We’ve all heard the old adage “Everything old is new again”. I believe this statement reflects our culture more than ever especially in the area of health habits. I find a lot of what I read in this genre leaves me feeling that I’m living in an era of absurdity when it comes to the many mixed messages we get around food, exercise, and stress management.
One of the most recent articles I read was about the fact that meditation does not have to be done as a formal endeavor. You can get the same outcome from what the author termed “aimless wandering”, which is more about trusting that your basic awareness is already there and it doesn’t need to be worked on. It gives you the opportunity to refresh your mind and life by just hanging out. Now, I don’t know about you, but this new outlook on meditation allows me to believe that I can calm my nerves by shopping, driving or just being with friends. But, in many ways it feels like a big DUH! When you absent yourself from your worries with things or people that you find pleasure, it definitely helps lower your anxiety levels.
It does not mean that taking time to meditate using whatever form allows you to learn techniques to quell those internal critics is also incredibly valuable. But of late there have been so many articles and dialogue about how daily meditation should be a part of life that it has become similar to a scolding; if you’re not doing it, you’re really not evolving.
I also read another study on exercise that formal workouts are often not sustainable, that finding something that is a more natural activity like walking, riding a bike, swimming, or even walking up and down the stairs in your home is better. The media often showcases celebrities who are buffed and slender due to their daily workout routines done under the tutelage of famous trainers who keep them compliant. Once again, it gives the impression that they are the standard we should all follow. It’s easy to forget that this is part of their job. There does seem to be a small window of common sense creeping into the industry, since we are now seeing some actors whose bodies seem more in alignment with a lot of their public.
Probably the most ridiculous epiphany the world of well being has had is the realization that low fat diets help to increase the chances of getting fat. This is especially true when sugar has replaced the fat, as well as a myriad of chemicals to enhance taste. They are now advocating to eat more vegetables, fruits, grains , fish and to use meat as a condiment. This is something other cultures have realized for quite some time. In America we are always looking for a miracle food, exercise, or de stressor. How about using common sense, that may be the real miracle.
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