Stress habituation and raising the perceptual ceiling, version 0.1 (Alpha)

I went for a walk yesterday and it started to rain. I was listening to an action-packed audiobook and didn’t much mind. Afterward I realized I was very cold. I took a hot shower, and immediately had this idea.

Now, if we can habituate our bodies to stress without requiring any input from the will, I think that is most of the battle. Especially if it can be done regularly and systematically, like weightlifting. My essential conclusion is that I believe we can harden our minds to the stresses of violence and physical conflict as part of our daily routines, without large expenditures of willpower.

So rather than doing Illuminatus’ cold shower exercise (which is a good start), we should instead do a lackadaisical approach where we increase our tolerance while distracting ourselves with recreation. Because it’s not the will that matters, it’s the physiological hardness.

The ideal thing would be to watch stuff like UFC or the 300 movie while in an ice bath, but a logistically easier route would be going for a walk in the winter while listening to a Correia book or something, and over time wearing fewer and fewer clothes. This could also be accomplished very simply by listening to Correia books while taking colder and colder showers that are just on the edge of discomfort, and pushing that edge further over time.

Now, this is just habituation. I think we can combine this into a best-of-all-worlds approach as long as resources are generally quite post-scarce.
Because the key to developing gray matter is to introduce stressors, then allow for a period of reflective lateral thinking, I suggest a combination of cold and hot showers. This is what raises the ceiling on a person’s awareness, e.g. 10,000 millicandles rather than 1,000.

The process of taking a hot shower or similar lateral thinking activities (without distraction) allows for instinct and intuition to become crystallized as discernment.

Offhand, I’d also suppose that this creates a very mentally healthy person, and could potentially cure anxiety disorders.

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About Aeoli Pera

Maybe do this later?
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6 Responses to Stress habituation and raising the perceptual ceiling, version 0.1 (Alpha)

  1. Nottuh says:

    Awesome post! I’ll have to try some of these things.

  2. “logistically easier route would be going for a walk in the winter while listening to a Correia book or something, and over time wearing fewer and fewer clothes”

    Seems simpler to me to just not add layers of clothing, not roll up car windows, etc. as the weather gradually gets colder. You have the same gradual effect. I’m going to do it this fall and winter.

    • Aeoli Pera says:

      I’ve been doing this for about a week and the effects are as expected for the most part. However, an unexpected effect is that it makes ADD worse- expanding the range of sensory processing seems to raise the stimulation-activation threshold. So the same stimulation often does not produce the same activation as before.

      Mostly success, as of now.

      • Koanic says:

        No idea what you’re talking about so maybe this is TT koanics.

        • Aeoli Pera says:

          I’m not sure why, but ambient cold causes a stress response very similar to fear. We can habituate our bodies to this stress response to cold without much expenditure of willpower. Thus, without much willpower expenditure we can habituate ourselves to a very large component of the fear response.

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