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7 Important Things You Shouldn’t Ignore When Accepting The Ice Bucket Challenge

7 Important Things You Shouldn’t Ignore When Accepting The Ice Bucket Challenge

Ice bucket challenge fever is sweeping the country. People are dumping buckets of ice water over their heads in record numbers. There are those taking simple videos on their cell phone cameras or, like some celebrities, going all out for the challenge. It’s a fun thing to do but don’t forget what the ice bucket challenge is really about! Here are some important things to remember when accepting the ice bucket challenge.

1. It isn’t about you, it’s about ALS

The whole point of the ice bucket challenge is to raise awareness for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. You may know it as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease. It’s a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects the nerves, the brain, and the spine. People who have ALS slowly lose motor function over time. It usually starts in their legs and hands and gradually works its way inward. There is no cure for ALS and it is eventually fatal. The sole intention of the ice bucket challenge is to raise awareness of ALS and to get people to donate to ALS research so they can find a cure. It’s not a fad that you’re doing for fun. It’s a cause that you’re being a part of. When Charlie Sheen is a shining example of what to do and Hugh Jackman isn’t, you know something isn’t right.

2. When you take the ice bucket challenge, you’re supposed to donate to charity

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    Perhaps the worst part of the ALS ice bucket challenge are people who do it and don’t donate. What’s the point of dumping a bucket of water on your head and nominating other people to do it if you’re not giving to the cause? It’s kind of like going to a fundraiser, eating all the food, and then leaving without raising any funds. It’s a cop out. A fundraising endeavor that goes viral like this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a serious disease to get some serious funding. Don’t wimp out on donating because you’re a cheapskate. You’ll make back that $25 on your next paycheck. If you’re doing the ice bucket challenge and you’re not donating, you’re doing it wrong. To donate, click here.

    3. You are spreading the word of a cause

    If you did your ice bucket challenge without mentioning ALS’ official donate site, ALS in general, or anything regarding those two things, you have failed the challenge. The whole point of the ice bucket challenge is to raise awareness and donate money to a good cause. If you fail to raise awareness and you don’t tell people where to donate, have you actually done anything helpful? No, you haven’t. That’s why if you don’t have this link and a short explanation right alongside your ice bucket challenge, you have failed the challenge. In this video Yahoo Sports’ Puck Daddy blog editor in chief Greg Wyshynski has a near flawless ice bucket challenge video. He donates, he brings awareness, he has some fun doing it, and at the end, he posts the website where people can go to donate.

    4. Don’t judge the challenge by the people who are doing it wrong

    Even if people don’t ignore ALS and don’t forget to donate money, there is still the problem of people forgetting that this is a charity event. It’s not a fad, like the cinnamon challenge. It’s not a viral trend like #throwbackthursday or #caturday. This is supposed to be helping people. Like all large events that a lot of people are allowed to participate in, there are some bad eggs that are trying to ruin the whole bunch. The whole thing has had a surprising number of people spouting negative things about the ice bucket challenge because they are only exposed to people doing it the wrong way. That’s unfair to ALS and to the ice bucket challenge. If you don’t like it, you should seek out people who are doing it right and see that this is meant to be nothing more than a charity event to raise money for a terrible disease.

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    In short, people not mentioning ALS, donations, or any of that jazz does not signify a failure of the ice bucket challenge. It signifies a failure of those people to not understand or communicate the point.

    5. The math says that it works

    At the last count, there have been over $80 million in donations to ALS research. That’s up from just under $2 million last year. That is a significant growth of over 4000% and that figure grows every day. Yes, there are some people who just don’t get the ice bucket challenge and yes there are idiot celebrities who don’t mention anything about ALS or donating money. However, the overall numbers don’t lie. The ice bucket challenge is a force for good.

    6. Remember that there are also other charities

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      Rich and famous people shouldn’t have to pour water over their heads to get people to donate to charity. ALS is a problem that’s not going away any time soon so any time you can donate a few bucks is good. There are other charities for other diseases, humanitarian efforts, educational efforts, and practically any other cause you can think of. Those charities need money too and they don’t have the benefit of a viral charity event like the ice bucket challenge. If you go donate money to ALS, take some time and find another charity and donate to that charity, too. We have the capacity to be better people. Or if you’d rather stick to ALS, sign in every now and then and donate a few more bucks. More than $80 million is impressive but it likely won’t be enough. They’ll need more to kill off this disease eventually.

      7. It’s all in good fun

      Last and certainly not least is that this is supposed to be informative and fun. I know the last several paragraphs seem like it’s this huge, serious deal. The truth is that ALS is a serious deal. People who are diagnosed with that disease know exactly how they’re going to die and they have a rough estimate on when. That’s how serious it is. That said, you should have fun with the ice bucket challenge. Something like this requires enthusiasm and you really are helping out a good cause (assuming you’re following the advice posted above). That’s something that should make you feel good when you hit that donate button and post your ice bucket challenge video.

