The Art of Detachment

As human beings, we all encounter emotionally distressing experiences. It’s a part of the human condition. Life as a human is practically just an endless sequence of various forms of suffering, with a few intermittent breaks in between.

When we find ourselves in these emotionally distressing experiences, it usually affects us very deeply. Sometimes, these experiences can fundamentally change who we are as people. It’s wise to learn from your experiences and extract as much information as you can from your moments of suffering, but often times we get so lost in the pain of being human that it consumes us.

Enter, the art of detachment.

By definition, detachment means “to be objective or aloof”. In essence, it is to exist as a separate entity from another. In this context, aloof does not mean that you are not connected or involved in your own emotions, it simply means that you are not attached to any particular outcome.

We can use detachment as a tool to allow us to observe our emotionally painful or distressing situations, and to see the experience as just that; an experience. Something that happens externally, that we can choose to observe without internalizing the experience. We are not our experiences; they are things that happen around us, not to us.

The art of detachment is something that is practiced in Buddhism, where it is regarded as one of the keys to inner peace. Through mindfulness and practice, you can learn to separate yourself from the emotions that we as humans are subject to experiencing, whether that be envy, impulse, resentment, etc. Without invalidating our own human experience, we can learn to see our experiences from a perspective of objectivity.

One of the skills that you need to acquire before you’re able to truly practice detachment is the act of acceptance. Being able to embrace discomfort, uncertainty and other undesirable sensations without trying to alter the situation is key; you must learn to accept experiences as they happen, even if they’re not as you think they’re meant to be.

Much of our attachment comes as a result of our own ego. We can be attached to particular people, careers, or anything that includes an expectation of outcome. Learning to embrace these sorts of things exactly as they are, rather than personally identifying them as being a part of ourselves, relieves us of the sensation of loss if anything doesn’t meet expectations.

Detachment is the art of letting things go.

How to fix your raging dopamine addiction

In our society, we’re constantly bombarded with things that are designed to spike our dopamine levels. From fast food, to sugar, to shopping, to scrolling on social media, our world is full of things that give us a quick hit of dopamine, the neurochemical which is responsible for feelings of pleasure and motivation.

Dopamine is a naturally-occurring hormone, but our modern life is designed to give us an unnatural number of sources. Everything in our world has been modified to maximize the dopamine-triggering stimuli that we encounter in our day.

As great as it is to be able top get a dopamine hit wherever we turn, there is an unpleasant after-effect to this as well, which is the comedown. You know how after we do anything that triggers the dopamine response, you crave it even more afterwards? Yeah, that’s the comedown. It creates a response similar to pain, which motivates you to seek even more dopamine. The convenient sources that we’re surrounded by 24/7 have turned us into a bunch of junkies who are living in a perpetual rollercoaster of seeking a quick hit, then finding one, and the cycle repeats endlessly. Modern society has programmed everyone to be hopelessly addicted to cheap, low-quality dopamine highs.

Repeated exposure to the pleasure-filled state of dopamine highs leads to us being in a dopamine deficit where we are desensitized to the highs, and eventually we need more just to feel “normal” and not in pain. This cycle can lead to psychological symptoms like depression, anxiety and insomnia, all of which are becoming increasingly prevalent in our society.

So what can we do to break this cycle? It turns out there’s quite a few modifications we can make to lower the unnatural abundance of dopamine spikes we encounter in a day.

First, limit your consumption of substances like sugar, caffeine, fast food, alcohol and marijuana. A lot of people are unaware of how frequently they consume these substances and what a large quantity they are actually consuming; becoming more more mindful of what’s going into your body, and making sure you prioritize nourishment over pleasure, is the foundation of stabilizing your dopamine levels.

Next, limit the short-form video content you are consuming. This particular format overloads your sensory receptors and maximizes the subsequent dopamine response to an harmful level.

Finally, prioritize endorphin-stimulating activities like physical exercise. Working out regularly gives the same dopamine response as the unhealthy alternatives, except that when you have to work for your reward, it doesn’t send you into the same rollercoaster of highs-and-lows which immediately leaves you craving more.

Admittedly, exercising can at first seem difficult and unlikely to satisfy in the same way that video games or Netflix would. But when you stick with it and begin to see results of your efforts, those results become your motivation.

These might seem like obvious tips, but you’d be surprised how few people actually practice these patterns as a routine. Try it out for a while, and I promise the chokehold that our dopamine-triggering society has on you will be alleviated.

