Tag Archives: mind

Get Out and Get Some Sun

In a time where the majority of us spend our hours inside an office, at home or riding in a car, we can forget the importance of getting some sun. Go out and get some sun. It might seem foolish to say, especially when we always have something to do. Even though we have busy schedules, it’s still important to keep in mind. We’re humans. We’re supposed to be outside.

The last 1.5 weeks I spent an abnormally amount of time indoors, and you know what? I actually started to feel weird. I definitely began to feel odd, and not myself. My mood was noticeably down and my energy levels. Those are some consequences, of staying indoors, that I’ve heard others repeat. In my opinion, it’s a real thing and not simply a mental thing.

I don’t like the feeling of feeling off, so it’s something I’m going to try to stay away from. From now on I plan to put more effort into going outside, getting sun and breathing some fresh air on a daily basis. We’ll see how that works out!

Because of my experience, I decided to Google the benefits of going outside and getting sun. There were some obvious benefits, and others that I would’ve never thought of. Check them out for yourself, or read them below.

  • Improved short-term memory
  • Restored mental energy
  • Stress relief
  • Reduced inflammation
  • Better vision
  • Improved concentration
  • Sharper thinking and creativity
  • Possible anti-cancer effects
  • Immune system boost
  • Improved mental health
  • Reduced risk of early death

Being addicted to constant distractions

Last week, I spent my Thursday and Friday at the Search Love Conference in San Diego, CA. It was very good and I learned a lot about SEO, back-links, Google and content marketing. This post is not about what I learned though. This post is about what I observed while at the conference.

The conference included two long days of back to back to back speakers. It was mentally draining and at times I did feel my concentration levels faltering. I can definitely understand the need to look around, and play on your phone, to attempt to regain focus. But what about if I stared at my phone the entire time? Or maybe looked at my laptop the entire time?

At each location I sat, I was surrounded by one or two people completely immersed in their laptops. I sat in three different spots, in different areas of the room, and at each spot I was next to someone who was completely distracted on their laptop.  Literally, they were paying zero attention to the speakers. They probably looked up three or four times.

I could see their computer screens and they were browsing Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, iTunes, news sites, the official conference website and checking their gmail. Really???

I thought it was pretty ridiculous that these people payed, to attend a conference, only to be checking their social media accounts the entire time. Talk about being addicted to constant distractions.

I’m sure there were many others that I didn’t see. Of course there must have been, because I wasn’t looking for them. I noticed the three or four people, I did notice, because they were sitting right next to me or in front of me.

I’m glad I wasn’t that person, and I hope I’m never that person who needs constant distractions.

Flow and joy deferred

While reading Still Writing by Dani Shapiro, I really enjoyed the way she described flow as joy deferred. I can see how flow can be described as joy deferred for some, while not necessarily for others.

A mathematician struggling to solve a certain equation might refer to flow as joy deferred, but a writer who enjoys the feeling of being in flow state while writing probably won’t. A marathon runner with burning thighs, yes, but what about a musician trying to perfect a rhythm or beat?

It’s definitely a description of flow that really paints a picture. Here is the paragraph it appears in:

“We don’t always get to feel unadulterated joy when we are in the midst of an optimal experience. Think of it as joy deferred. The work itself can be challenging to the point of physical  and psychic pain. ‘I hate writing. I love having written,’ Dorothy Parker once said. The runner whose thighs burn with every step; the mathematician wrestling with a seemingly impossible equation; the chef tasting his bechamel sauce, focused on the precise balance of milk and roux. And the writer? Well, one solitary writer in her Connecticut farmhouse is backed into a corner of her chaise longue, every muscle tense with effort.” -Dani Shapiro 

What do you think? Do you like flow being described as joy deferred? There is a popular book titled Flow by psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi that is probably worth reading. It’s definitely on my book reading list.

You should buy experiences and avoid objects

You should buy experiences and avoid objects. While objects will continue to pile up and eventually hold you back, experiences never will. Experiences will live forever in your memory and you can take them everywhere you go hassle free. Experiences will add to the quality of your life and they won’t ever hold you back. An experience can be a trip, hanging out with a friend, going out on a date or visiting a new location. An experience can even be enjoying a cup of coffee at a coffee shop, or enjoying your favorite beer at a cool bar. These are experiences because once you drink the coffee or beer, you are in no way obligated to keep the paper cup or glass bottle with you forever. You simply toss it away and all you are left with is the memory of the experience.

If you buy too many objects, you will notice that they will continue to pile up and never go away. Objects will stack up in your home and eventually flow into your garage. They get on your way and become a hassle. They stay with you even after the excitement of the object has long been extinguished. Objects are shirts, shoes, jewelry, souvenirs, home decorations and movies. When you buy an object you get some satisfaction from it. Once the satisfaction from the object disappears, the object still lingers with you nearly forever. For example, if you buy a nice shirt you might get some satisfaction from wearing it around five times but after those few times you will no longer be receiving any satisfaction from it, yet the shirt will continue to take up space in your closet or drawer. It will take up space in your home, probably forever, because if you are like most people you will feel guilty about throwing away a perfectly good shirt.

When you decide to move, you will have to drag that shirt along with you. When you move you will have to drag all those shirts, shoes, decorations, random objects and souvenirs along with you. On the other hand if you had your favorite beer at a bar, once you finish the beer, you are done with the experience and you never have to physically lug it around with you forever or keep physical space for it anywhere. That is why you should buy experiences over objects.

Of course, we need some shirts, shoes and decorations. The point, is to not let it get out of hand. Keep in mind that every object you buy will be renting a piece of your home forever. Do you really want that additional object that much? Whenever given the choice, choose to allocate your money towards spending on experiences rather than more objects.