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Discussion #9 - Health Tip

The human body is an amazing (biological) machine. It can recover/heal from just about anything, if you do one simple thing; reduce your daily level of anxiety. Stop worrying about, well, everything! Stress/worry/anxiety greatly increases free radicals, compromises your immune system, accelerates aging & generally puts a lot of extra strain on your body. How to do this in modern society? (In my opinion) work hard, play hard, enjoy life & when you start feeling stressed out, take a break! Do very little for a day or two.

Many people find vacations more stressful than work. This is due to the common modern attitude that we should always remain busy, even on vacation. Many are concerned about being labelled "lazy", if they do nothing for a bit here & there (more common in type "A" personalities). Everyone is entitled to their opinions/attitudes in life, but they must also live with the health consequences of these attitudes. Also, stress-related illnesses put a huge strain on health care systems.

Another completely bizarre and nutso attitude would be the idea many people have, that it's socially weird to be seen enjoying time alone in public. It is incredibly cathartic and relaxing to have a bit of solitude, & even people-watch, read the paper, or spend time on the internet, etc. IN PUBLIC! What is the big deal people, it does NOT mean that you're a loner, a loser, a social outcast, a bum, a slacker, or anything similar! This notion is completely paranoid and insane, and is robbing many out of one of the most relaxing and enjoyable activities on Earth. We do not ALWAYS have to be social butterflies (even though it's obviously a blast much of the time)!

Everyone needs a different amount of overall stimulaton to stay amused in life, but everyone can also use a break now & then, no matter how high or low your entertainment needs are. It's not a good idea to wait until you're sitting on a beach in the Caribbean, unless you've got enough money and time to do it on a pretty regular basis.

Where we set our daily variety expectations is a huge factor in our life. No matter how rich and successful we are, there are still many aspects of our daily lives that are somewhat routine. Eating meals, brushing our teeth, sleeping, injecting exercise into our day, and so on. One of the biggest personal ideological differences between people, is how much variety should be in our daily lives. While it's definitely true that variety is the spice of life, the routine in our life can be compared to the meat and potatoes. The variety we can successfully inject into our day, week, month, or year definitely enriches our lives considerably, but the routine can also be enjoyable, feel satisfying, and be extremely productive.

It's all about our attitude in this aspect of life, and this attitude will dramatically affect our stress levels. The recent pandemic has definitely put a damper on the variety levels for many in the world. Luckily, this is temporary, but in a very large way, we'll likely never take our normal lifestyles for granted again.

Another huge issue in modern day societies is that in many affluent countries, the average person sits an average of 75% of the time (awake) in a day. The human body was not designed for this, so it's a really good idea to keep this in mind and choose a lifestyle that is far less sedentary in nature. We can mainly thank technology, automation and modern transportation for this little goodie.

Sitting is the new smoking. You don't have to run, jog, or do hard-core workouts, etc., just get up off your butt and move a little (as often as possible), maybe climb a few stairs or go for a walk. This is what our bodies were designed to do, not sitting around for hours on end. Running & jogging are obviously awesome too, and much better for weight loss and building cardio capacity etc., just a little hard on the joints as we age.

Another serious problem that can sometimes be a result of the above issues is sleep quality. Think of anxiety as being like the engine in a car. If our anxiety motor is revving too high, it can be extremely difficult to get enough quality sleep, which in turn results in a higher daily anxiety level. I personally believe that this "catch-22" or "vicious cycle" is mainly responsible for most serious sleep issues. The combination of high-anxiety and sedentary lifestyles that many are living is creating an environment for this, along with an epidemic of people with high blood pressure (hypertension). 26% of the world's population currently suffer from this condition (soon to be approx. 29% by 2025).

Poor sleep quality is one of the most important and yet most under-researched and under-knowledged areas of modern medicine. The specialty of Neurology attempts to address it with sleep studies, etc., but in reality there is very little that is understood about the sleep processes in the human brain. Even the location in the brain where sleep takes place is not completely understood. Given the complexity of this biological process, the medical treatment options are extremely primitive at best. In my humble opinion (based on my own experiences), controlling anxiety with natural methods is by far the best solution for this problem. It will break the cycle, and the magical self-healing powers of the human body will do the rest. In many cases, a common symptom is fairly serious and painful back issues. Back pain is also becoming a bit of an epidemic in many countries around the world.

