The Case Against Travel Selfies

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The Case Against Travel Selfies

By Lauren Steele

Getting a picture of yourself in front of the Eiffel Tower won’t ruin your trip to Paris, but experts and researchers agree that tourists’s increased reliance on selfies to document ever aspect of a trip is spoiling their travel.

While anecdotal stories paint selfies as an ultimate, albeit unfortunate, goal of travel for many — writer Walter Kirn detailed for the New York Times’s T Magazine how his son’s day on the ski slopes with friends was all about the videos they shot of themselves, not the actual skiing — a recent travel trends report from the Future Foundation and Amadeus IT group further delved into the sad reality of destinations and attractions being altered as travelers seek experiences that cater to social success on the likes of Facebook and Instagram. Traveling just to show where you are, instead of experiencing where you are, will result in travelers finding it more difficult to capture authentic memories and encounters.

“Social media puts pressure on us to display our lives,” says Dr. Arthur Markman, PhD, professor of Cognitive Psychology at the University of Texas-Austin and program director of the Human Dimensions of Organizations program. “People have always gone on vacation and taken pictures to preserve the experience, but now it’s immediate. You take the picture, you post it, and you monitor how it does on your social media outlets. It takes you out of any deeply engaging experience.” Yes, we’ve long taken pictures to later relive an adventure, but we’re well past the days of waiting days for your film to get developed. Now travel photos become a popularity contest. “[Selfies] causes you to look at yourself from the outside-in. You begin putting a third-person perspective on a first-person experience.”

Selfies aren’t only changing how we vacation, but also why. “If you see a Facebook picture of your friend at Victoria Falls or the Eiffel Tower or the Kremlin in Russia, you think that you would want to do that yourself simply that’s because what your peers are doing,” Markman says.

Another twist for the selfie-obsessed traveler is that all those Instagrams and uploads make it harder to remember your trip. “If you are not engaged in your travel experience, you aren’t going to have genuine memories of it,” says Markman. “Your ability to remember is influenced by how deeply you process and think about something.” In other words, the best way to not just experience your trip, but remember it, is to put your camera away.

10 Lifestyle Interventions to Reduce Anxiety

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10 Lifestyle Interventions to Reduce Anxiety

Woman experiencing anxiety

By Linda Mintle

Anxiety is something we are all familiar with and sometimes struggle to overcome. Certainly, there are the therapy approaches and medications to help with anxiety. But what about lifestyle changes that lessen anxiety and may even be the root cause. Here are 10 to consider:

  1. Reduce stress: Where and when you can, this change in lifestyle goes a long way to reduce anxiety. Looking for herbal remedies to treat stress? Products containing CBD oil for example are a popular choice.
  2. Regular aerobic exercise: Exercise is a known anxiety reducer. Add it to your routine and feel the benefit.
  3. Time management: Anxiety is often spawned by feeling like there isn’t enough time to do all you need to do. With a little time management, you have simply reduced the stress.
  4. Adequate rest and sleep hygiene: So important to combatting anxiety that this intervention alone could find you peace.
  5. Reduce or eliminate stimulants -Caffeine can trigger anxiety as well as some medications. Take a look at what you are ingesting.
  6. Reduce or eliminate alcohol: Alcohol can be a trigger for anxiety. See how you feel when this is reduced or eliminated.
  7. Stop smoking–smoking is a stimulant and tends to increase anxiety. A sure bet to reduce anxiety.
  8. Find a person with whom you can talk and let feelings out (support). When we feel supported, we face difficulty much better.
  9. Supplement your diet with a multivitamin, esp. with A, B and C vitamins and extra calcium (calms the nervous system and look into herbs that foster relaxation such as Valerian Root, Passion Flower, Chamomile, Skullcap, Dandelion; Kava Kava can work as a calming agent.
  10. Limit exposure to violent media (could include the nightly news). This may surprise you but watching too much violence and mayhem can trigger anxious feelings. Turn it off and view more positive media.