      The big thing people hate about the ice bucket challenge is that many people don’t see the ice bucket challenge as being helpful or important. Like I stated earlier, this weird, viral charity event has raised over six times the amount of the funding ALS received last year and that’s what is most important here. If you get nominated, remember the important information listed above, have fun, and don’t forget to donate! If you want to donate, that link again is http://www.alsa.org/donate/

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      Featured photo credit: Hot Gossip Italia via flickr.com

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      Joseph Hindy

      A writer, editor, and YouTuber who likes to share about technology and lifestyle tips.

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      Last Updated on September 16, 2020

      3 Simple Signs of a Strong and Healthy Relationship

      3 Simple Signs of a Strong and Healthy Relationship

      In helping many people solve their relationship woes, I am often asked for the signs of a good relationship.

      Well, what’s fascinating about relationships is the dynamics of two individuals coming together and staying together amid an array of perceptions and misperceptions.

      Our relationships are not only influenced by our current actions but also by our past relationships and the life experiences that we bring forward into the current relationship. How we deal with misperceptions and misunderstandings determines the strength and health of our relationship and the level of happiness we are able to experience.

      Much of the subconscious programming that takes place throughout our life causes us to sabotage our happiness by preventing us from engaging effectively, especially when we become emotionally triggered.

      These mostly unconscious “scripts,” which we tend to run on autopilot, include our thoughts, words, and actions that result from these. Some may even refer to them as “baggage.” While we can rewrite these scripts and stop them from contaminating our relationships, we only become aware of them when we are in an emotionally empowered state.

      So, what are the signs of a good relationship?

      It boils down to these four essential requirements:

      • Emotional empowerment
      • Aligned attraction
      • Sexual functioning
      • You and your partner

      While we can take it upon ourselves to develop as an individual, a strong and healthy relationship results from both personal growth and teamwork with our partner in order to resolve any problems.

      Let’s take a look at how we can do this.

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      1. Emotional Empowerment

      A clear sign of a good relationship is that both partners stay focused on what they want to create and how they want to feel. It can be too easy to blame our partner when we’re not feeling good about ourselves or somewhat overwhelmed with the curveballs that life seems to throw at us continually.

      You may have heard of the saying, “Making mountains out of molehills.” When we’re not in charge of our emotional state, that’s precisely what we do!

      Someone also said, “It’s not what you say, but how you say it.” Our words and the emotional power behind them are either being constructive or destructive in our relationships.

      By trying to override your emotions and dredging up past situations, you may blow a current situation entirely out of context, keep retriggering yourself and your partner, and prevent essential issues from being resolved. Aside from that, it makes you feel disconnected.

      As a reminder, allowing yourself to indulge in petty annoyances and sarcastic comments will likely drive a wedge between you and your partner. So, is that worth your attention?

      When we focus on what we don’t want, we continually default to the old subconscious programming cultivated from our life experiences. These “scripts” can become self-destructive when expressed through negative rumination and self-talk or critical observations of our partner, rather than being the fun, uplifting, and naturally motivating partner that they fell in love with.

      Many couples start competing against each other when they are emotionally triggered instead of supporting each other to create the best outcome. While we can quickly become obsessed with being right (or not being wrong), it’s essential to stay present, focus on how we want to feel, and align our words and actions toward that outcome.

      Couples who enjoy a strong and healthy relationship consciously monitor their emotional states and can therefore influence the impact of their verbal and non-verbal communication in a positive manner. This offers a long-term benefit of enhancing their overall desire to be together and connect on more intimate levels.[1]

      2. Attraction in Alignment

      Known as the love and bonding hormone, oxytocin doesn’t just play an important role in intimacy. In truth, it’s also vital for increasing trust and attraction between two people. Synthesized in the human brain when you trust someone, the oxytocin molecule also motivates reciprocation.

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      We’re living in an age where an individual’s independence is ruling the day, and the social codes of chivalry have become sadly redundant. However, it’s never a good time to become complacent in how we interact with each other and in respecting the environment we share.

      According to Paul Zak, a neuroscientist and researcher at Claremont Graduate University, oxytocin is generated in the brain only after some concrete event or action, such as someone making way for you in the street.[2]

      “When someone does something nice for you such as holding a door, your brain releases oxytocin, and it down-regulates the appropriate fear you have of interacting with strangers.” — Paul Zak

      Suddenly, you feel like the person in front of you is not a threat. Then, according to Zak, this feeling disappears quickly for a good reason,

      “If you just had high levels of oxytocin, you would be giving away resources to every stranger on the street. So, this is a quick on/off system.”

      This has important implications for those in a relationship. Zak says:

      “If you treat me well, in most cases my brain will synthesize oxytocin and this will motivate me to treat you well in return.”

      In a relationship, our actions and behaviors are either attracting or repelling our partner. This is especially true when we have conflicting values. Common conflicting values include personal hygiene, health and fitness, and general tidiness.

