Boxed Breathing

Box breathing is a powerful, yet simple, relaxation technique that can be done anywhere and aims to return breathing to its normal rhythm. This breathing exercise may help to clear the mind, relax the body, and improve focus. Before starting, people should sit with their back supported in a comfortable chair and their feet on the floor.

  1. Close your eyes. Breathe in through your nose while counting to four slowly. Feel the air enter your lungs.
  2. Hold your breath inside while counting slowly to four. Try not to clamp your mouth or nose shut. Simply avoid inhaling or exhaling for 5 seconds.
  3. Begin to slowly exhale for 5 seconds.
  4. Repeat steps 1 to 3 at least three times. Ideally, repeat the three steps for 5 minutes, or until calm returns.

Put Your Phone in Do Not Disturb Mode Forever | The Outline

“My phone never buzzes or beeps — unless someone calls me more than twice in a row, which is a setting I turned on in case of emergency — and the screen never flashes some distracting reminder of all the other nonsense I could be giving my attention. Even when my phone is open or in use, all the alerts stay neatly tucked away in the pulldown menu.”

—Paris Martineau. “Put Your Phone in Do Not Disturb Mode Forever.” The Outline. August 28, 2018.

They Call It Tinder Because After You Use It, You’ll Be Burnin’

“According to the CDC, the U.S. saw just under 2.3 million people diagnosed with syphilis, gonorrhea, or chlamydia in 2017. Chlamydia was the worst offender with 1.7 million new cases, and about 45 percent of those to contract the STD were women between the ages of 15 and 24…There’s a pretty straightforward reason for these increases, according to David C. Harvey, executive director of the National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD), a public health organization representing individuals and groups working to prevent the spread of STDs…’It’s not a coincidence STDs are skyrocketing — state and local STD programs are working with effectively half the budget they had in the early 2000s,’ he said in a statement.”

—Kristen Houser. “In the Future, We’ll All Have STDs. Just like in the Past.Futurism. August 29, 2018.

Even with STD prevention programs, Tinder and associated apps have to be part of this equation.

How to Make Friends as an Adult

“1) Don’t be chill when it comes to making friends. Tell people you like or respect or value that they’re great and you want to hang out with them. If they signal that they’re not interested, that’s fine — but don’t miss the opportunity to get to know someone wonderful just because you don’t want to appear overly eager.

2) Be personal. Talk about your real problems, and ask people about theirs. Invite someone into your home instead of going to a bar or coffee shop. Give thoughtful gifts. A big part of friendship is understanding someone for who they are and having them understand you for who you are, and that’s not possible without some degree of vulnerability.

3) Get comfortable saying no to people you don’t want to prioritize. That sounds harsh, but in the end, it will save your time and effort and theirs. It’s not a kindness to “perform” friendship without genuine support and commitment, and both of you have limited time to spend. Instead of saying you’ll grab lunch and then canceling yet again, you can just part ways and make friends who are better suited to each of you.

4) Remember to reciprocate. If your friend is always the initiator, invite them to do something with you. If you do have to cancel on someone — sometimes circumstances happen — you should be the one to make a plan for the future. And then make sure that it happens.

5) Show up for people who matter to you. Sometimes that means your physical presence; sometimes that just means your emotional support. There will always be reasons to not be there, but if you keep choosing other commitments over a friendship, that’s a signal to that person. Friendships aren’t static. They require work from both people.

—Jackie Luo. “If you’re wondering why you’ve lost friends in adulthood, this is probably why.” Vox. August 16, 2018.

Today’s Experiment

“‘But I hear the voices,’ he tells me. ‘I hear people say, ‘Why doesn’t he just be funny?’ That stuff has just never mattered to me. To me, it’s like, this is the experiment tonight. If you enjoy it, great, if you don’t, that’s cool, too. There’ll be another one tomorrow.'”

—Jim Carrey quoted in Lacey Rose. “Jim Carrey’s (Reluctant) Return to Hollywood: At Home With an Actor, Artist and Trump-Era Agitator.” Hollywood Reporter. August 15, 2018.