Published on: 2020-01-27
Stress resistant habits
They've been on my mind recently.
Take for example dietary habits, I think the results are pretty conclusive by this point that Intermittent fasting (IF) or periodic long-term fasting provide benefits similar to a very/relatively healthy diet in terms of insulin response, tissue regeneration and maintaining a "healthy" insulin/glucagon/leptin balance throughout the day.
However, the main advantage they have over a diet, is that they are much less fragile. I can chose to follow a relatively empirically & scientifically proven diet (think for example low sucrose, low fructose, loads of nuts and fish, various vegetables that play well with the digestive system), and it might provide the same benefits as periodic fasting, but it will be much more subjective to external circumstance:
- Not enough money to buy salmon from a low-mercury source ? Though luck
- Decided to have a few beers one night ? You'll probably feel like shit the next day (as opposed to someone that drinks more often, who's liver can readily mobilize alcohol dehydrogenase production)
- Something sucks and you decided to drown your sorrows in chocolate ? Welp, things are going to get worst now.
IF (or periodic longer-term fasting) has the advantage of being easy to follow and not having any major downsides when you break the habit for a few days or even weeks.
I think the same is true for other habits as well. About 8 months ago, I've started training myself to only use a 15" laptop, a keyboard and an ergonomic mouse. I think I might have been a bit more productive with 2x 4k screens... but after sufficient re-training I don't miss it much. I do however notice an incredible different when traveling, it allows me much more flexibility as to where I can get work/writing done.
I think a view can be taken for stuff like playing music to some extent, the biggest reason why I prefer a multi-effects modeling preamp versus a tube amp plus an array of 6 to 12 pedals, is that I can put preamp in my backpack. I don't have to initiate in a gear-moving ceremony every time I want to play somewhere that's not my home.
Not to mention stuff like exercise, where things like swimming are certainly loads of fun, weight lifting is certainly very efficient, jogging can be socially-oriented and provide a breath of fresh air ,but calisthenics rule in terms of being able to them anywhere, anytime, with minimal amounts of effort.
I think almost by nature most habits that stick with people fall into this bucket. Because you can only have so many fragile habits until some external stress comes along and you are forced to drop them. But paradoxically, people will probably tend to talk about fragile habits more, since it's easy to put the easy-to-follow ones in the background and not think of them as such.
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