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6. Increase Health

The formula to Increase Health is well known.
Despite the simplicity and truth of this advice, many fail repeatedly to Increase Health.

You can Increase Health the same way as everything else:
And you will also benefit from knowing specific ways the Survival Syndrome works against your Health. The first is Innovation.


All Choices involve both Pleasure and Pain, but what if you could somehow change the price of Happiness? What if you could figure out a way to get more Pleasure for less Pain? That process is INNOVATION.

Innovation is an Instinctive Survival Desire. By constantly looking for a free lunch, or at least a cheap lunch, occasionally one will be found. Finding new ways to gain more Pleasure for less Pain provides a Survival advantage.

Innovation is responsible for every human advancement including the use of fire, the development of nuclear energy, and the shortcut you take to get home. With a Survival Desire that powerful, the Survival Syndrome promises equally powerful problems. Problems with Innovations arise because we use them even when they don't work.

For every Innovation that successfully delivers more Pleasure for less Pain, there are many more that try and fail. The desire to Increase Health has produced many failed Innovations.
Because Innovation is its own Desire, the Pleasure of Innovation is added to all other Pleasures associated with an Innovative Choice. That's why products are often described as "new" or "improved." The marketing often works, even when the products don't.

To compensate for any skepticism you might have about an Innovation, Mental Survival creates Excuses in which the probable Pain of failure is overwhelmed by the unlikely Pleasure of success. They sound like this:
The cure for failed Innovations begins with realizing they exist. When real and effective Innovations to Increase Health are developed, you or your doctor will hear about them. In the meanwhile, be alert for tricks or gimmicks to Innovate the way you look or feel.


If you woke up tomorrow and your body weight had increased by 10% overnight, you would be constantly aware of the extra weight. Yet many adults will wake up weighing 10% more than they did a few years ago and not even think about it. The difference is NORMALIZATION.

Normalization is an Instinctive Survival Desire to adapt to our circumstances. It is an amazing ability that allows us to: live in extreme climates, eat varied diets, and survive debilitating injuries. Normalization also allows you to be comfortable with your bad habits.

Weak Health Choices include too much food and alcohol, and not enough sleep and exercise. Thanks to Normalization, those Weak Choices feel perfectly normal, and you might have no Desire to change them. Fortunately, Normalization will also allow you to feel normal with new, Strong Choices.

Normalization often occurs through gradual changes. In the short run, gradual changes can be so small they are unnoticed. Over time, those small, unnoticed changes can produce large results.

For example, if you eat one extra cookie, chances are you will hardly notice. You won't see the difference on your scale. You might not even feel less hungry.

However, if you eat one extra cookie at every meal, and everything else stays the same, you will gain weight. Over several years, the weight might be substantial.

The problem is, you also won't notice if you eat one less cookie, except you will miss the taste of the cookie. You won't see the difference on your scale. There might be no immediate Pleasure.

Because the Strong Choices required to Increase Health might produce no immediate Pleasure, you must gain Pleasure from the Choices themselves.

For example, to eat less you must:
You can't simply like the idea of losing weight. You need to like the things required to lose weight. If you hate your diet, it will not work, because eventually you will do what you like. You need to like your diet.

Fortunately, you can do that. Develop Desire by thinking about the Choices you must make to achieve your goals, including learning about Healthy Choices as well as how to implement them. Then Affirm Daily, and Admit Failure.


Intoxication offers a special challenge in your Desire to Increase Health, because it interferes with Mental Survival.

Consider what Mental Survival does:
Mental Survival is constraining. If your life is great, you probably don't mind. If things are not going well, you might want to get away from yourself.

Intoxication provides a temporary escape from Mental Survival by interfering with your brain chemistry. With a diminished ability to affect brain chemistry, Mental Survival loses its grip. You are uninhibited, free to make Choices you would normally avoid.

That freedom might be liberating if you are normally constrained. Many people enjoy the feeling of losing their shyness, for example. But that feeling comes at a cost.

Intoxication is addictive, physically and mentally. Mental Survival detects patterns of Intoxication makes them habitual Desires. Even though Mental Survival is suppressed during Intoxication, the great irony is that to escape the Intoxication habit, you must sober up, and at that point, Mental Survival will have the power to pull you back in.

Intoxication harms your Health while you are Intoxicated, and after. Permanent brain and organ damage are at risk, as well as changes to your personality and even dementia. The social problems associated with chronic Intoxication, such as losing your job, can impair your ability to care for yourself.

Finally, without Mental Survival to guide you while Intoxicated, there is a possibility you will make Choices that are devastating and permanent. Driving while intoxicated has ruined many lives, and an incalculable number of people are hurt in other ways.

The best Choice for Intoxication is to enjoy living without it. And when you know how to Increase Happiness you will have less reason to turn to Intoxication.

To overcome the habit of Intoxication, you need to deal with: physical addiction, social habits, and the idea of Intoxication. Start with the idea. Write down your Excuses for Intoxication, and then eliminate them one by one.

You might be surprised to learn that life without Intoxication is not only possible, but preferable. Contrary to what you might think, Intoxication does not enhance your life, it obscures it. Sobriety will illuminate your path to Happiness.


Much has been learned about how technology has exceeded evolution.
No doubt more will be learned over time. But what remains constant is the need for change.

If you want to be Happier, you will need to change. If you want to change, you will need to overcome the process that keeps you who you are. That process is Mental Survival.

You can put Mental Survival to work for you to accomplish anything you want. One of the best ways to Increase Health is to reduce stress by learning to Increase Happiness. A good next step is to INCREASE WEALTH.


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