Tag Archives: help

Falling asleep couldn´t be Easier

Let´s face it. We all have had trouble falling asleep at some point in our lives. There are nights were no matter how hard you close your eyes and try to relax… that sweet unconsciousness just won´t come. Sleeping pills, NyQuil, alcohol, drugs… nothing is ever ¨too much¨for those who have trouble falling  asleep.

Accoding to National Sleep Foundation‘s 2002 Sleep in America poll:

  • The last decades have seen an alarming rise in the number of reported insomnia cases.
  • 58% of adults in the U.S. experience symptoms of insomnia a few nights a week or more.
  • Of these adults, 6% suffer from primary insomnia.

Is taking medicine/drugs the only solution to falling asleep? Thankfully, no. There is also a simpler, natural way of falling a sleep for those suffering the unpleasant symptons of insomnia. It´s called the ¨paradox intention¨. So if either you or someone you know is having trouble falling asleep here´s how the ¨Paradox Intention¨ can help.

If you are doing this to fall asleep --> STOP

When one´s intention of falling asleep is too intense, then obtaining it becomes nearly impossible. While ironic, if you close your eyes and only think about sleeping then falling asleep actually becomes harder. This phenomenon is known as ¨hypertension¨. Hypertension is the mental paralysis that comes as a result of placing excessive attention on obtaining something. (sleep, sexual orgasm, confidence…)

So what is the ¨Paradox Intention¨ and how can it help me get some sleep?

Simply put – When you close your eyes, instead of thinking about sleep, think about trying to stay awake.

Is it really that simple?

Yep, it has always worked for me.

Here is how the ¨Paradox Intention¨ works

  1. Fear of insomnia produces hypertension.
  2. Hypertension makes it difficult for a person to fall asleep.
  3. By thinking the exact opposite (staying awake) one eliminates this hypertension.
  4. No hypertension = sleep.

Note: thinking of staying awake, doesn´t mean obssesing over it either… as this is also counterproductive. Just close eyes, relax and intermingle thoughts of trying to stay awake with everyday household scenes. Trust me, sleep will come knocking at your door… FAST.

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¨Paradox Intention¨ is concept developed by Victor Frankl in his world-renowed book Man´s Search for Meaning. Special thanks and credit to this great philosopher, psicologist, neurologist, humanist, holocaust survivor whose wisdom has truly inspired me. Expect an entry about his work in the near future.

Till next the post,

Have a pleasant sleep!

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The Elder Paradox

“As I am now, you soon shall be.”

A timeless quote about our brief existence… If old people wandering through the streets like lost souls makes you sad, shouldn´t you be even sadder that one day that lost soul might be you?

That one day, you might stumble upon what used to be blessing… but is now a curse. That instead of being respected, admired, looked after, when you get old your mere existence becomes a burden. A burden to society. A burden to your family. A burden fewer, fewer people are willing to carry.

Vincent Van Gogh - 1890

Something that moves, but can barely see. Something that talks, but is barely heard. Something that feels, but barely feels living. Growing old is truly is a burden to the human spirit…  A burden that no man should have to carry alone.

Like expensive cellphones, elders used to be revered because they were scarce. And much like the Motorolla Razor, once elders started showing up everywhere, people lost interest in them. Are we that shallow?

Mankind made leap forward in the field of medicine this last century.  A huge leap. A leap that hasn´t yet landed.  A leap that doubles the average life of a human being and fills up ours streets with elders. Aren´t we going to take resposibility for the consequences of our actions?

Pointless... isn´t it?

An elder with no loved ones… is like a pilgrim trapped in a paradox staircase. He can walk all he want, but he won´t get anywhere. His soul is trapped in the building or street of yesterday. And so time passes and nothing happens… until one day the soul sits down. Sits down tired of roaming pointlessly about. Sits down to watch the river of time and no longer swim. And so time passes… and now all he wants to do is remain underwater.

Grim… yes. True as well. For millions of elders nowadays life is just that… an uphill routine that only finds rest over the edge. Ideally, the community should be the one taking care of them. Take care of them by incorporating elder care in their social work; promote everyday citizens to share a couple of hours a week with these lost souls.

But since we are not in ideal world, it´s really our duty… no, our obligation as family members to take care of them. If you are not big with helping strangers, then at least focus on your own elderly relatives. Make sure they feel loved, not lost…. Make sure they feel at home, even if they live in retirement.

All this came to my mind

As I watched that old man with sunglasses. Watched him cross the street and nearly get run over by a frenzied car. Saw him jerk in fright from the honks and screams of a maniac. Sat with him at the bus station. And after a full minute of trying, watched how he couldn´t even read his own watch.

