Literally, we cannot concentrate as much anymore, and it’s not just made up.
The neural networks linked to concentration and focus, long-term concentrated thinking, are getting weaker if you don’t utilize them.
These jump cut videos and little snippet articles, are leading people to a point where they can’t read books anymore or watch full-length films and read long articles.
It’s actually re-wiring us, which is a hard habit to break.
For me, this is often how the coffee habit works. Yes in one sense it’s physiological because it gives me a little pep, but it’s also a wired habit now.
I’m so used to sitting down with a nice cup of coffee when it’s time to work, and it’s such an enjoyable part of my daily routine that I don’t want to break it.
When I try replacing it with anything else, it just doesn’t feel the same.
Reason #3: The Deep Roots of Unhappiness – Filling The Void
The third reason is often because we’re unhappy.
If I know that a food is making me fat, if I know this cigarette is killing me, if I know the coffee is giving me acid reflux – why would I still do all these behaviors?
It makes no logical sense.
And that’s because it’s emotional.
It’s so funny how many people I talk to, when it comes time to lose weight, where I hear all the B.S. about what they eat, and how often they exercise.
Then I cut to the chase and ask them, “okay, that’s great. Are you happy, though?”
Then there’s a really prolonged pause, and they’re like, “uhhhh, yeah…” As if they were trying to convince themselves it were true.
Negative emotions are one of the ways that people develop negative addictions in the long run.
It’s a coping strategy for many of us who are unhappy.
It’s exceptionally common.
You know when you get home and you watch tv, you’re hanging out, and there’s a little window in the evening where you’re bored, lonely, or just unhappy with your life?
That’s where food comes in.
That’s where drugs come in.
That’s where drinking sneaks in, and hard drugs sneak in.
All of us fill the void somehow, in some way, which could be as mundane as video games or having sex, to hardcore drug addiction that leads to death.
Every one picks their own poison in some way, and it’s really important here as we talk about this to think about ourselves.
What do you use to self-medicate?
“At least right now for the next 30 minutes I can guarantee that I’m numb enough where I don’t have to feel or care about the pain, about all the crap going on in my life.”
Right now at least, I can turn the brain off and stop feeling.
I can stop stressing.
I can stop worrying.
I don’t have to worry about the bills, the deadlines, the relationship imploding.
Life is good right now, as long as I have my little exit.
Bonus: The Short Term Relief is Better Than the Long-Term Pain
The other thing is that the short-term relief of me smoking a cigarette, to be calm, right now, – the benefit – is bigger than me quitting, and not getting cancer later.
Or the fear that “somewhere out there,” that in ten years, I’m going to have a smoker’s cough that wakes me up at night.
Even if it’s guaranteed, right now, you know what’s more guaranteed?
The fact that I can smoke a cigarette or eat food, and feel calm.
I can drink three glasses of alcohol and not care about anything for a couple hours.
The fact that I can binge eat a bunch of Oreos and I’m good for the next ten minutes.
That’s guaranteed – the future’s not.
The short term thinking overpowers the long term thinking, just because right now I can guaranteed feel pleasure. The long run doesn’t guarantee that I’ll get sick and fat, but I can guaranteed feel great now.
Your Tiny Daily Habit Today
Be very conscious – do you feel like one of these reasons, the three or four here, are one of the reasons why you are smoking, or drinking, or excessively partying, or watching TV in excess, or eating too much?
Are you falling prey to one of these vices – knowing it’s not aligned with your goals, with the deliberate life you want?
If so, leave a comment right there below. Let me know which one of these is the main reason you think you sometimes do something that you know isn’t aligned with your goals – and do it anyway.
Images from freedigitalphotos.net: People on phones, depressed girl,