One of the many great articles and essays on Nautil.us. It do not full agree with Christof Koch, but there is a lot of room for hypothesis in this subject.
Source: Deviant Art
As I am getting older, I am becoming much more aware of my state. Sleep is more of a challenge, keeping your body functioning smoothly becomes a conscious goal, and I am really quite conscious of how the physiological state impacts my mental experience. In my 60’s, jumping out of bed is not the exhilarating experience I remember from my 20s.
Yet I am much more conscious of the flow of time and the importance of every moment to be lived fully.
Insomnia and other issues started me on a conscious road of measuring and tracking myself and looking at the results. I am gaining understanding of the influences that give me a good night sleep and make me feel well during the day, things like
- Sleep – 7.5 – 8 hours – this has been difficult. I put in the time, but actual results are variable. It is the most delicate balance depending on time in bed, prior eating and drinking etc. I can only allow the occasional single glass of wine, need to get to bed by 10:30pm, eat only moderately, and now force myself to get up at 7am unless I had a truly poor night with lots of sleep interruptions.
- Meditation – I now strive for at least twice a day 15 min, or longer monitored with Inner Balance
- Exercise – I strive for 5 minutes HIIT on a stationary bike plus some bar bell work
- Weight loss via no carb diet
- Writing or other “self-fulfillment” activities
My success in achieving the goals is improving. Monitoring myself with Streaks helps maintain awareness. And when it all works like today the experience of being alive seems on another plane. It is not like a manic high, but just feeling great, productive, at peace, in the flow. It makes all challenges look easy and life fun.
I think, the most important realization in these moments is how our outlooks and judgment are truly impacted by our physiology.
Makes you wonder, whether important people like politicians and presidents should have physiological tests before showing up for work.