For [undisclosed] and completely reasonable reasons, I had to put my phone on Grayscale for the last month. For those of you like me, who aren’t techies or turtleneck-wearing apple geniuses, that means the phone was black and white. Everything was in shades of gray. No color.
At first I hated it. I wanted to give my stupid phone the backhand, bury it, forget about it, then just when the phone started to get comfortable, dig it up, and then backhand it again!
So, yeah. I guess you could say I was a little frustrated.
But oh, WOW, was I wrong. With greyscale on, my phone usage went down over 70%, I started really appreciating music, treating my phone as a tool instead of an activity, and most importantly, the world became so damn colorful. Beautiful, even.
Our caveman brains are designed to be attracted to the flashing RED BOLD messages on our phones. The sexy reds and neon orange notifications force us to look, click, and develop a habit. Is reality in HD 1071? Does it come with surround sound? Of course not! And do I get cute smiley faces and comments when I do something stupid? No! No, I get an mean frowny-face or a fine instead. To our inner caveman, reality pales in comparison to the handheld digital cave.
Oog doesn’t care about a boring ass black and white world, where notifications are dull brown and instagram filters make Ooga look like a freaking phantasm. He doesn’t want anything to with that crap. And when our inner Oog loses interest in the digital world, the real world suddenly gets a whole lot more interesting.
I’m not bashing technology. Neither is Greyscale. In fact, I started to appreciate technology a lot more without color. It became a fantastic tool, rather than a separate reality. I expected less, so it delivered so much more. Like a boring looking magic box that did everything I asked.
This Greyscale hack has been around for sometime, but nobody talks about. Probably because it’s just so simple that it seems silly. Here’s a link explaining the science behind, and some cool personal anecdote: https://blog.mozilla.org/internetcitizen/2018/02/13/grayscale/
Here’s how to put your phone on Greyscale, with pictures:
Looking up from a boring, grey screen to see a world in full HD color is an amazing experience. Think “The Wizard of Oz.” Not just that, but you start only using your phone for the stuff that really matters. And you start to appreciate that stuff. Music, phone calls, even digital conversations become meaningful. Give it a try. It’s great!
Oog would thank you, but you know, he’s a caveman and hasn’t invented complex speech yet. Do the poor guy a favor. Go grayscale.
I take cold showers. Not tepid, faucet-on-half cold-- I’m talking freezing, bone-chilling cold. I’m talking Jack-letting-go-of-the-door in Titanic cold. And I don’t get sad violin accompaniment or a crying rich girl either.
I’ve done this every morning, for about a year now. Without exceptions. Why?
Well, I enjoy it. I hated it at first, of freaking course. I’m not some crazed Nordic ice giant, oversized brow aside. There may even have been a few tears when I started --- but good luck proving anything, pal.
Anyway, after some convincing, and a few uncomfortable mornings, I learned to love this part of my routine. I actually look really forward to it! It makes my day more productive, fun, and thrilling. And hopefully, after reading these FOUR REASONS TO TAKE COLD SHOWERS, you can have the same badass experience.
1) Everything Else Becomes Easy.
After jumping into a freezing cold shower first thing in the morning, everything else in your day will seem like nothing in comparison. It’s a hell of a lot easier to jump into uncomfortable situations after you’ve just jumped out of the most uncomfortable situation of all! You’ll find a greater sense of self-confidence, as public speaking, tedious tasks, and awkward situations seem a lot less trying. I mean, it’s not as bad as a bucket of cold water right? Right.
You also set a winning pattern for yourself, by taking a crucial victory first thing. You put yourself on a serious winning streak, the self-confidence you get from that one very chilly personal victory means even more victories. (See “Winner Effect” below.)
Being the sort of person who can sucks up being an icicle for a good ten minutes is a great way to feel confident. Not much can put you off after ten minutes in ice water.
2) Get Clear Skin and Hair.
Cold water is fantastic for the skin. I actually noticed improvements in just a few weeks! If you buy skin care product, or are the sort that cares about hair follicles and pores and all that crap, this is definitely for you. Cold water constricts blood vessels like ice cubes in a freezer, tightening pores, and flattening cuticles.
What do meditation, improv, and unshakable happiness have in common? Presence. Being totally engrossed in the moment, enjoying the present instead of worrying about the past is what makes people truly happy, and a hell of a lot more productive.
This is the point of meditation and breathing exercises. To teach you to savor, and enjoy the moment. Because the current moment is all there is.
Sky diving, cliff diving, intense running -- these are all thrilling because they make you forget your thoughts and focus on nothing but the current moment. In The Now. Concerts are amazing because you lose yourself in the music. Actors lose themselves in a good performance. This sense of presence is usually what makes us happy.
You don’t have a choice but to be entirely present when taking a cold shower. I mean, what else are you going to think about? There’s freezing water raining onto your head! Nothing else matters but the water, nothing but the moment. That sense of presence means that cold showering is a sort of meditation, teaching the mind to be more present, and happy. It sounds far-fetched, but it’s satisfying as hell. Why else would people do it?
4) Cold Showers Put you in “Peak State.”
So-called “Intelligence” or “Skill” is usually just a reflection of your state. Don’t believe me? Take an IQ test with the flu after spinning around in a circle seven times. Run a marathon with no stretches. Don’t warm up before a show. Not too easy right?
But the opposites true too. Ever have one of those moments when you were just on top of things? When you were performing at your peak, really passionate about something. When you really got into it, I bet you didn’t have trouble recalling facts, speaking clearly, or forming thoughts. You were in a peak state. Your mind was fully alert. Cold showers put you into that same state, a sort of all-in-one warm up for life. Sounds pretty great, right?
Well, maybe warm up was the wrong word…
So say yes to cold showers. Say no to Rose’s stupid door. Push that thing away, and enjoy your cold, icy plunge! Your body will thank you for it.
Winner effect: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-winner-effect
Presence: “The Power of Now,” by Eckhart Tolle - https://www.amazon.com/Power-Now-Guide-Spiritual-Enlightenment/dp/1577314808