Month: February 2019

What Show Jumping Teaches Us About Injury & Illness

5 Reasons We Hate Being Injured, Anxious, and Sick 1. Pain This is the obvious one!  Being sick or injured is physically uncomfortable and sometimes pain perception increases as the duration of pain increases.  Research indicates that anxiety and social pain is processed in the brain like physical pain.  Some people experience more distress from pain than others. 2. Free time to worry or regret If athletic activities are part of your daily routine, an injury or sickness suddenly creates a gap in your schedule, giving you time to ruminate and worry.  Perhaps you’re experiencing regret, replaying past choices, berating yourself for doing something that caused the injury or sickness, or trying to remix the past. 3. Decreased productivity Being fully or partially out of commission decreases productivity.  This creates uncertainty about future productivity and stress about deadlines.  We are used to working at full capacity and efficiency, so any hindrance carries the possibility of creating stress. 4. Loss of a healthy outlet for stress and anger You might use physical activities as an outlet for stress and anger. …

Week 9 Questions for Know Thyself 2019: Social Media Leadership

(This blog is part of a weekly series for Know Thyself 2019, a 365 day journal project. Start here!) This Week’s Journal Topic: Social Media Leadership This week, the topic is social media leadership because: Knowing if you want to be a leader or a follower will help you dispel mixed feelings and choose your social media identity. Recognizing good leadership will help you choose to follow the right people. Defining good leadership will help you create your vision, if you want to be a leader. Concepts of Social Media Leadership: Leaders and Followers Social media leadership implies that a person has followers; a social media leader needs people who obediently like, share, and support. Although we all participate in this following activity, many of us have mixed feelings about it, too. Bios boast of industry leaders with ridiculous numbers of followers, supposedly indicating worth, superiority, and success. Social media culture teaches us that it’s better to be followed, than to follow others. Perhaps the source of our mixed feelings is the pressure to be followed, …

Understand Maslow’s Hierarchy to Prepare Yourself for Personal Growth

The 20th century psychologist, Abraham Maslow, created a theory of human motivation that has been highly influential in psychology, sociology, philosophy, ethics, and business. Unlike many other psychologists who focused their studies on various mental illnesses, Maslow studied human excellence and what makes humans healthy.  For that reason, Maslow’s theory is relevant to you, as someone who presumably wants to be healthy and happy, too. Maslow’s theory provides deep analysis, but at the same time it’s quite intuitive, meaning that you’ll understand it and instinctively agree. Once you understand it, you can apply it to your own life and become ready for self-motivation and growth. Maslow’s Hierarchy – 5 Tiers of Needs Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is illustrated as a five-tiered pyramid. Needs get more complex as we climb the pyramid.  The base tier are physiological needs for eating, drinking, and sleeping.  The next tier is the security need, satisfied by immediate safety and savings for the future.  Above physical and security needs are social needs, such as friendship and intimacy.  The highest of the …

5 Simple Stretches for Winter (In)Activity

Whether you’re participating in winter sports, Netflix marathons, or in OT at your desk, stretching can benefit your well-being!  It only takes a few minutes to refresh your mind, relax your body, and prevent injuries. *Hold each posture for at least 30 seconds or five breaths (2 count inhale – pause – 2 count exhale – pause)* Clasping hands behind the back –          This movement increases the range of motion in the shoulders and stretches across the chest. How to: –          Clasp your hands (palms together) or interlace your fingers (palms apart) behind your lower back –          Relax the neck and shoulder to increase the stretch across the chest; keep chin parallel to the floor –          Lift the hands to intensify the stretch –          Modification: hold a cloth between the hands if your shoulders are tight and you cannot clasp your hands Eagle (garudasana) arms –          Stretches the muscles in the upper back, especially between the shoulder blades How to: –          Stack elbows in front of your chest and lift the hands up & away from the face; lower the shoulders away …

Week 8 Questions for Know Thyself 2019: Immortality

(This blog is part of a weekly series for Know Thyself 2019, a 365 day journal project. Start here!) This Week’s Journal Topic: Immortality The previous topics have been relatively light.  Bear with me as we approach some questions that require courage and serious philosophical thought! The attitude you have towards death influences your attitudes towards other human life, ethics, ownership, society, and politics. Physical death is the great equalizer; no one – no matter how rich or powerful, and regardless of citizenship – can avoid it.  Despite the fact that death is natural and unavoidable, you might not have thought about it much.  Some cultures do not talk about mortality, immortality, the soul, the afterlife.  Even if it’s difficult and brings up fear or anxiety, please give the questions a try! Views of Death: Final State? Or Transformation? If you were raised in Western culture, you are probably familiar with concepts of dying, death, and the afterlife.   Most adults could thoughtfully answer the question, “What do you think happens after we die?” There are few grave superstitions about death, and we even joke about it!  For example, …

