometimes the former slips into the latter, sometimes the latter slips into the former, and sometimes the ladder slips altogether and we’re stuck on the roof until Great Aunt Matilda hears our whimpering three days later.

We can use both types of dreams to achieve our goals and conquer fear.  An apparently nameless author, explains a process called treasure mapping in order to visualize our goals:

It’s a very simple but effective idea: Treasure Mapping involves creating a physical representation or collage of what you want to achieve. It acts as a constant reminder and representation of your goals. And so it intensifies the effects of visualization, which acts on your subconscious mind to motivate and encourage you towards achieving those goals.

We have all probably seen or heard of this type of thing before. Basically one imagines whatever s/he wishes to accomplish (ie. get signed to a record label, build a home, or boat across the atlantic) and then a collage is created of these ideas. The collage is then placed in a prominent space in order to remind the creator of its original intention. As time passes the collage is added to and reflected upon.

Rachael Rettner, from Livescience.com, proposes that dreams are likely to have a specific influence on the way that the brain processes information. Quoting Deirdre Barrett, a havard psychologist,

My opinion is that, evolution just isn’t wasteful, that when things evolve for one purpose, that generally they don’t continue throughout time to have only that purpose, but anything else that may be useful about them gets refined,

Evolution? HA! We all know that the earth was only created 24 years ago.**

In one experiment, Barrett had college students pick a homework problem to try to solve in a dream. The problems weren’t rocket science; they were fairly easy questions that the student simply hadn’t gotten around to solving yet. Students focused on the problem each night before they went to bed. At the end of a week, about half the students had dreamed about the problem and about a quarter had a dream that contained the answer, Barrett said.

Dreams can be used to solve problems that your brain considers important! This includes the problem of overcoming what we fear most. If every night we all go to sleep thinking “how can I make my life a better more full life” or “what is it that I wish to achieve” perhaps we’ll all happen upon some collective answer.

Waking Up 

How we balance our dreams, fears, and the reality of our position is entirely up to us. The decisions we make are seeds for the future. Just because an answer is found to be correct in terms of the original context of the problem does not mean that the question/answer is a valid one. Life is a practice that goes on and on guided by the dreams of those living it. Every night we should all hope to dream of a world in which we’ve all woken up.

We’ve all heard the story of how some great somebody or other was faced with a difficult decision, equation, and pre-paradigm shifting philosophy until, after months, and years the solution came to them in a dream. If you put enough effort into problem solving, you’re brain will do the work for you.

Notes:

*I prefer this spelling. The letter Z and I had a falling out a few years past. Long story, it wasn’t entirely my fault. This article basically says it doesn’t matter.
**Unfortunately there is no source for this information but it is most likely the only truth. I’ve been trying to find any other source so as to validate the claim that the beginning of all things began upon the instant of my birth. As far as I know, conveniently 24 years back, I can’t see there being any possibility of an earth existing before me. After I die, though, it is difficult to speculate.

 

Sources:

https://wondergressive.com/2013/01/26/our-special-time-in-the-universe/?fb_source=pubv1

http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/5057/

http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/en/archives/sutra/level3_lojong_material/general/hand_fear.html

http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newCT_94.htm

http://www.livescience.com/8373-dream-real-reasons-revealed.html

http://grammarist.com/spelling/realise-realize/

Dogs Can Predict Earthquakes by Hearing Them

 

Dogs and other animals have long been used as a reliable way to predict the occurrences of earthquakes.  Dogs, insects, snakes, and other species display strange behavior and anxiety days before earthquakes happen. Dogs have even successfully warned rescue teams in the event of an impending avalanche, saving lives numerous times.  In China and Japan, it isn’t just speculation, animals are considered an integral part of their earthquake warning system.

A canine’s ability to seemingly see into the future have lead many people to believe that they contain some form of ESP, or are possibly the evolutionary descendants of psychics from Mars.  For the first time, researchers like Stanley Coren believe they have found the source of dogs’ power; their ears.

Through a series of tests with dogs with different types of ears and ages, it seems very likely that dogs are able to hear the high frequency movements of rock deep underground that precede minor and major earthquakes.

Listen to your pets people. They may not be psychic, or from Mars, but they don’t destroy their hearing with Slayer concerts either.