How To Save A Life, Brain Glitches & Pollen

The Weekly Dose - Episode 96

Why You Need People…

I recently had someone who came to live show “This Talk May Save Your Life” send me an email.

This was the email:

Half of us will develop some form of mental disorder in our lifetime. The treatments and approaches to tackling a person’s specific mental health will vary and it’s still poorly understood.

But ultimately brains care about other brains – because truly, that is all we are.

Your brain is hardwired biologically to concern yourself for the wellbeing of others, which is why seeing others in pain triggers the same parts of your brain as though you were experiencing it.

This is true whether what you’re seeing is fiction or reality.

This is why if someone gets kicked in the balls, you wince and cringe along.

Being caring and compassionate can activate dopaminergic neurons to bring you comfort and the dopamine system “lights up” when we help others to a greater degree than we focus on ourselves.

This is further evidenced by data from the world’s longest study on happiness which pinpoints relationships and their quality as a key predictor of health.


Don’t Use Your Phone First Thing In The Morning…

No judgment here. I’ve done it countless times and always regretted being met by a flurry of emails and notifications at 6am.

Never again.

That early morning exposure to screens and notifications can be triggering for your brain. This can also speed up the process of transition from the “sleep/relaxed” brain wave patterns associated with waking  to those “stressed” brain wave patterns that keep you alert.

Chronic phone usage first thing in the morning can be habit forming meaning you can become dependent on your phone first thing in the morning which could affect your energy levels for the rest of the day.

Personally, I would wait 30 mins before using your phone in the morning.

Pull open your blinds or curtains, walk around, drink some water, get some light…. then have at it.


Brain Glitches & Logical Fallacies

In online spaces, logical fallacies are ubiquitous and often go hand in hand with misinformation.

Logical fallacies are deceptive or false arguments that may seem convincing but are actually flawed.

They are errors in reasoning that lead to invalid conclusions, often done in an attempt to manipulate others.

Understanding a few of the common fallacies are useful because you might be able to spot them in your own debating style and that of others so you can spot BS when you hear it (and you avoid being misled)

Ad hominem attack – this is a comment or attack on a person or their character rather than the evidence or claim itself. For example discounting someone’s argument based on their age or physical appearance isn’t sound reasoning to believe the claims are incorrect.

Appeal to authority – This is the fallacy where one thinks a position or claim is correct purely because someone has a position of authority or is deemed to be an expert. Assuming someone cannot be incorrect or make mistakes is the gravest error and deeply illogical. Many “online experts” might wear a stethoscope, put credentials behind their name or even have the title “Dr” which may or may not be true but ultimately for better or worse, people will inherently trust a lot of what they say based on this authority bias. Always be critical of evidence and appraise it for yourself.

Ad populem – Thinking some one thing is correct purely because this is the opinion or belief of the majority. This is not a sound basis for an argument at all. The majority are not always correct.

Straw man fallacy – This is a popular one online which pseudoscientists love. This fallacy involves someone distorting or misinterpreting your argument or setting it up to sound so polarising or extreme that it becomes easier to dismantle and tear down.

Example: “This medication can improve cholesterol levels”…..

Straw man argument: “Doctors are just drug dealers, they don’t want to tell you nature’s secret way of dealing with cholesterol”.


What You Should Watch:

“Dark Matter” – Apple +

This is my favourite type of theme. I am in love with this series (only 3 episodes in). Sci-fi/trippy/dystopian/mind bending/multiverse kinda stuff.

If you liked Interstellar, you will like this (although it’s nothing to do with time travel… and plenty to do with universe travel).

The story revolves around a physics professor who lives a boring life. He lectures at University, has a seemingly dull marriage to his wife and has a teenage son. Whilst his former work colleague is winning scientific research awards and making millions. This is one reality.

Another reality exists where his life is completely different.

This series opens up discussion about multiple parallel universes that exists based on the actions or choices we don’t make.

What if you didn’t break up with your ex and married them instead… there’s another universe where that happens…

What if you did that law degree instead of being a chef…. well that could also be a parallel existence somewhere.

Give this a watch!


Hay Fever Season…

and why it’s bigger than ever (in the UK)


Normally, the UK has three distinct pollen seasons.

Tree pollen in March-May, grass pollen until July and then pollen from weeds like mugwort around June into autumn. 

Thanks to climate change, some trees and grasses might be starting to release their pollen even earlier than before!

This could explain why you start streaming from all your facial orifices earlier than expected this year  

Is there anything you can do?

Beyond relocating, you will have to stick with the traditional methods of combating hayfever :

Minimise outdoor exposure when pollen counts are high,

use your nasal spray and use it correctly!! (see my videos on this),

wash your bedsheets,

don’t keep windows open at night and

wear sunglasses when outdoors! (+ antihistamines)


This Talk May Save Your Life

I didn’t send you a newsletter last week. I’m not going to lie, after the show on Friday…the weekend was a blur. I was knackered after the emotional thrill of the live feedback I got from you guys during and after the show. It was truly unbelievable.

I’m aiming to do a show probably towards the end of the year perhaps November time. This time around I want to give as much notice as possible as last time a 5-6 week announcement was cutting it fine!

The aim would be to bring it the north of the UK this time around!

P.S the talk is loosely based on my book of a similar name and if you haven’t had a chance to read the Sunday Times No.1 best seller yet…you can grab “This Book May Save Your Life”, here:

P.P.S If you’ve already read/bought the book I would love to hear your thoughts and would appreciate a review on Amazon – every little helps!