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The Daily Wire Takes Up Elon Musk's Offer to Use Twitter As if It is a Free Speech Platform and Exhibit the Film What Is a Woman? -- But Twitter Employees Demand the Film be Censored, or Face Being Labeled "Hate Speech" and Shadowbanned | Main | Media Admits: The Little Mermaid Reboot May Not Even Break Even
June 02, 2023

Mental and Emotional GAINZZZ

Canada is now printing health warnings on each individual cigarette.

individualcigarettehealthwarnings.jpg

The Easy Way to Quit Smoking doesn't use scary health warnings to sell the reader on quitting smoker. The author realizes that smokers hear this stuff 24/7, and tune it out. Worse, warnings like this make them agitated, which has the effect of... making them reach for a cigarette for comfort.

Instead, the book's author, Alan Carr, focuses on smaller problems with smoking, and also emphasizes the benefits of being a non-smoker. Instead of giving something up, you're choosing to have something valuable. That helps defuse the whole Fear of Missing Out thing where people say "But I'll miss smoking."

Here's an example: The book talks about the very real and very annoying fact that any smoker, when at a dinner party or out at a restaurant, will crave a cigarette every 30 or 40 minutes, and will not be able to enjoy himself until he excuses himself for eight minutes to stand outside in the cold and lonely. This ends the Nic Fit... for about five minutes, after which withdrawal symptoms begin and the agitation to smoke starts building again.

The Easy Way to Quit Smoking notes that if you didn't smoke, you wouldn't have that Nic Fit, and wouldn't have to get up every thirty or forty minutes to suck down a cigarette. A small benefit, but he talks about ten or twelve small benefits like that. They add up.

Like... once you're a nonsmoker, you're not going to panic when you're out of cigarettes, and get yourself all bundled up to drive to 7-Eleven at midnight just to make sure you've got cigarettes for the morning.

And you're never going to have to suffer the indignity of fishing through the nasty crushed-out butts in an ashtray looking for cigarettes that can still be smoked for a couple of puffs.

Let me tell you, I do not miss that.

Burning your eyebrows when you light a cigarette off an oven burner? I do not miss that, either.

If you'd like to give up smoking choose to have the benefits of being a non-smoker, I really can't recommend the book enough. I stopped smoking four days after I started reading it and not only never smoked again, but never wanted to smoke again. Including when I was drinking with friends who were smoking right in front of me.

Nicotine is only mildly addictive physically. The main hook is mental, and the book is amazing at breaking that mental hook down.

He advises quitting cold turkey, when you're ready to quit. (He doesn't say you have to quit right away; he says you should finish the book first.) I don't know if cold turkey works as I didn't do it that way; I used Nicorette nicotine gum and a Blu electronic cigarette to get through it. Either way, the important thing is breaking down the belief that one needs to smoke.

Exercise can stave off or reverse age-related mental decline, another study finds.

Scientists naturally have wondered if we can slow or reverse this falloff in our brains' function. To investigate that pressing question, Smith and his colleagues recruited 33 volunteers in their 70s and 80s, about half of whom were experiencing mild cognitive impairment, a loss of thinking skills that often precedes Alzheimer's disease.

Everyone was asked to complete an array of physiological and mental tests. In one, the researchers read aloud a brief story and asked the volunteers to recount it. In another, the volunteers lay quietly during a functional MRI scan that pinpointed electrical activity in many parts of their brains.

Afterward, half of the volunteers, including some with mild cognitive impairment, started exercising, visiting a supervised gym four times a week to briskly walk for about 30 minutes. The others stayed inactive.

After four months, everyone repeated the original tests.

But their results diverged. The exercisers, even those with mild cognitive impairment, scored better on the cognitive tests, particularly the repeat-the-story version. The sedentary volunteers didn't.

More intriguing, the exercisers' brains had changed. Before the study, brain scans of the older volunteers had showed mostly weak or scattershot connections between and within major brain networks.

Our brains work best when various, distinct networks interact and connect, facilitating complex thinking and memory formation. This process can be seen in action on brain scans, when connected brain networks light up in tandem, like synchronized Christmas lights.

After four months of exercise, the scans showed that brain connections were stronger than before, with cells and whole networks lighting up at the same time, a common hallmark of better thinking.

Scientists determined that two risk factors severely accelerated age-related mental decline: Owning a Corvette and using your grandchildren as bag-men to collect bribes from China, Romania, and Ukraine.

They also found that exercise aided neurogenesis, the creation of new brain cells. It's not true, as an old claim has it, that you can't create new brain cells after age 25 or whatever. It's just that the creation of new brain cells happens slowly and in small numbers.

Exercise spurs the creation of brain cells. That's been known for a while. But this study found that exercise is key to properly usefully linking these new brain cells to other brain cells, so they're part of a working network. The new brain cells of sedentary people were found to be poorly connected to the network, and thus mostly just taking up space.


Jordan Peterson just spoke with Dr. Peter Attia about this last week.


Exercise can also reduce or reverse depression.