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The Secret of Self-deception

The secret has traveled centuries... to reach you...

With these inspiring words and promises of a better future;  the Secret has the potential to make your life better. Make your life better not by learning powerful secrets… but through a little trick psicologist call “self-deception”. You see, The Secret does transmit universal truths… but so do novels and self-help books.

Novels: transmit their truth by telling a story. A story teaches it’s reader through its characters, trama and events.

Self-Help books: transmit their truth through a program. A program that teaches it’s reader through psychological studies and motivational quotes.

The Secret: transmits it truth through a belief. A belief that teaches it’s reader through uncoventional anecdotes, unproven theories and mysticism.

The central belief of The Secret is the power of  the “gravity of thought”. According to the book, we humans have the power to attract what we want through thoughts. So if I wanted to become a guitarist, all I have to do is to constantly think about being a guitarist. More times I think about becoming a guitarist, the more likely I will become one. Up till here everything seems resonable. Sticking an idea into our head is the first step into making it come true.

But then, The Secret’s author lets her imagination run wild when trying explain the power of thoughts. She says thoughts are like radio waves that travel the unvierse in order to attract our desired object. The more thoughts we have, the more powerful the our “pull” on the desired object. *Note: this theory is afterwards corraborated by unrealible scientists, mystic gurus, and personal anecdotes.

The way I see it, if the “gravity of thoughts” were to be real then:

Perverts would get all the action the world.

Millions wouldn’t die of starvation.

For every man there’d be a Megan Foxx

And George W. Bush would be a donkey

Thus the major flaws in the Secret’s argument are that its has little scientific data, biased “professional” opinions and relies too much on anecdotes. With almost no scientific data, many of the Secret’s theories are just that: theories. The mayority of the professional quotes inserted come from colleagues of the author: again not the most reliable source. And finally, the arguments of the Secret depend too much on extraordinary personal anecdotes. They are extraordinary for a reason: they seldomly occur.

All in all, there is really just one secret found in this mystical book: we all have the potential to obtain what we want.

Sure we can think a lot about something, become obssesed about “it”and finally obtain it. But that doesn’t mean there were any supernatural forces at work. Rather than believing in some mysterious gravitational force powered by our thought, isn’t just easier to believe in our own willpower.

That “willpower” we all possess and command. That willpower that is put in better use by reading good books and novels, than by filling our heads with mystical make-believe theories.

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Zen is for Men

Hahahaha…. had a good laugh there… but no, the title isn’t true.

So really, what is Zen? And more importantly how can Zen helps us achieve a more peaceful state of mind?

Zen is the Oriental art of not thinking. Might sound strange and whimsical, but being a Zen practician myself…. I can only say it has brought me a more peaceful state of mind. You see, what makes Zen particular amongst the other Oriental philosophies is that Zen is purely a state of mind.

In Zen there are no Buda’s, no metaphsycial beliefs… in other words, Zen is an art open to all religions and cultural backgrounds. And the great thing about Zen is that is adresses one of the biggest problems we face nowadays: the problem of noise. We are so wrapped up by external noise, by work pressure and by our own thoughts… that we barely take time to just stop and appreciate a moment of complete silence. And by complete silence, I also mean complete mental silence.

You see… in this fashion Zen is similar to Yoga and other forms of meditation. The only difference is that Zen asks you to keep your eyes open. By leaving your mind clear of thought for only 15 minutes a day, Zen allow you to get deeply in touch with the physical world that sorrounds us all.

Besides not falling asleep, Zen ask that one keeps his eyes open in order to appreciate all colors, shadows and proportions of everyday objects in unparalleled ways. It is during these profound stages of silence that one will experience some of the following:

1. States of Phsycodelia: the mind’s own way of transcending thought. This state allows one to perceive all that sorrounds us in “new” light. Trees look different, the silouttes of the bed sheet seem to flow and an alarm clocks sound pleasant… yes, pleasant. (This one at first REALLY took my by surprise.)

2. Good Counseling: in the state of  profound silence one must be open to receiving spontaneous thoughts. Why? Because sometimes these spontaneous thoughts can be clearer than sum of all other thoughts that day. These of spontaneous thoughts tend to give one great insight about important decisions and one’s inner self. Now don’t be fooled. One does not always get counseling while meditating, but when you do get it and its genuine, trust me: it’s good.

Our mind already has to constantly be thinking about solving problems, deadlines, proyects, pressures…. So it’s pleasant to be able to sit down from time to time and let your body do the thinking.

Thus Zen allows one to master the art of thinking without thinking

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