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Tell Your Loved Ones ‘Eye’ Care By Doing This

Tell Your Loved Ones ‘Eye’ Care By Doing This

For better or for worse, we all work on our computer screens for hours a day; many of us with desk jobs use it all day. One major downside is the way in which the blue light from the screen tires our eyes. But this all seems inevitable at this point. If not our computers, then our smartphones or iPads or tablets.

What does blue light do to our eyes?

The harm that blue light can do to our eyes has been well-documented. Not only does it cause eyestrain and disrupt our sleeping patterns, but it can also directly harm our retinas and increase the speed of macular degeneration.

There is blue light in sunlight and in most light sources, and it’s important for our eye health. But there is a point where it becomes harmful. These days, people use digital devices and modern lighting more and more often. While CFLs emit a high level of harmful blue light (25%), LEDs release even more (35%). By 2020, it is estimated that 90% of our light sources will be LED lighting.

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What’s more, there is evidence that modern lighting habits are causing harm to our vision. Cataracts and macular degeneration have increased among the baby boomer generation. And if it’s really about modern lighting, then younger generations will experience even higher rates of macular degeneration. It turns out that all the screens in our lives probably do “ruin our eyes“!

How F.Lux help you adjust the brightness and colour based on your timezone?

You can help ameliorate some of the problems with blue light by using the app F.lux. This simple but super-effective app balances a friendly interface with just the right number of features to help you rest better. It’s a simple concept: install onto your computer or other device, set it to your time zone and your preferences (based on when you fall asleep and wake up), and your screen will automatically adjust by removing blue light as you get ready to sleep.

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    As shown in the above screenshot, there are various “modes” you can choose from. “Recommended colors” is the best option for most people, but you can also try “Classic f.lux,” which doesn’t make your screen look quite as red-orange in the evening. There are also “close to the equator” and “working late options,” and you can also choose “Custom colors” to totally adjust based on your preferences.

    Most importantly, you can choose what time you wake up. This is when the blue light will be added into the screen, as it’s closer to actual sunlight. If you spend a few weeks with this app you’ll find what fits your personal needs best.

    See how much different your screen colour could be by using F.lux

    Here’s a comparison to show you how drastic the difference is with F.lux:

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      (Image from http://swolept.com/posts/why-you-need-to-install-f-lux-free-app-review#.WfDIlBOPLOQ)

      On the left is what you see on your computer screen now, or even if you have F.lux, this is what your screen will look like during the day. On the left is what you’d see later at night. The removal of blue light is not easily noticeable while it’s happening. If you are looking at the screen constantly, the light is taken away very gradually.

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      Install F.lux and Protect Your Eyes Now

      If you’re interested in learning more about how much blue light F.lux removes, visit this cool website and select the device you use. The app developers also maintain a blog that focuses on the effects of blue light on health and tools for combating these problems.

      Best of all, F.lux is totally free for MacOS users! Just visit the website and download to try it out. F.lux is also developing versions for Windows and Linux.

      Don’t take a risk on your health as we continue to use screens for everything, for work, connecting with family and friends, writing papers for school, and for entertainment. F.lux is an easy-to-use and easy-to-try app that you can download for free. Give it a chance and see if you notice a difference in your sleep.

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      Brian Lee

      Chief of Product Management at Lifehack

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      Last Updated on July 17, 2019

      The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

      The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

      What happens in our heads when we set goals?

      Apparently a lot more than you’d think.

      Goal setting isn’t quite so simple as deciding on the things you’d like to accomplish and working towards them.

      According to the research of psychologists, neurologists, and other scientists, setting a goal invests ourselves into the target as if we’d already accomplished it. That is, by setting something as a goal, however small or large, however near or far in the future, a part of our brain believes that desired outcome is an essential part of who we are – setting up the conditions that drive us to work towards the goals to fulfill the brain’s self-image.

      Apparently, the brain cannot distinguish between things we want and things we have. Neurologically, then, our brains treat the failure to achieve our goal the same way as it treats the loss of a valued possession. And up until the moment, the goal is achieved, we have failed to achieve it, setting up a constant tension that the brain seeks to resolve.

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      Ideally, this tension is resolved by driving us towards accomplishment. In many cases, though, the brain simply responds to the loss, causing us to feel fear, anxiety, even anguish, depending on the value of the as-yet-unattained goal.

