Category: Lifestyle

This researcher explains what ‘life hacking’ is all about


TNW Answers is a live Q&A platform where we invite interesting people in tech who are much smarter than us to answer questions from TNW readers and editors for an hour.  You must have heard about ‘life hacks’: pieces of actionable advice that, if followed, claim to bring about noticeable improvement in someone’s quality of life. A life hack can be something small, like a particularly efficient way of folding laundry. Or it can take the form of an elaborate process, like John Walker’s Hacker Diet that approached weight-loss as an engineering problem. From personal-finance gurus to productivity experts to…

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The key to productivity is distinguishing ‘habits’ from ‘routine’


Trying to build good habits can often backfire. Here’s why it’s important to know how habits are formed and when it’s better to stick with a routine instead. Habits are hot. Self-help articles extol the power of habits and books on the topic sell by the millions. Yet, like many pop psychology topics, the conventional wisdom about the effectiveness and application of habits is frequently outdated, misapplied, or flat out wrong. Building habits to change behavior the right way can be a wonderful tool to improve your life. But false notions about what habits are and what they can do…

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How my first digital date helped me survive self-isolation


Online dating is nothing new. But now, it’s the only dating. So while couples face the terrifying prospect of being trapped together for weeks, singles either embrace solitude or search for digital love. I try the latter. My online romance begins on Hinge, “the dating app designed to be deleted.” The company has kept its slogan since non-essential human contact became a crime. It still wants you to meet off-app but now only online. I broke up with my girlfriend just before the outbreak, and still can’t decide whether to regret or celebrate the timing. But in these desperate days…

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Dopamine fasting: an expert reviews the latest craze in Silicon Valley


It’s the latest fad in Silicon Valley. By reducing the brain’s feel-good chemical known as dopamine – cutting back on things like food, sex, alcohol, social media, and technology – followers believe that they can “reset” the brain to be more effective and appreciate simple things more easily. Some even go so far as avoiding all social activities and even eye contact. The exercise, dubbed “dopamine fasting” by San Francisco psychologist Dr. Cameron Sepah, is now getting increasing international attention. But what exactly is it? And does it work? As someone who studies the brain’s reward system, I’d like to…

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How healthcare apps are helping drug users transition from addiction to recovery


As a society, we are faced with many challenges, and it’s no secret that one of the more prevalent is that of substance abuse. Amongst the most dangerous and holistically destructive of these behaviors, affecting multiple facets of our social landscape from individual health and wellbeing to pressure on already strained infrastructure, is opioid addiction. It’s an issue that has become so concerning that in 2018, the FDA presented an innovation challenge to technology developers to help address its prevention and treatment.  Historically, our reactions to this issue have not been particularly subtle—from the blunt changes in legislation to forced rehabilitation as part…

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Here’s why memories come flooding back when you visit places from your past


We all know our memories get worse as time goes on – your recollection of what you did yesterday is probably a lot better than for the same day three years ago. And yet we often have moments where old and seemingly forgotten memories pop back into mind. Perhaps you have visited your childhood home, walked into your old bedroom, and been hit with a wave of nostalgia. What triggers this rush of memories, and how can you suddenly remember things you may not have thought about for decades? Researchers are realizing that the context in which memories are created…

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