      It’s important to know and respect what’s important to our partner. After all, one of the real signs of a good relationship is having the desire to continually step up and live your “A” game.[3] When our partner takes the time to communicate something important to them, we need to acknowledge that it’s essential to keep a relationship long-term.

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      While we like to think that our partner will be attracted to us no matter what, this is not realistic at all. “A” is for attraction, and we need to keep attracting our partner instead of being lazy and pretending we can get away with unappealing or inappropriate behaviors.

      Any unresolved issue can build up resentment and undermine the quality of a relationship. However, the thought of approaching a challenging topic can increase stress and anxiety to the point where it is nearly impossible to clearly communicate the problem without it sounding like an accusation or blame.

      Due to the fear of retriggering our partner by bringing up the same topic repeatedly, we often delay dealing with the issues that are of utmost importance to us. Over time, it can result in frustration, annoyance, and disconnection. We are sentient beings, so this type of emotional resistance can often be felt by the other person.

      Furthermore, we usually communicate a part of a request out loud and then complete the reasoning behind it internally. Unfortunately, our partner doesn’t hear this internal monologue, so they have no idea about the extent or importance of our need. Therefore, many problems aren’t fully discussed, and the main issue remains unresolved.

      “Prolonged stress and anxiety are like poison to oxytocin,” Paul Zak said. The underlying biological hypothesis is that stress — particularly the type that does not have a clear ending point — inhibits oxytocin release.

      In a healthy relationship, both partners can retain the desire to step up and continue to attract each other through verbal and non-verbal communication. Try remembering the following:

      • Every person has their own preference for how things are done, so effective communication requires actively listening as well as clearly communicating your needs.
      • Before talking about an important matter, make sure you have your partner’s full attention. Then, try to keep your words focused in the here and now.
      • Instead of rehashing a similar experience from your past for context and risking triggering each other emotionally, get to the point and explain what you want at once. If you feel uncomfortable doing that, try starting a request with “I like it when…” or “It makes me feel…” You may also ask, “How can we work together to create a win-win situation?”
      • If something is important enough for your partner to mention out loud, then you must respect, consider, and adhere to it whenever possible. For example, if a partner is brave enough to open up about their need for sexual intimacy to feel more connected, it may be an issue that needs to be addressed in your relationship.

      According to psychiatrist and Emory University professor Larry Young, increased intimacy can strengthen your connection as a couple, especially when you combine it with other rewarding experiences that get your brain’s reward system going.[4]

      Verbally appreciate your partner’s effort in supporting your needs and make sure to retain your individuality and interests outside the relationship to keep your mutual attraction.

      3. Sexual Function

      Sex is the one thing that differentiates a strong, healthy relationship from a platonic friendship. Sexual intimacy is one of the most important signs of a good relationship and has often been described as the glue that holds a relationship together.

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      Sexual intimacy allows two people who seek the ultimate connection with each other to come together. However, intimacy problems can lead to separation, loneliness, and disconnection — feelings that can eventually tear a relationship apart.

      Unfulfilling sex leads to an increase in stress hormones which results in a lowered libido as sexual intimacy becomes a souce of discomfort on all levels. A common cause of a low libido is, for example, sexual function issues such as early ejaculation and erectile dysfunction challenges in men; and orgasmic dysfunction for women.[5] An unwanted sexual technique such as hard and fast or constant changes of position can also be off-putting.

      While work stress, children rearing, and communication issues can all lower your libido and affect your overall desire for sex, a sexless marriage or relationship is not favorable for the vast majority of couples long-term.

      One of the most important things for women in a relationship is to experience a sense of connection or feel loved and close to their partner. But this is where things can become tricky pretty quickly, considering women naturally have much higher levels of the bonding hormone oxytocin than men. For men, higher levels of oxytocin are generated through intimate connections.

      What is the takeaway here, you may ask? Our hormones influence our behaviors, and oxytocin is said to be responsible for allowing us to experience love. In reality, studies have also shown that oxytocin can even work as the brain’s “moral molecule.” The more intimate moments we have, the more our bodies release the said hormone.

      This is especially important for a male to feel more connected and attentive toward his partner. Research indicates that a man who is often sexually intimate with his beloved can produce increased levels of oxytocin.[6] In turn, it boosts his desire to hold and connect with his partner and stimulate positive social interaction.

      A positive sign of a strong and healthy relationship is both partners’ desire to be intimate with each other. If either of the partners has little or no desire for initiating intimacy, then they need to address the issues mentioned in this article to restore intimacy in order to enjoy a truly fulfilling partnership.

      Final Thoughts

      The most important sign of being in a strong and healthy relationship is that you feel happy within yourself and in your connections.

      While it’s not always possible to stay happy and connected with someone, ensuring that you are emotionally aligned with yourself and aware of your partner’s needs will go a long way to guarantee the health and longevity of your relationship.

      After all, compelling narratives also cause oxytocin release and can affect your attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors.

      More on Maintaining a Healthy Relationship

      Featured photo credit: Candice Picard via unsplash.com

      Reference

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