Let’s not forget about 21st Century Breakdown, because its more relevant now than ever

May 15th was the 14th anniversary of Green Day’s ’21st Century Breakdown’ album. This highly decorated album remained at the top of rock music charts for three weeks after its release in 2009, and won the Grammy award for Best Rock Album of 2010.

It’s an important concept album to reflect on because the message behind it, which is regarding the sociopolitical landscape of our world, is only becoming more relevant as time wears on.

Lead vocalist and guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong describes the album as a “snapshot of the era in which we live as we question and try to make sense of the selfish manipulation going on around us, whether it be the government, religion, media or frankly any form of authority”.

If you take a look at the media at any given time, it seems that there is a catastrophe happening at all corners of the world at all times. And often times, there is. But in other moments it appears that these catastrophes are intentional, as though there’s a fire being stoked. As observers of media it’s important to reflect on the psychological power and influence that information can hold, particularly over masses of people.

Upon critical evaluation of these ever-present ‘catastrophes’, you can often pick out moments where things are said or done with the intention to provoke an emotional response; we are being herded towards a polarized us-and-them mentality, a never-ending battle between ourselves and anyone who doesn’t view things in the same way as we do.

There always seems to be some group of people who is ‘to blame’ for whatever form of suffering is being experienced at a given time. We are collectively being ushered towards behavioural patterns of fearing thy neighbour and obeying authority. At what point will we sit back and ask ourselves; who does this behaviour benefit? We’ve all heard of the divide-and-conquer strategy by now, haven’t we?



Tracks on the record, such as ‘Know Your Enemy’ and ’21 Guns’, examine the album’s theme of politically motivated anger and alienation, drawing attention towards our inability to see the bigger picture at hand; when we begin to regard politics and media as God and blindly obey commands of the ‘higher power’ without exercising critical thought towards its message, we become extremely vulnerable to mass manipulation. We, as a nation, can become malleable enough that we will wage an assortment of different forms of violence upon anyone who doesn’t abide by the preferred order. In other words, we can become so blind to the real problem that we become the problem.

I highly suggest we all take another listen to this album, keeping the world’s recent global catastrophes in mind. The core message of the poetry in this album might illuminate a new perspective on the way our world is operating.




The Alberta wildfire smoke is on its way to the Lower Mainland

Following our unseasonable heatwave that we experienced last week, we are now preparing for thick wildfire smoke to roll in later today (Wednesday, May 17th). Meteorologists predict that the smoke will likely remain for a few days.

The smoke is being blown in by Northeastern winds, which is drawing smoke from the wildfires in Peace country and Northern Alberta. The province of Alberta is currently littered with wildfires, with 92 active fires as of this morning, 27 of which are out of control. These fires have caused heavy smoke to descend upon most of the province, including the cities of Calgary and Edmonton, both of which are currently blanketed by a thick layer of smoke. Edmonton is currently under a special air quality statement; as of this morning their Air Quality Health Index was rated at 10+, or very high risk.

Meteorologist Michael Kuss says that the air quality in Vancouver isn’t going to be anywhere near as bad as what they’re experiencing in Alberta. Kuss says it will be “slightly noticeable. Not sure how much [will] filter down to the surface and deteriorates the air quality, but it will create hazier conditions and again tomorrow into the evening.”

Experts are also saying that the unseasonably hot temperatures that we experienced might not be going anywhere any time soon. Some experts say that these record-breaking temperatures are an indication of changing trends and higher average temperatures to come.

Along with hot weather comes an increased risk of wildfires, so it is reasonable to predict that these changing trends will lead to an upsurge of smoke and overall lower air quality levels.

These increased temperatures can also be concerning in developed urban areas such as the cities of Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton, as infrastructure like concrete and pavement absorb more heat than foliage and natural landscapes. These added variables could create a dangerous environment for the residents of the cities, especially the elderly and medically vulnerable. Heat waves are among the deadliest of natural disasters, and the risk of them often go under acknowledged.

Fortunately, the city of Vancouver is better equipped for extreme weather now than they were two years ago, when we experienced the June 2021 heat dome which killed 619 people.

Medical professionals say that they are experiencing an increase in heat-related emergency calls, but they are not expecting the same urgency that was experienced in 2021. Citizens are advised to continually evaluate how they’re feeling and stay indoors if necessary.



