I’ve often wondered why humans get grossed out by things or experiences. Animals don’t get grossed out (G.O.) but us humans and our big brains do it all the time. Of course, some people get grossed out more than others and by more things than others. But G.O. can probably happen to any of us if the gross factor is raised enough. The senseless TV show Fear Factor is proof of this.
If a small animal lands in a toilet, it does not get grossed out. It tries to get out of the toilet. A human in a similarly gross situation might get so disgusted that they would either not do what it takes to survive or be traumatized for life.
And so we do things like get obsessive compulsive disorders and use antibacterial wipes on everything… every day. Maybe we as humans know too much. We know that there are bacteria everywhere although the overly clean OCD people don’t think rationally. Many bacteria are good and killing good bacteria while making bad bacteria stronger is detrimental to everyone.
Sometimes the thought of a horrendous injury grosses us out. It’s either sympathy or a prediction of what it would feel like. Tastes of certain things can gross us out. The feeling of something against our skin also causes the state of being G.O. I don’t want to go into details on such things because I might gross you out and that’s not what this blog is all about. But what is being “grossed out” after all? It’s an emotional state that warrants some psychological research if it hasn’t been done already.
I’m not sure if being grossed out is any better than being stressed out but the former can surely cause the latter.
I would guess that 50% of the people who made New Year’s Resolutions are still going strong. The others have already succumbed to lack of discipline or temptation. Outside of not following through on resolutions, we all do things we shouldn’t do (often while chiding others for doing them). But these habits can be done in a way that is less dangerous, less harmful, and therefore less detrimental to society. I’m here to give some ideas on how to lessen the effects of bad habits (only if you’re already practicing these). I’m not advocating taking up these bad habits if you are not doing so already. (My lawyer made me write that).
For instance, we all know texting and driving is dangerous but many people do it. I would guess that most accidents from texting and driving occur because the person texting looks away for too long and in a busy situation. The answer here is to only look away and type what 2 seconds allows at a time, hold the phone closer to driving line of sight and most importantly, don’t text when there is a lot of traffic around or on a 2-lane road where it would be easy to merge into oncoming traffic. Don’t even try when somebody could stop suddenly in front of you and never if pedestrians or cyclists may be around.
As for eating unhealthy food, try only doing it when it’s free or after you’ve worked out or eaten a salad. You’ll eat less of it and reduce the unhealthy effects while still getting the desire for it out of your system. One strategy I use is to try not to buy desserts at the grocery store. As soon as they are in my apartment, I tend to keep eating because it tastes so good, is addictive and is there!
When it comes to not exercising as much as we should, the best thing to do is make regular life more exercising. Park far away from the store. Take the stairs instead of the escalator, and even if you do take the escalator, go up or down the stairs (preferably in the same direction as it’s moving.) Recent research has said that sitting is bad for you and that standing burns more calories. Try putting your computer somewhere that you need to stand to type. You’ll also reduce time on the computer which is a definite time-waster.
Smoking should just never be done. I have no other advice here. It stinks, leads to addiction, lung cancer for the smoker and the innocent who are exposed to second-hand smoke. It’s expensive, can lead to fires, wrinkles, rougher voices, nicotine stains and land pollution from cigarette butts that aren’t disposed of properly.
A lot of us like to have a few more drinks than we should. This leads to empty calories, potentially dangerous driving situations and often the hunger to eat greasy food late at night which leads to even more calorie consumption. Try drinking mixed drinks and drink them after you fill up on healthy food. This is a win-win. Less carbs and a stomach full of nutritious food is less likely to want to have too many drinks filled in it.
My main advice is to not partake in bad habits but since most of us don’t listen, do them in a less harmful or less risky way and come out ahead.