Category Archives: Health

My Twitter Detox

I am a recovering Twitter junkie. I used to be addicted to the social media network—that is addicted to reading others’ tweets as opposed to tweeting myself. When I first joined Twitter in 2009 I would only read my timeline. I didn’t tweet anything myself until much later. At first I only followed a couple dozen people, but over time the number of people I followed grew and grew. I don’t know if it was some kind of obsessive compulsive trait of mine, but I felt a need to read every tweet in my timeline. When I woke up in the morning I’d scroll back through all the tweets I missed the previous night. Such a practice was manageable then because I wasn’t following too many people (in the dozens), and those I followed didn’t tweet too often.

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Writing to Relieve Anxiety

“I have now, and have had since this afternoon, a great yearning to write all my anxiety entirely out of me, write it into the depths of the paper just as it comes out of the depths of me, or write it down in such a way that I could draw what I had written into me completely.”

— Franz Kafka

Whenever something is bothering me, and I am overcome with running thoughts, the best way to relieve that anxiety is to write my thoughts down. Afterwards, I almost always feel better and the running thoughts subside. Simply writing about my fears and worries helps in easing them. Why is that?

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Writing with the Pomodoro Technique (For Productivity and Health)

Writing is not the hardest thing in the world to do, but the easiest thing to do is not write. A nice thing about being a writer is the freedom to set your own hours, but that freedom can also be a curse. It’s difficult to stay focused and avoid procrastination and distractions, especially today with the internet, when the tool you write with (a computer) is connected to all the information in the world, including email, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Reddit, and other applications designed to waste time.

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Born Vegetarian? The Evolutionary Psychology Behind Not Eating Meat

I’ve been a vegetarian my entire life. No one in my family or anyone I knew was vegetarian; it was something I came to on my own. When I was a child, people would often ask me why I didn’t eat meat, as if there was some moment or reason that precipitated it, but I never had an answer. Today I can name a whole host of reasons to be a vegetarian—ethical, health-related, and environmental—but I wasn’t aware of those benefits of vegetarianism when I was four years old. Yet as far back as I can remember, I’ve had an instinctual disgust toward meat. It was as though I was born a vegetarian. But is that possible? Are certain people natural vegetarians?

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Why Are so Many Creative People Anxious and/or Depressed?

Introducing Kafka by R. Crumb

Consciousness, or what makes humans human, is inherently tied to imagination. Imagination allows you to predict possible futures before they happen—be it what a predator such as a tiger will do (harm you), what a rock could turn into (a tool), or what a seed could become if you plant it (food). That type of future-thinking birthed agriculture and civilization, and it all stemmed from imagination—imagining what not yet is but could be. No other species can do that (that we know of).

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The Power of Journaling

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Journaling has been one of the most beneficial practices for my mental health. It’s a powerful and freeing method to clear your mind. Writing about everything in your head—all your deepest and darkest and most private thoughts—gets those thoughts out of your head and onto paper. For this to work, the journal must remain private. You need the complete freedom to know that no one else will ever see it so you can write with complete inhibition. Once the thoughts get out of your head and onto paper, you can detach from the thoughts and view them from a distance. Continue reading

Mindfulness in the Age of the Internet

mindfulness-internet

Two of my favorite people on the internet collided this week when Leo Babauta of Zen Habits went on the Rich Roll Podcast. As expected, it was a great episode, full of insight and wisdom, but there was one thing they said that I wanted to expand upon. At one point, Rich asked Leo why he thought mindfulness is becoming more popular and mainstream lately, but neither had a clear answer.

I think the main reason is the internet. Continue reading

Is Picky Eating Related to Social Anxiety?

popeye

When I was six, I thought there were nails in meat, so I refused to touch it. I watched Popeye get strong from eating spinach, but I’d have rather been weak than eat disgusting green leaves. I ate pizza every single day for most of my life. Yeah, you could say I was a picky eater. Continue reading

My Experience Taking Antidepressants for Social Anxiety

my-experience

“Yesss!!! Finally!!! I did it!!!!”

That’s what I thought at the time. It was a combination of extreme excitement, relief, and optimism. That moment was about three years ago. I had just told my doctor that I have social anxiety disorder, and he wrote me a prescription for the antidepressant, Zoloft. Continue reading