So it has been almost a year since i have created a post. My previous entries have been reflections of my own issues that I had manifested in self help type psychological and cognitive approaches. That is, I shared my own insight on how to approach problems and issues in life in a “thinking” approach. The basis of this approach was that individuals have almost no control over the problems that are presented to them in one way or another. However, your mind is controlled by you. Therefore, your reaction to the encounter is controlled by YOU. As a result, the emotions and feelings you feel are a consequent of your own thoughts. Now this is no easy tasks. Our minds, from youth, are trained to automatically create negative thoughts to generate negative emotions in order to train you to avoid these problems in the future, which is an evolutionary mechanism. However, as adults, in order to improve the quality of our lives, we can change the way we react to the problems we face. This in turn has a scientific result in our bodies. Our negative thoughts create negative emotions which cause stress which in turn cause our bodies to react by releasing hormones such as cortisol that negative effects a variety of our bodily processes, mainly our mental health. Now this can also be an aspect of evolution because those who are constantly stressed and filled with negative emotions are probably those that encounter the most problems and those are the ones that are not subject to “survival of the fittest”. As you can probably tell I am a strong believer of Darwin, mainly because it makes perfect sense on a biological level. However, the twist I am trying to put on this is that we are not predetermined to be the fittest and survive or be the non-fittest and be evolved into a goat or something. My twist is that is OUR control to become the fittest individual that we can be. And by fittest i dont necessarily mean physically fit. I mean fittest as in having the strongest will power, the least distorted thought processes, which I will cover in a later post, having the most control of our thoughts and thus emotions, and having good habits, which I will discuss next. Notice how all of these things are in our power where as in traditional Darwinism you either had wings to fly and get food or you didnt have them and perished forever or turned into a toad. In todays world, the adaptations we need to make to survive our the adaptations we make in our minds. The take home message that I am trying to make in this post is that human beings are all have the mental power to not only survive in a Darwinian sense but to thrive and be happy in a spiritual and self fulfilling sense in order to live the most complete and happy lives that they can. These things dont happen to us, we create them ourselves.,
Now that I have introduced that convoluted rant that I hope made some kind of sense, I am going to present some examples.
1. Everyday, eat breakfast within 30 minutes of waking up. Sounds simple. And I am a hypocrite because my breakfast often consists of coffee mixed with half and half and three teaspoons of sugar. I dont mean that kind of breakfast .I mean something solid. Now the reason for this. Yes, more of Darwins theories. Back in the days of the hunter gatherer, the people would have to get up early in the morning and find food. In order to do this they needed energy in the form of food. If they didnt, obviously they would not be healthy. Therefore, are bodies are designed to have solid food in our stomachs because if we dont, it sends signals to the rest of our bodies that we are not able to find food and that we are not of the fittest and should not be selected for survival. This presents in sicknesses, which is natures way of “weeding you out of society”, as dramatic as that sounds it stems from our history.
2. Take a 30 minute walk everyday. This also sounds simple. But there are some rules. No ipod, cell phone, or any kind of music. Rule number 2, take the walk in a place surrounded by nature, like a park, or around a like or river. The reason, besides the obvious of losing calories and increasing oxygen through blood circulation, is that hunter gatherers would need to spend a lot of time walking, without ipods and cell phones, through the woods looking for food. Therefore, our bodies made adaptations to make these needs. Today however, that hasnt changed. Evolution doesnt work backwards. If we dont do this, however subtly it may present itself, we are telling our bodies that we cannot look for food and again the weeding out process takes place. This time in the form of decreased mental clarity, vulnerability to illness, lack of energy. Now the mechanism of this could be that hormones are released through the physical act of the walk and the surrounding natural settings that the mind subtly notices which releases hormones that induce a sense of calmness and promote good health. For instance, a recent study showed that amongst two groups of cancer patients, those with windows that showed natural settings or with pictures of nature, and those with no windows or pictures of such sort, the first group showed and improvement rate of nearly 40 percent, demonstrated the effect of nature on the body’s resiliency. Maybe this is why people bring flowers to patients in hospitals? perhaps not knowingly but maybe we are ingrained subconsciously have this sense of altruism.
well, that about sums up my thoughts for now. What I tried to do was present an evolutionary, scientific, and progressive approach to show us that we have control over a vast array of the many aspects of our lives and we should take advantage of them to improve the quality of our lives. But by no means am i trying to imply this is easy. We have to work at it for long enough to make it our habit. From then on we are well on our path to maximizing the potential of the quality of our lives.
Thank you for reading and I hope I have in some way shape or form helped you.