How Algorithms Slowly Extort Our Life

I’ve found a way to quit sugar, to climb out of extreme debt, and to break away from addictive video games. And I’ve avoided exposure to most addictive substances like caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol throughout my life. I’ve taken many steps and strides to improve my health and happiness but there’s one addictive habit I just can’t break. One habit that despite being well versed in its mechanisms, and actively putting protocols in place for prevention, that slowly creeps its way back into my life. One habit that I can’t do in moderation with any real effectiveness. And one habit that depletes my motivation and productivity in ways I can only imagine being possible with a drug. And that’s the algorithms driving social media apps. How do these algorithms work? Why do we love them so much? How do they slowly extort our health, happiness… Read More

Three Minimalist Perspectives on Purchases

I was out with a coworker the other week when she asked me which Jeep rims, I liked better. It just so happens that two identical white Jeeps were parked next to each other with the only difference being their silver or black rims. And my response was, “I guess the black are cooler because the silver ones are stock.” And afterwards I thought about how stupid that answer is. Like, if I knew the black rims were stock and the silver were extra, then I’d think the silver were cooler? Like what even is cool and how am I determining that? And this reminded me of a dilemma I once had when buying my Chevy Malibu. At the time, I spent weeks pondering whether I should pay an extra $3,000 for the upgraded cooler-looking rims. In my head I knew I was going to keep this car for 5-10 years so having ones I liked made sense. But after weeks pondering… Read More

5 Settings to Regain Control of Your iPhone

Every so often, I find myself void of the focus, attention, and motivation that drive me toward long-term goals. I know I want to further my knowledge through reading books and completing educational courses. I know I want to better my health through meal prepping and exercising. And I know I want to work on myHealthSciences full-time. But consistently following through on the actions that lead me to these goals can be difficult. I can lose my focus and the motivation dissipates. It’s in these times where I wonder where all that drive went. Lately, I’ve found a correlation to these lapses in drive. iPhone screen time usage. If I check on my iPhone’s screen time usage over the previous 7 days, it’s usually a great indicator of how much focus, attention, and motivation I have today. The less screen time, the more drive I have. The more screen time, the… Read More

Screen Time vs Green Time

I’ve been golfing a lot more this summer! Tee shots into the woods, fairway shots into the water, chips into the sand, and putts. Lots of putts. The normal golfing experience. But golfing has reminded me that there’s another key component to mental and physical health that I’ve forgotten to cover. While I’ve talked about how decreased screen time (digital minimalism) can dramatically improve mental health, I’ve forgotten about the other side of the equation. Just like you can lose weight by cutting out processed and junk food, you can lose even more weight by adding in servings of fruits and vegetables. So, as we’ve seen mental health improve by lowering the amount of time we spend on a screen, we can see our mental health improve even more by adding in time spent in nature. It’s a two-pronged approach that can really make a significant… Read More

Why Is It So Hard to Stop Buying Stuff?

About six years ago I was 22 years old, a year out of college, and had a stable job. I was making enough money to cover my living expenses, make minimum student loan payments, and save a few extra dollars in the bank. Despite owing $90,000 in student loans, I still had this inner urge to consume and spend those few extra dollars I saved each paycheck. At first, I wanted to buy a jet ski. How cool would it be to spend the weekends exploring the outdoor waters? How much fun would it be to jump boat waves and dock my jet ski at waterfront restaurants? And, how nice would it be to always have something to do? Seriously, it sounds amazing. And so, I spent weeks researching jet skis. I spent so much time researching that I knew more about jet skis than most people selling them. But then I took a step back. I took a deep breath. And I visualized exactly what my life… Read More

I Moved And It Made Me Feel Like a Monster

Around four years ago I watched a documentary called Minimalism. Up until watching that documentary, I was your average American consumerist. I never thought about it that way but when you’re average, you tend to think everything is normal and this is how everyone behaves. But after watching this documentary, I learned about the practice of minimalism. It was the idea that having and consuming less, will actually make you healthier and happier. This idea seemed dumb to be honest. All advertisements we watch show people happier once they get a bigger house, newer car, or better iPhone. All people we talk to tend to love their in-style clothes, flashy jewelry and fun new toys. The idea of more is American and it’s what’s made us so wealthy and happy. But, after watching the documentary, it really made me question all of this… Read More

How to Defeat Decision Fatigue

There are two studies that clearly depict the deficiencies of humans in regards to decision fatigue and willpower. The first study was performed on 1,100 parole decisions made by United States judges. In this study, they attempted to determine the most influential factor in determining whether prisoners were granted parole or not. What they found out was that the number one determining factor wasn’t the crime committed, the individual’s background, or the sentence in court. The number one determining factor was the time of day that their case was heard. About 70% of the prisoners were granted parole if their case was heard in the early morning. This is in stark contrast to only 10% of the prisoners being granted parole if their case was heard in the late afternoon. Why is it that prisoners were more likely to be granted parole in early morning rather than late afternoon even if their situations were near identical? Decision fatigue… Read More

myHealthSciences Gift Ideas for 2019

With the holidays around the corner, I thought I’d come up with a list of my favorite gift ideas that’ll help make you happier and healthier. Each idea is intended to help optimize your fitness, nutrition, sleep, cognitive health, or financial independence. I also focused on products or services that’ll have lasting benefits and aren’t the typical use once, and throw in the closet gifts. I hope you find benefit in these ideas and I’m excited to know which one’s are your favorite! Let’s get to it… Read More

Are You Safeguarding Your Attention?

It’s the middle of the evening, about 6:30 PM, and I’m getting ready to make dinner. I have a healthy meal planned with ingredients I purchased at the farmer’s market over the weekend. As I begin to pull out a few ingredients, I hear a notification on my phone. Is it just my mom or dad checking in? Is there a work emergency I need to address? Or is someone performing attention mining on me… Read More

I Call Myself a Minimalist

Just last week, I went to a local conference in Rochester. As I entered the building on the first day, I was greeted with a name tag and goody bag. The goody bag was a durable, reusable handbag filled with tons of free stuff. The kind of bag everyone is a little excited to open. Excited to see what free items they’re now a proud owner of. What was inside that free bag? Well, I asked my friend because I didn’t take one… Read More

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