      Love, Loss, Dopamine, and Our Dreams

      The brains functions are carried out by a stew of chemicals called neurotransmitters. You’ve probably heard of serotonin, which plays a key role in our emotional life – most of the effective anti-depressant medications on the market are serotonin reuptake inhibitors, meaning they regulate serotonin levels in the brain leading to more stable moods.

      Somewhat less well-known is another neurotransmitter, dopamine. Among other things, dopamine acts as a motivator, creating a sensation of pleasure when the brain is stimulated by achievement. Dopamine is also involved in maintaining attention – some forms of ADHD are linked to irregular responses to dopamine.[1]

      So dopamine plays a key role in keeping us focused on our goals and motivating us to attain them, rewarding our attention and achievement by elevating our mood. That is, we feel good when we work towards our goals.

      Dopamine is related to wanting – to desire. The attainment of the object of our desire releases dopamine into our brains and we feel good. Conversely, the frustration of our desires starves us of dopamine, causing anxiety and fear.

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      One of the greatest desires is romantic love – the long-lasting, “till death do us part” kind. It’s no surprise, then, that romantic love is sustained, at least in part, through the constant flow of dopamine released in the presence – real or imagined – of our true love. Loss of romantic love cuts off that supply of dopamine, which is why it feels like you’re dying – your brain responds by triggering all sorts of anxiety-related responses.

      Herein lies obsession, as we go to ever-increasing lengths in search of that dopamine reward. Stalking specialists warn against any kind of contact with a stalker, positive or negative, because any response at all triggers that reward mechanism. If you let the phone ring 50 times and finally pick up on the 51st ring to tell your stalker off, your stalker gets his or her reward, and learns that all s/he has to do is wait for the phone to ring 51 times.

      Romantic love isn’t the only kind of desire that can create this kind of dopamine addiction, though – as Captain Ahab (from Moby Dick) knew well, any suitably important goal can become an obsession once the mind has established ownership.

      The Neurology of Ownership

      Ownership turns out to be about a lot more than just legal rights. When we own something, we invest a part of ourselves into it – it becomes an extension of ourselves.

      In a famous experiment at Cornell University, researchers gave students school logo coffee mugs, and then offered to trade them chocolate bars for the mugs. Very few were willing to make the trade, no matter how much they professed to like chocolate. Big deal, right? Maybe they just really liked those mugs![2]

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      But when they reversed the experiment, handing out chocolate and then offering to trade mugs for the candy, they found that now, few students were all that interested in the mugs. Apparently the key thing about the mugs or the chocolate wasn’t whether students valued whatever they had in their possession, but simply that they had it in their possession.

      This phenomenon is called the “endowment effect”. In a nutshell, the endowment effect occurs when we take ownership of an object (or idea, or person); in becoming “ours” it becomes integrated with our sense of identity, making us reluctant to part with it (losing it is seen as a loss, which triggers that dopamine shut-off I discussed above).

      Interestingly, researchers have found that the endowment effect doesn’t require actual ownership or even possession to come into play. In fact, it’s enough to have a reasonable expectation of future possession for us to start thinking of something as a part of us – as jilted lovers, gambling losers, and 7-year olds denied a toy at the store have all experienced.

      The Upshot for Goal-Setters

      So what does all this mean for would-be achievers?

      On one hand, it’s a warning against setting unreasonable goals. The bigger the potential for positive growth a goal has, the more anxiety and stress your brain is going to create around it’s non-achievement.

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      It also suggests that the common wisdom to limit your goals to a small number of reasonable, attainable objectives is good advice. The more goals you have, the more ends your brain thinks it “owns” and therefore the more grief and fear the absence of those ends is going to cause you.

      On a more positive note, the fact that the brain rewards our attentiveness by releasing dopamine means that our brain is working with us to direct us to achievement. Paying attention to your goals feels good, encouraging us to spend more time doing it. This may be why outcome visualization — a favorite technique of self-help gurus involving imagining yourself having completed your objectives — has such a poor track record in clinical studies. It effectively tricks our brain into rewarding us for achieving our goals even though we haven’t done it yet!

      But ultimately, our brain wants us to achieve our goals, so that it’s a sense of who we are that can be fulfilled. And that’s pretty good news!

      More About Goals Setting

      Featured photo credit: Alexa Williams via unsplash.com

      Reference

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