The Heart of the City at Minus 8 Degrees

A Valentine’s Day poem written during my walk to work.  A bus stop advertisement mentions “the heart of the city” and inspires the title. The Heart of the City at Minus 8 Degrees The smell of rotten vegetables touches my nostrils The city is a fermenting refrigerator A hint of freshly dug dirt The sidewalk under repair Diesel exhaust – Frozen hearts of the workmen Engines running to stay warm on Valentine’s Day ___ Hardened souls, Yet the scent of colognes and perfumes Betrays secret desires How embarrassing to need love Hold me, on Valentine’s Day ___ My eyes meet other eyes For a moment, the reality of city life: Wide open hearts, closed windows Always I wonder Who is chasing whom, Valentine?   Critical Thinking: Take two minutes to mentally review your day, recalling images  and seeing them behind your closed eyes.  Write a short poem of your own.  Three or four lines will do!  Use a metaphor, which is a literary device for comparison and symbolism, a word or description is applied to …

Week 7 Questions for Know Thyself 2019: Your Relationship with Food

(This blog is part of a weekly series for Know Thyself 2019, a 365 day journal project. Start here!) This Week’s Journal Topic: Your Relationship with Food It’s the most important relationship you’ll ever have. Everyday you attend to your relationship with food.  You’re free to decide what, how, when, and with whom you eat. You’re free to decide how you feel emotionally about the act of eating, too.  Eating can be a moral issue if you attach judgments to food, such as good/bad and punishment/reward, or if you think that the pleasure of eating must be earned. Here are a few common expressions about food: “You are what you eat.” The nutrients in the food literally become a part of your body. “Eating your feelings,” refers to stifling negative emotions with food in order to avoid feeling them.  A person piles food in, rather than becoming more aware of these feelings, accepting them, and working through them. “Eating your feelings” is an avoidance strategy and reflects a desire for comfort.  Eating causes strong physical sensations that …

Willpower and Winter Fitness

How much willpower does it take to stay fit during cold winter months?  Worried or shamed about skipping/shortening workouts?  Plus, reframe and re-up your winter workout!     During the summer months, it’s relatively easy to fit in fitness.  Sunny, warm weather invites us to take a walk, hike, ride, or swim, whereas freezing temperatures encourage holing up indoors. We’re dressed in hoodies and sweatpants but are loathe to get off the couch. How can we maintain or increase our fitness when all we want to do is hibernate? The answer is to find balance in three features of any fitness regime:  consistency, duration, and intensity. Duration: Increasing the duration of the activity will require your body to adapt and grow.  Choose fun activities that keep you active for longer periods of time, such as skiing, snowshoeing, indoor cardio, yoga, or swimming. Perhaps you’re working out less often, but the change still forces the body to adapt and grow! Intensity:  If you experience diminished energy or desire to participate in activities, try decreasing the duration of the activity while increasing the intensity.  For …

Week 6 Questions for “Know Thyself 2019”: Power Over Others

(This blog is part of a weekly series for Know Thyself 2019, a 365 day journal project. Start here!) This Week’s Journal Topic: Power Over Other People One topic that has interested philosophers of all the ages and all civilizations is power.  To have power over others is to have the ability to influence their behaviour. When you have power, you have some kind of authority to make decisions and efficacy for creating real consequences.  Contrast the (illusory) feeling of power with actually being powerful over others. Power over others comes from various sources: Parental authority – parents’ ability to influence their children, regardless of age Education – overpowering by out-smarting Charisma – persuasive language and charming personality Political – ability to authorize actions that effect other people Status – a job title that creates respect or fear Money – “purchasing” certain goods and behaviours Physical strength – dominating through offers of protection or creation of fear The Pursuit of Power Power can be motivating and addictive. Many human beings enjoy feeling power over others and take …

Does smoking cause cancer? Philosophy says no.

Causation, a.k.a. cause & effect, is arguably the most important and fascinating notion in metaphysics. (Metaphysics is a branch of academic philosophy dealing with questions like, “how/where/why does stuff exist?” and “what does it mean to exist?”) We use causation language  everyday.  But our normal usage of terms such as cause & effect are clumsy and inexact.  When we try to do philosophy or science without refining the notion of causation, are results are a big pile of cow dung. And even if you don’t plan on doing much philosophy, you should still care about refining your usage of cause & effect. If you are confused about what causation is, then you fundamentally misunderstand the world.  Errors in perceiving causal connections in reality cause you to: form unjustified beliefs make false statements to yourself and others.   That’s not be so bad, you say.  So what if I have false beliefs. But remember, decisions are based on beliefs – you act because you believe other people rely on your words – they expect them to be a …