So it turns out that the hype around cold showers isn’t bullshit

Spoiler: this is about dopamine.

If you’ve used the internet at all in the past six months, you’re likely aware that cold showers are all the rage. You see influencers promoting it as their big weight loss secret, health gurus calling it the key to longevity, and internet therapists saying that doing it can keep you from being horribly depressed that day.

But if you’ve ever tried it, you’ll know that it’s also a HIGHLY unpleasant experience.

There’s nothing quite like having cold running water running over your bare skin. For something that’s completely harmless, it sure does make you feel like you’re in danger; there’s nothing quite like standing in ice water to send your body straight into fight or flight mode.

But when I tried it after my unreasonably early 5am wakeup this morning, I realized afterwards that I no longer felt an urge to go back to bed. In fact, I found myself not even craving a coffee, which is quite remarkable because every single morning last 8 years, I have woken up and immediately began seeking caffeine.

It turns out, there’s a solid reason for this. There’s a serious biochemical response that happens from cold exposure.

Abruptly exposing your body to acute cold temperatures increases your body’s dopamine concentrations by 250 percent. (For anyone who is not aware already: dopamine is a hormone that is associated with pleasure and motivation, and it is also highly addictive.)

In addition to that, these elevated dopamine levels remain high for extended periods of time.

Substances like cocaine and alcohol are notorious for their affects on dopamine levels, ie. they spike your dopamine levels after you ingest them, followed by a “crash” which leaves your dopamine levels lower than they were to begin with. In addition to that, the elevated effects of cocaine and alcohol only last for around ten minutes before they begin to drop below baseline. This “crash” is what then facilitates the subsequent cravings for more of that substance, as your body desperately searches for a quick way to re-elevate its levels of the hormone back to its equilibrium.

In contrast, cold showers, while they do elevate your dopamine levels significantly, don’t lead to the same “crash” afterwards. Also, the effects cold exposure on dopamine levels last for over 2.5 hours.

So that right there should be enough to motivate you to at least try taking a cold shower. It feels like drugs! Without taking drugs! What a treat!

Opinion – Top Gun: Maverick is one of the best movies ever

*Warning: Light spoilers ahead*

Top Gun: Maverick is a masterpiece, and it might be one of the best movies ever. I will passionately argue with anybody about this. Everything that the original (and very iconic) Top Gun did, Top Gun: Maverick amplified it tenfold. From the corny romance to Maverick’s tendency to let his impulses run rampant and potentially cause a catastrophe, the most distinctive Top Gun characteristics are in full swing.

Despite the iconic Top Gun features being very evident, the classic touches were used in a very tasteful manner. The soundtrack added a nostalgic quality to the film, which appearance-wise looks vastly different from the original. Cinematography has come a long way since 1986.

Speaking of which, the modern film technology created an experience that was so immersive, it’s easy to forget that you’re sitting in a theatre. Coupling that with the moving D-Box theatre seats, you really do feel like you’re actually there.

On top of that, the new film features an assortment of aircrafts in its extraordinary flight scenes which contain minimal CGI usage. Every one of the planes is real and the actors are actually inside the planes, and the flight scenes were piloted by trained Navy pilots who carried out the aerial sequences.

But the new movie brought a new touch to the franchise that the Original Top Gun did not; the primary relationships in the movie were centred less around romance, and more centred around camaraderie. The new movie didn’t have as much focus on Maverick and his love interests as the original; the original Top Gun included some scenes between Maverick and Kelly McGillis’ Charlie that were borderline uncomfortable to watch. I almost felt like i was intruding.

Jennifer Connelly’s contribution to Maverick in her role as Penny was, first of all, not over-the-top to the point of being awkward, but it also gave enough space for the audience to see the other relationships in the film, like for example, between Maverick and Rooster. Maverick did an incredible job at illuminating the value of non-romantic relationships, such as the protective sibling-like friendship between Phoenix and Bob, or the turbulent rivalry (that is secretly full of mutual respect) between Rooster and Hangman, another tribute to the original Top Gun’s tension between Maverick and Iceman.

This movie was successful in having an intense emotional impact without resulting in a tragic death of a beloved character; while I do admit that Goose’s death in the original Top Gun was very necessary to the story, I was incredibly glad that the second movie didn’t end the same way.

