The eye-opening balance between pain & pleasure + weekly recommendations
What do you do when you want to step away from work?
Suppose you're like me ( and I'm pretty sure you are), you pick up your phone and click-swipe-scroll-stream & click again. Our lives, in many ways, are an endless stream of clicks, scrolls and streams. We find bursts of pleasure by giving our minds the right amount of dopamine just when it needs it. But, try putting that phone away for a few seconds, and you feel a drag.. an itch. It's a feeling of longing for more, and as much as we won't admit it, it's an addiction. We need that swipe to feel happy, to feel satisfied.
I know that's how I feel at most times. I struggle with my screen time. Most days, it's over eight hours, and when I indeed restrict myself, I hit maybe seven. But, I do feel the sense of restriction... and it's very easy for me to fall off the edge and go overboard that one night only to wake up and see that yesterday was nine or even ten hours.
And just before I sat down to write this on a Friday night, I happened to check an excerpt from "Dopamine Nation" by Anna Lembke. And while I have dug into the effects of dopamine in the modern "internet-fueled" world we live in, she gave a slightly different way of looking at this. She speaks of a neuroscience discovery that states a fact, Pain and pleasure exist in the same spot in our mind. They're like friends on a seesaw in a playground. As we consume anything that gives us pleasure, the seesaw tips towards one side, but because Pain exists in the same place, it climbs onto the seesaw to tip the balance back to being level. That's why we feel the urge to watch/scroll/stream some more. Our mind feels the loss of pleasure. But when we give in to that urge, the pain side has to compensate again, and then we go back to that urge wanting more. And over time, you cannot stop because that's the only way to stop the downer.
That just sounded like drug addiction, didn't it? So what's the alternative? Anna says the solution is simple when you feel the urge, just take a break from a screen. Walk away from it. In a few minutes, the downer feeling will subside, and so will the urge. The balance needs one side to add more only when the other does the same. So when you don't watch/click/scroll more, you don't feel the pain/downer as much. Something to think about, isn't it... time away brings balance, time off-screen brings calm and resisting the urge reduces the itch to scroll.
Give it a shot, and see the difference. I know, I'm going to.
We start off with an amazing chat between Ali Abdaal and Ryan Holiday ( this was my favourite podcast episode to listen to this week)
Then dig into the story of the app “Calm”
Switch on our reading lens to go under the hood at Netflix ( I especially loved this one)
And then on an amazing episode of Song exploder we dig into the sound of the movie “Dune” ( Its a must watch on a big screen)
Then an interesting perspective on learning in this weeks Varun duggi show
And a teaser for my new podcast with the founder and CEO of LBB Suchitra Salwan. We dig into all things business, startups, content and beyond every week starting the 29th of November so dont forget to subscribe and listen ( I promise its going to be informative and fun).