I swear, I’m just trying to be funny . . .
How many of you have heard of this thing called, “millennials”? Evidently, it’s this thing that has to do with being born between ’81 and ’97. Someone was telling me about it and then I realized that I already knew what it was. It’s just that I figured it out years and years ago the first time I saw a parent give a child a phone. My wife would testify. Only we didn’t really call them millennials until the product of technology became a stereotype. Regardless, now we have a newer product that’s grown up on “social media” not one that just took pictures and texted at night when they should be in bed.
This new product. It’s a problem. Go ahead and Google: smart phones Jean Twenge. Pick the article from The Atlantic. Then, find ways to reduce time spent on technology. If your post-millenial child objects to restricting time on technology take their phone, turn them away from you and insert it. We call that measure: negative reinforcement.
I put this into Healthpop because depression, loneliness, and suicide are health issues.
Before you continue reading this award-winning newsletter I have a simple request. I ask that you put a pencil between your teeth. I must emphasize, not your lips, but your teeth. I’ll explain later.
I’ve been married now for something like 24 years. In that time, I’ve noticed a lot in my own commitment and even in others. For example, I’ve recognized how to prevent an argument before it starts because I know how she sees me and how people behave in different circumstances.
Lately, it’s occurred to me that there are things my wife would do for my dogs long before she’d do them for me.
Every morning between 6 a.m. and seven I walk my dogs. Like a good neighbor, I pick up after them and move along. My wife walks them on Saturday morning and she does the same. Often, on Sunday we walk them together. She picks up the “Purina Steamer” from the day before and carries the bag the rest of the way. I tell her to drop it and pick it up on the way back . . . the idea mortifies her.
That’s some pretty good service. I’d like to think she’d do the same for me after 24 years of bliss . . . but I suspect that if I decided to unleash nature on the side of the road Mrs. Lubeck wouldn’t willingly put the parcel in a bag. I’d have better luck training the dogs to return the favor.
There’s scientific evidence that couples that solve problems together have more successful marriages. It keeps things renewed as time together tends to dull novelty and attraction.
We also know that the brain conflates things. It’s why I asked you to put a pencil between your teeth. Studies show that when people do that while reading the comics they find them funnier than if they put the pencil between their lips. Putting a pencil between your teeth contracts muscles that smile. Putting it between your lips activates frowning muscles. Your brain ties smiling with laughter and conflates the comics with being funnier because you’ve activated that area of your brain with the pencil.
I suspect that if you didn’t find the idea of me challenging my wife with a roadside surprise funny; you weren’t biting hard enough on the pencil. You must admit though, it’s a good strategy. It would cause a problem that my wife and I would have to solve together. I like to keep things fresh.
The brain also conflates arousal. There isn’t enough space to describe the studies, but in short, if you want a date to be more attracted to you take them to a scary movie or a ride on a roller coaster. The exhilaration will conflate the arousal caused by the scary movie to attraction to you. It’s science. Men, for example, are around two and half times more likely to call a female they met under duress than casual circumstance.
We also have something called mirror neurons. Chimps use them to learn by watching each other; we use them to cry at the end of a movie. We have the ability to mirror each other, empathize if you will. Think about it for a second, we cry at movies. Why cry at something that didn’t happen?
In order to successfully market a product you have to consider mirror neurons. It has to look like everyone else wants the product as well. That’s why at the end of commercials they say, “if the lines are busy, call again” as opposed to what they used to say, “operators are waiting”. The response is something like 30% better if you say the former.
One could argue there’s a certain beauty to it, it’s a very human thing to do, empathize, but it’s also why the greatest predictor of how you’ll vote is which candidate reinforces your identity, rather than policy.
It doesn’t work when it’s not part of your identity. My wife didn’t care that Iowa beat Ohio State last year. There’s no value for an accountant that plays the piano to learn from or empathize with a touchdown . . . she’s dumb. She’s also going to carry a bag when we walk together before I die. I just need to find a way to make it relatable. I also suspect It will take more than a pencil between her teeth to get her to say “hey, I got that” rather than take out the phone and call the cops on me.
Anyway, my point is, after all this . . . our brains are funny. We don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are. This fact impacts our health significantly. Ultimately, our bodies have innate stress reactions to keep us from being eaten by a predator. How often is the thing bothering you a threat to eat you? How often are you just mirroring another situation? When things stress you out learn to discard your thoughts for a while because we give our ability to see things for what they are and aren’t far too much credit. That doesn’t even consider varying neurotransmitters and hormones at play.
How does that fit into what I do? Physical problems feed into mental concerns similar to frowning while reading the comics. It’s harder to de-stress when the body tells you there’s a stress. Make your body smile by fixing your other parts. Neck tension tells your brain you’re tense even when things aren’t.
So make Chiropractic part of how you take care of yourself, not just for injuries. Heck . . . everybody is doing it, just call again if I’m busy.