Top Gun: Maverick has everything that a film would require to become a classic, as it hits all the key points in a way that the original movie, although iconic, doesn’t quite do. For that reason, I recommend that everyone watch (or re-watch) this movie, paying extra attention to the peripheral components that make this film a masterpiece.

Golf is one of the best things you can do for your health. Let me convince you

Hi, I’m Annalise, and today I’m going to convince you of why taking up golf is one of the best things you can do for your health.

I’ll start with the physical benefits of the sport. The average golf course is approximately 6600 yards long, is equal to around 20,000 feet. It takes around 8000 steps to walk this distance, and when you factor in the lateral distance that you will walk along the way, you will effortlessly hit the 10,000 steps that you’re recommended to take daily. This low-intensity aerobic exercise has numerous benefits, including reduced fatigue and pain, better overall mood, and higher quality sleep. Statistics show that golfers live approximately 5 years longer on average.

Taking up this sport is also an excellent motivator to introduce mobility work into your exercise routine. Most of us begin feeling aches and pains after the age of 25, and lack of flexibility plays an enormous role in the pain that people have. When you take up golf, you will have a great reason to implement stretching and mobility work into your exercise routine, or your daily life. Increased flexibility means an increased range of motion in your swing, so the benefits of that will inspire you to be disciplined with your stretching routine.. Personally, taking up golf inspired me to integrate yoga into my life, and I now practice yoga three times a week.

You can find exercises all over the internet that will help you with your golf swing and will also benefit you immensely in the rest of your life.


The other benefit of golf, which cannot be understated, is the positive impact it has on your mental health. The stereotype of golf is that it’s endlessly frustrating and that by the end of your round you’ll be nothing more than a ball of rage and regret, which admittedly, is true. But any golfer will tell you that there’s a reason they keep coming back for more, and that’s because it just makes you feel so good.

To start, golf is associated with a significantly lower rate of anxiety and depression, due to the endorphins that are released during low-to-moderate intensity exercise. It also lowers cortisol levels, which in turn reduces stress.

Another significant mental health benefit of this sport is that it encourages connection. You normally golf in groups of 3-4, and these people can either be friends or total strangers that you get paired up with. And even though the idea of playing with strangers seems intimidating, everyone on a golf course is in high spirits because they’re just happy to be there.

And if you’re not very confident in your skills, don’t worry, nobody is. That’s the beautiful thing about golf; you never know what’s gonna happen. We’re all just happily struggling together.


Underdog Kentucky Derby winner Mage is on track to run in Preakness and pursue Triple Crown

The unexpected victory of Mage at the 2023 Kentucky Derby last year has put him in the running for a Triple Crown this year. Mage won the 149th derby by a length last weekend on a sunny day in Louisville, Kentucky, where he outlasted Two Phil’s and Angel of Empire, who placed second and third, respectively.

Mage came from behind and charged into the lead as the horses were making their final turn around the track. Two Phil’s held the inside position, but Mage dug hard to stay in front down the final stretch. Mage, who ran out of the eighth post, is trained by Gustavo Delgado and jockeyed by Javier Castellano.

Mage’s win was following the withdrawal of Forte, the previously anticipated champion, due to a bruised foot the morning of the race. Forte is a descendant of the legendary racehorse Secretariat, whose 50th anniversary of his Triple Crown sweep in 1973 is being celebrated this year. Secretariat’s iconic runs 50 years ago are being honoured in exhibits in the Triple Crown cities of Louisville, Baltimore and Elmont.

Triple Crown, in American horse racing, is a Championship attributed to a three-year-old Thoroughbred that in a single season wins the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes. It has long been considered one of the most coveted and prestigious achievements in all of sports, but with the sharp decline of horse racing’s popularity by the beginning of the 21st century, the Triple Crown became less prestigious in the eyes of the general sporting public.

The disenchantment with the sport has increased in the recent years due to the publicity around the deaths of horses. This year seven horses died at the Derby, some on the track during races or training, and others from euthanasia following serious injuries. Incidents like this raise questions about the welfare of the animals, and the ethics of the sport itself. Horse racing is trying its best to redeem its image, and preserve the welfare of its horses, with the recent reforms to antidoping and medication rules.

After being scratched from the Kentucky Derby, Forte was placed by Kentucky racing officials on a mandatory 14-day veterinary list that may require the colt to pass a soundness test in Maryland in order to race in the Preakness. We hope to see Forte recovering and doing well, but on the other hand, his absence from the Preakness may increase Mage’s chances of winning a Triple Crown sweep.