While we are all still recovering from the collective COVID Hangover, interesting data on mental health and physical activity has been published by Montana State University Extension Specialist Michelle Grocke, Ph.D. She published a paper in 2021 that identified physical activity as a protective factor for mental health. This means that regular exercise can create a positive state of wellbeing.

Her data, based on surveys from 4,026 people from five states, identified a three-phase process that leads normally active people to become less active and as a result experience a decline in mental health status. Phase one was a stimulating event that caused psychological distress and a short-term decline in physical activity. Phase two resulted in increased feelings of distress from the decline in physical activity. Phase three resulted in even less physical activity and worsening mental health status. Many of us can relate to this three-phase spiral into an overall experience of malaise, or rather the COVID Hangover.

How do we recover from this hangover? Physical activity. Exercise. Just getting up and moving your body around more than you did yesterday. Not only can physical activity improve your mental health, but it is good medicine for your brain too. Depression impacts 300 million people worldwide, and 17 million Americans. This is a staggering number, and enough evidence now supports the positive impact of exercise on the brain and should be considered an important tool for treating mental health.

The antidepressant effects of exercise were not limited by age, gender or health status. Compared to the time and expense of talk therapy, exercise provides a low-cost treatment that is accessible to anyone, any place, at any stage of life. Data shows that increased physical activity and all types of exercise, from dance-based aerobic workouts to pumping iron, improve the mental health of those who make physical activity a routine in daily life.

A study finds that exercise is 1.5x as effective in fighting depression than drugs.

Exercise as a treatment for severe depression is at least as effective as standard drugs or psychotherapy and by some measures better, according to the largest study to date of exercise as "medicine" for depression.

The study pooled data from 41 studies involving 2,265 people with depression and showed that almost any type of exercise substantially reduces depression symptoms, although some forms of exercise seemed more beneficial than others.

"We found large, significant results," said Andreas Heissel, an exercise scientist at the University of Potsdam in Germany, who led the study.

For people struggling with depression, he said, the findings show you don't have to run marathons or otherwise train strenuously to benefit. "Something is better than nothing," Heissel said.

The effects were robust enough that the study's authors hope the finding will spur a move to make exercise a standard, prescribed therapy for depression.
That approach would represent a notable shift. The American Psychological Association's clinical practice guidelines, updated in 2019, recommend seven types of psychotherapy and several antidepressants for the treatment of depression, but they do not mention exercise. The World Health Organization promotes exercise for mental health as an add-on to traditional treatments -- not on its own.

But the study's authors are confident. "We expect this review to lead to updated guidelines and recommendations for exercise as a first-line treatment option," Heissel said.

...

Scientists and clinicians have known for some time that exercise protects us against developing depression. In large-scale epidemiological studies, active men and women become depressed at much lower rates than sedentary people, even if they exercise for only a few minutes a day or a few days a week.

Pooled, the effects were potent. Overall, people with depression who exercised in any way improved their symptoms by almost five points, using one widely recognized diagnostic scale, and by about 6.5 points using another. For both scales, an improvement of three points or more is considered clinically meaningful, the study's authors write.

In practical terms, these numbers suggest that, for every two people with depression who start to exercise, one of them should experience "a large-magnitude reduction in depressive symptoms," Heissel said.


So, obviously: Man has become too damn good at adapting his surroundings to fit himself. He has made it so that most people are not compelled to do physical work during the day. Thanks to cars and elevators, he doesn't even have to walk very much if he'd rather not.

This may be what part of the brain wants -- the part concerned with conserving energy in case we're charged by a mastodon later in the day -- but we've become so good at conserving energy that we're not expending much of it. And other parts of the brain don't like that at all. Man feels out-of-sorts in the modern world for the simple reason that his body and brain weren't built for the modern world.

The internet is an enormous innovation which separates us from the lives we were built to lead even more. Never in 100,000 years of human existence have we had the ability to amuse ourselves endlessly by taking a small device out of our pocket and scrolling for novelties. We used to have to actually do some level of work to entertain ourselves.

I struggle to read more than a few pages of an actual book at a time, unless it's very compelling. I think almost everyone feels this to some extent. Our ability to focus and just exist in the quiet times has been shattered.

And of course we spent 18 months (or more) in isolation or semi-isolation thanks to the geniuses the media calls our Public Health Experts. Man is a social animal. Even the anti-social ones are still kind of social.

Any small effort to push the body and brain towards the expected conditions they were built for must be good for them.

I've personally realized that, for me, when someone asks "How do you feel?," my answer is based almost entirely on how much energy I have, physical and mental. If I'm Low Energy Jeb, I feel bad. If I'm High Energy Garrett (bursting with energy due to dangerous levels of amyl nitrate consumption), I feel good.

Unless there's some particular reason for a strong emotion, good or bad, or an injury, how I "feel" just comes down to how much energy I have.

And exercise increases energy. I mean, not immediately after the exercise, obviously, but after recovery.

Do you agree? Is this obvious? It may be obvious but I'm not sure that I've seen people make the point: "Feeling good" equals "having ample bodily energy."

So: Do you have any GAINZZZ you want to inspire us with?

digg this
posted by Ace at 03:00 PM

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