Does world hunger bother you? Terrorism alerts becoming frustrating? Maybe just hanging loose is the best way to deal with all of the stress life is handing us. Science is showing another way to reduce stress. Of course, this isn’t legal everywhere so be careful where you lawfully relax yourself.
Scientists have found that test subjects show an avoidance of visual stress. Those who did not partake in the winsome weed showed that when shown a variety of pictures, their eyes stayed focused on the stressful photos just as long as the more relaxing ones. Those who did inhale, shown a lower amount of time looking at stress-inducing photos. Like rose-colored glasses, the world seems more pleasant when stoned.
When we dwell on an unsettling sight, the more we gaze, the more we stress out. Stoners have a tendency to quickly move on to another image and leave the stressful thoughts behind. Out of sight—out of mind. The difference between the test subjects differ only by nanoseconds but that is a long time for a thought to be rattling around inside your brain. The sobering thought is what users have in common with those who have anxiety disorders. Both subjects tend to spend less eye time on stressful photos than others in the population. Brings the question: are we more relaxed because we have given ourselves a (temporary) disorder?
Most of us react the same way. We just can’t look away from a car wreck. No matter how grisly or disgusting it might be, we are not in control of our own attention. How many times did you look at the motorcycle rider above before you realized it wasn’t human? Could you have forced yourself to look away before the instinctual habit took control of your attention span?
Avoidance may have its problems down the road. By looking away quickly, we are avoiding dealing with that fear. Ignoring it only gives it the shadows it needs to keep growing. Sometimes we need to face our fears to become stronger. By looking it straight in the face, we can realize: Oh, it’s only the cat!
When trying to relax, remember this: relaxing can be an artform. Whether we deal with our stress by ignoring, confronting, smoking or hire someone to get rid of the problem, it all boils down to a state of mind. Remember there is the need to be cool looking while being comfortable. Let your inner sloth come out and show the world that you’ve got a handle on it. When you get around to it.