DAY 2: Still Human. Still Learning

Habits cannot be tossed out a window. They must be coaxed down the stairs one step at a time.
— Mark Twain
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Day 2 Self Reflection:

On page 3 of your workbook fill out the “daily flow chart” that helps you to identify habits you want to do more of and habits you could deal without.


Day 2 Micro-Science: Neural Pruning

The teenager brain at age 13 starts out with 120 billion neurons but by age 19 those neurons have dwindled to only 100 billion. This is due mostly to a process called neural pruning where the brain gets rid of neurons (brain cells) that it deems unnecessary. This is due to the brain wanting to be as efficient as possible, as the brain only takes up 3% of a persons body weight but sucks up 20% of the bodies oxygen and glucose. Therefore, your brain gives you a chance to learn skills up until age 19 and then cements those learned skills into place in order to make less work later on. So to put it plainly, your brain starts out as billions of tiny dirt roads but as you age the roads you use the most get paved into place and those will the the roads your most likely to travel. This evolutionary “advantage” is one reason why 85% of all adults who become addicts/alcoholics starting using between the ages of 13-19.

  • FACT: Teenagers lose an average of 30,000 synapses(on/off switches) in their brain per day

  • TAKEAWAY: The habits you formed as a teenager come to define who you are later in life. After age 19 it becomes significantly harder to change your brain’s subroutines.

Day 2 Meditation: Sitting in Silence

Break the happy of always doing: being vs doing continuum. Every time your heart beats your brain gets 20 percent of volume even though its only 3 percent of mass. That’s why during sex or exercise when heart rate increase, your brain gets more blood, but trauma too much or too high of heart rate can cuase intracranial pressure

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  • FACT: Subjects in a research experiment where left alone in a room with only a button that would electrically shock them, which they had touched previously and knew it really hurt. Within 15 minutes of being alone with only their thoughts, 67% of all men and 24% of all woman had touched the button and knowingly shocked themselves.

  • TAKEAWAY: People would rather be in pain then be left alone in their own heads. In our culture, we have become addicted to comfort and any time without our smartphones, daily pleasures, and quick distractions and downright painful for us

Day 1 Meditation: Do absolutely fucking nothing for five minutes (set a timer): try not to think. No movement, No TV, No music, Just you and silence. Start to becomes friends with your own mind.

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We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence is then not a act, but a habit
— Will Durant

Day 2 Action Item: Change is possible

So often we believe its too late to change a behavior and neuroscience definitely shows that the longer you wait the harder it gets. As practice does make perfect, it makes permanent… or at least semi-permanent. The brain is always changing every second of every day, its basically always on standby waiting your command. It resists change, but once you continually go down a road the brain will eventually hop on as well. Sometimes, the initial push to change a behavior is the hardest. So for today we’re going to prove to the brain that change is possible and we’re gonna start with the little things.

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  • FACT: Domestic violence offenders were told to open all doors for the next month with their non-dominant hand to practice their impulse control. A month later their domestic violence rates had dropped by 40%.

  • TAKEAWAY: Practice a skill in one area and get results of that same skill in other areas.

Day 1 Motion Task: The task for today is to just eat one meal with your non-dominant hand. It will be frustrating and a little slow, I would even recommend putting the fork down between each bite. To ease your annoyance, think of all the great new synapses you are forming in your brain that will help you slow down and enjoy what your doing, instead of rushing through your life.


Day 2 Bonus Material:

#1) Ted Talk: A Simple Way to Break a Bad Habit

Check out this Ted Talk by Justin Brewer that looks at ways he has broken a ton of his bad habits over the years. His simple methods will put you on track to tackling your own bad habits into submission.

#2) Time Magazine: “How to break bad habits, according to Science”

Its not easy to break a habit, but it is possible. This article in time magazine shows you the ins and out of what it takes to make it happen It says the word “science” in the title, so it can’t be wrong. Anyways, you have tried everything else so whats the harm in trying these!