AT&T Byron Nelson opening round: Noh overcomes broken driver and shoots 11-under 60

This morning was the opening round of this year’s AT&T Byron Nelson Golf Tournament at TPC Craig Ranch in McKinney, Texas. In the opening round, South Korea’s Seung-yul Noh overcame an equipment malfunction and went low with a 60, 11-below the course par 71.

Noh noticed partway through the round that his driver was misbehaving. After an errant tee shot at the par-4 12th, a well planned draw that ended up landing well right of the fairway, Noh closely examined his driver head and noticed a crack.

He was not allowed to replace the club at the time. Under Model Local Rule G-9, a club is not replaceable solely because of a crack. “There needed to be some more subsequent damage other than just a hairline crack,” Chief Referee John Mutch said.

That came on the par-4 13th, So Noh continued playing with his cracked driver. Noh then hit the driver significantly left on the par-4 13th, and then took a provisional, which went even further left. From there, he conferred with Mutch, who determined “significant damage” occurred, finally allowing Noh to take the driver out of play.

Noh wrapped up the round with 11-under 60, which was enough to tie the course record and set his own personal best round on the PGA TOUR.

The esteemed PGA Tour event, which was named after legendary golfer Byron Nelson, has been running since the year 1944. It is also one of only two PGA tour events which are named after legendary PGA professionals, the other being the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Scottie Scheffler, who is currently the second-rated golfer in the world and was last year’s winner of the Masters Tournament, went into the tournament vying for a world-number-one ranking.

Scheffler was rated as the expert’s favourite going into the tournament, but he appears to have faded from the experts’ picks at during the opening round. SportsLine expert Sia Nejad has faded him slightly and is now banking on somebody else as this year’s champion. The Dallas resident and former University of Texas star could still assume the World No.1 position, so he will have some motivation to win; but his past two showings since the RBC Heritage event have been some of his worst showings of the year so far.

The second expert pick for the tournament was USA’s Jordan Spieth, but unfortunately he had to withdraw from the tournament with a wrist injury. That means that the next in line for second-favourite is England’s Tyrell Hatton, who recently had a remarkable showing at last week’s Wells Fargo Championship in North Carolina, finishing in a tie for 3rd place.

The event will be running through Sunday, May 14th.


B.C. hot weather raising concerns about flooding, but heat dome is not expected

We’re expected to see unseasonably hot weather coming up across British Columbia starting tomorrow (Friday, May 12, 2023).

It is reported that the daytime highs across the province will rise into the low-to-mid 30s around the central and southern Interior, while the northern regions of the province are expected to reach the high 20s, both of which are between 10 and 15 degrees above the seasonal average.

Some outlets are reporting forecasted temperatures of 30 to 35 degrees near the southern coast of BC. The upcoming weather is expected to break former record highs for seasonal records.

This sharp temperature spike is raising concerns about whether the hot weather could facilitate natural disasters, such as flooding and wildfires.

The snow buildup that accumulates during the winter is an important factor in preventing fires, and experts are worried that these temperatures will rapidly melt the snowpack and make the province more vulnerable to wildfires.

“Snow will melt very rapidly in this kind of heat and the fine fuels will dry rapidly around the province that aren’t covered in snow,” Global BC meteorologist Kristi Gordon said.

The 2021 heat dome contributed to wildfires across the province.

While the upcoming weather is unseasonably warm, B.C. Emergency Management Minister Bowinn Ma wants to assure people that we are not in danger of a resurgence heat dome, like the one that we experienced in June 2021 which killed hundreds of people across the province.

A heat dome is something that occurs when a high-pressure system traps heat near the surface of the earth, and then gets held in place for extended periods of time by a blocked jet stream. One of the defining characteristics of a heat dome, in contrast to a standard heatwave, is that the temperatures remain abnormally high throughout the evening.


Despite the fact that we’re not expected to reach the same extreme temperatures as in the previous years, hot weather can still pose a risk to human health and welfare.

Particularly vulnerable individuals include elderly citizens and people with pre-existing medical complications. British Columbians are encouraged to reach out to and check up on their neighbours and members of their community during the hot weather.

Many houses in the lower mainland were built around the year 1970 and are not equipped with air conditioning equipment. With extreme temperatures becoming more and more common during the spring and summer months, you may want to consider purchasing air conditioning equipment, especially if you are a medically vulnerable individual.