Anxiety, sleeplessness and depression are some of the biggest health challenges that I see in the people that I serve. I would posit that these mental/emotional states are a huge contributor to physical health deterioration.
Why do I think that? It’s pretty simple. We all find a way to self-medicate when we need to feel better. Especially in this world where our understanding of the causes and solutions of these states are marginal, at best.
If everyone was using tools like exercise, meditation, yoga, and other methods of self-care, we would see improvements in people’s states of mind. Most of us, however, are using bad habits to make us feel temporarily better, which sets us up for a downward spiral.
It is the underlying causes of these states and not the management of them that I’d like to talk about.
You see, if these states were unjustified by real life circumstances, we could have a different conversation. The conversation we need to have is: Why are these states of being a crippling epidemic?
I believe that it is about control. We’ve really gotten lost around the concept of control. As someone who spent early years as a “control freak”, I found myself trying to control all the little things because the big things seemed insurmountable. As I found ways to gain mastery over the things that challenged me, I found the need to control the little things slipped away. I also found that the anxiety slowly disappeared.
We know we can’t control all the things that happen on a planetary level. We can’t control what happens on many levels. So, what can we control? We can control how we show up, and what we do to contribute to the greater good.
The challenge that we face is that many of us have chosen to abdicate responsibility for some of the fundamental things that humans have done for themselves for millennia. When you have taken responsibility, you have taken control. You answer to yourself for your own well-being. You gain skills and as you overcome challenges, you get confidence.
Authentic confidence comes not from what others think of you, but what you think of yourself. It comes from a place of knowing that life will always present challenges, and that you will do your best to meet those challenges. It’s a feedback loop that gains strength with each challenge that you meet, even the ones that may temporarily defeat you. You get back up, face the next challenge and emerge stronger every time.
What are the basics that humans have done for themselves throughout history? Food, clothing, shelter. Of these, food is primary. For more about this, please read my book, Your Food Is Your Future.
You have the ability to meet the coming challenges, and there will be many. Focus on what you can do, and make small steps towards greater control of your food by working individually and collectively on creating a local food web. You’ll be amazed at how things will change.