HOW CAN WE BE HEALTHY IN AN UNHEALTHY WORLD?©
BY JO MOON
We live in a world, cluttered up with rubbish piled up high in landfill sites. Is this a metaphor for how we live our lives?
Our emotions are often covered up, ignored, masked, numbed down in whatever way is convenient. We don’t know what to do with them and few of us have been taught how to deal with the complexity of emotions we experience on a daily basis. Some of these are easier than others but there are the difficult ones.
We may not be consciously aware of what we are doing, but the world we live in, at least in the West, is designed to help us avoid our difficult emotions. Drugs of many kinds are freely available and are an easy crutch to numb down difficult emotions we may have. These include alcohol, caffeine, tobacco, pharmaceutical drugs and a whole host of illegal drugs which are not that difficult to acquire for many.
Alcohol is such a social norm, that to be teetotal is perceived as being unusual, perhaps strange, anti-social even. It is largely considered more cool, acceptable and fun to be a drinker and to indulge in group drinking sessions. One day this will not be the case and this whole outlook will be reversed. Just as now, in the UK, it is illegal to smoke in communal indoor public spaces. Not many years ago, it was usual to go out to a pub, restaurant or nightclub and expect to come home with smoke smelling clothes, hair and maybe even streaming eyes from tobacco smoke. We did not consider this ridiculous, unacceptable or an abuse to our body space. We accepted that a night out involved a smoke filled atmosphere, just as now a night out usually involves intoxicating ourselves with alcohol and not being in our right minds on return home. Before the smoking law was passed in the UK in 2007 many of us, as non smokers, were passively smoking wherever we went.
Many people will argue that a glass of wine or 2 is all right, not interfering with general well-being and may even enhance health. People will argue that a good night out on the booze is a fun and harmless thing to do. Drinking alcohol is never a harmless thing to do. Alcohol damages brain cells, causes memory loss, affects the absorption of nutrients, creates dependency and addiction, numbs emotions, can lead to depression, anxiety and insomnia and even dementia. Alcohol damages the liver as well as other organs, raises blood glucose levels and can produce blackouts. These are just some examples of what alcohol can do. There are many others. You don’t have to be an alcoholic to experience these symptoms through drinking.
Unless ‘going to the pub/bar/club’ and having a ‘pint/tipple/glass or two’ becomes less of the normal and acceptable thing to do people will carry on damaging their health in this way. We are subtly taught through the media, advertising and marketing, friends, parents, relatives and life in general that this is just a part of life. But it doesn’t have to be this way and definitely shouldn’t be.
While we are encouraged to eat 5 fruit and vegetables a day and watch our weight we are simultaneously encouraged to drink alcohol and consume a whole host of other health destroying drugs. Drinking tea and coffee is also a normal part of life yet caffeine is an addictive substance with harmful consequences. It is another way in which healthy nutrients are being restricted in their absorption into the body.
What we should be encouraged to eat and drink are foods and drinks that enhance our health and well-being on all levels. There is little point in drinking and eating if what we are consuming is not nourishment for our bodies, minds and emotions. That should be the function of the food and drink we take in.
Herbal teas have many different health enhancing properties and consist of a variety of different flavours. They can be enjoyable and beneficial to drink. Raw chocolate is a healthy alternative to normal chocolate and has mood enhancing properties together with a high level of nutrients – it is a superfood. There are many other superfoods which also give a feeling of well-being and upliftment and provide nourishment to the body. Eating wholefoods which are not full of additives, e-numbers, highly processed ingredients and general junk enhances health on all levels. Organic is also best.
However, people drink, smoke and take drugs out of a need that cannot easily be fulfilled in the society in which we live. That need is for love, warmth, comfort, nourishment and release from some difficult emotional feeling which we would rather run away from. This is not an easy aspect of being human. We have needs and we do not live in a world that is conscious enough to provide for these complex needs. The answer we are given is drugs. They may be legal or illegal but all have similar functions in trying to fix a problem in an instant without solving the real need and cause of symptoms whether they be physical, mental or emotional.
The drug we are also offered is TV watching, shopping/consumerism, escape through external high profile events, technology and junk food eating. These are all readily available activities for most of us. They are good ways of avoiding our complex emotions and switching them off. We live in a kind of ‘switch on/switch off’ world: lights, electrical appliances, communication technology. Things can be switched on and off in an insant – but our emotions don’t like that.
By avoiding our emotional lives we are not solving anything. Emotions build up inside us and eventually explode in different ways. It may result in physical or mental ill health, addiction to a substance or activity, crime, weight problems, obsessions, violence, accidents, homelessness and so on.
– Because our problems never disappear through a bottle of booze, a roll-up or packet of pills. We are masters of our own destinies, whether it appears that way or not, and we have the power to change the way we live our lives to create a whole healthier way of existence for ourselves and others.
We need to learn about our emotions, receive healing for the difficulties of the past, and learn how to constructively express the emotional feelings we have in order to make ourselves whole again. This we need to do as a global shift in consciousness. It will not happen overnight, but we are moving slowly towards this. We will be a new evolved species of human being able to handle our emotions and live in harmony with ourselves through a healthy way of being.
Be prepared now for a giant shift of consciousness happening in 2012!
We cannot live sustainable lives on this planet when a large part of the population is under the influence of some kind of drug, even if just for some of the time. Because we need to be fully in our right and balanced minds and bodies to prepare for the changing times ahead.
And then we will have a new world….