Many try to remedy the problem by buying a better mattress or taking medication. The mattress is not a bad idea, but sleep medications normally wear off quickly and are highly addictive (not a great long-term solution). A better solution would be to take up meditation or yoga, or just try and de-stress your life somehow (commonly easier said than done). Sleep is not just for the lazy, it slows down aging and is critical for survival. And let's face it, much of life is about survival. The harsh reality is that the aging process is designed to keep the human population under control. The genetic portion of this (so far) we can do nothing about, but there is still a huge element that we do control.

Also, whatever you do, do NOT spend the majority of your life living on "pins & needles", or "walking on eggshells", especially in the areas of marriage and career. It's in these two main areas of life, that people either derive the most pleasure, enjoyment, & satisfaction, or, the most stress & anxiety. Believe it or not, you could potentially survive & thrive after the loss of either one. In fact, not living in fear of this will actually dramatically improve your odds of keeping both, as you'll be overall far less stressed & anxious in life, & therefore will be far more fun to be around.

The list of aging-related illnesses is quite long. It's probably safe to say that in the end "natural causes" is normally a unique collection or singular illness from this list. In my opinion (and many others), superficial cosmetic procedures are a complete waste of time and money. They do absolutely nothing to extend our healthy lifespan. In fact, if we do REAL things to accomplish this, the cosmetic aspects of aging will also improve naturally (and far more dramatically). In most societies around the world, this seems to be a much bigger deal for women than it is for men. That being said, most men aren't overly thrilled about the aging process either (especially after the age of 60 or so).

Most people do not realize just how much money is being spent in the cosmetic industries, and those on the receiving end certainly aren't complaining, but it's still pretty ridiculous. Reduce your daily anxiety levels, get better sleep, stay young (for real/below the surface). It's that simple.

Obviously, this entire page is a huge oversimplification of a very complex issue, as diseases like cancer, heart & stroke, and many others often have genetic or birth defect causes. Human life overall is incredibly complex, and we are all just doing our best to make some sense of it all. Zooming out and looking at the bigger picture (now & then) is a powerful tool in accomplishing this.

Currently, the biggest source of stress and anxiety is the coronavirus pandemic. As difficult as it may be during this crisis, it's actually more important than ever to de-stress and reduce our anxiety levels. We all need to keep our immune system strong, in case we do (God forbid), actually catch this virus. Mental health is not just a good idea for it's own sake, it will also dramatically increase our odds of physically surviving this virus. Mainly due to the positive effects on our endocrine system, which dramatically boost our immune system. Exercise and nutrition are also extremely important, but deliberately taking control of our emotions, and focusing on things that will calm (or excite) our soul, are the most powerful tools in the box.

Governments and political leaders want us to have a healthy level of concern, which is of course extremely effective in getting people to behave. There is a massive difference however, between a healthy level of concern, and health-degrading stress and anxiety. World leaders' main objective is to reduce the spread, which of course benefits every one of us. We as individuals however, also need to do our best to survive this thing, if we do actually get it. Hospitals having enough ventilators & PPE are not the only ways to accomplish this. If we allow ourselves to become run down from weeks, months, or years of worry, this will make our body's ability to fight off the virus that much worse.

As to why this pandemic is happening, it's difficult to know for sure. It may have something to do with the carrying capacity of our species on this planet. Most experts believe that we may be nearing, or have actually surpassed this limit already. Nature has a tendency to want to suppress the number of people, living organisms, or crops if they excede what a region can support without environmental degradation. There definitely seems to be a correlation between population density, and the spread of this virus.

Just as there are with insects and animals, there are mechanisms in this natural world, that are designed to keep all species of creatures (including us) at a reasonable population level. We may not like this idea, as it takes away some of our beloved control over things, but unfortunately, there are still some things which will always be a challenge for survival.

You may be currently thinking, how is this line of thinking supposed to reduce our anxiety levels? Especially for seniors and those with underlying health conditions. The answer is simple. Just as with the common flu virus, covid-19 is not a death sentence, we must all view this as a challenge, similar to most other areas of life.

This does not mean that we should all become germophobes (as our immune system needs to be exposed to a healthy dose of germs, on a regular basis, to stay strong!). What it means, is that we need to stay as healthy as we possibly can. We cannot take our health for granted any longer.

If we're overweight, and living with high or borderline high blood pressure, we need to do something about it. If we're living a high stress lifestyle, we should do something about it. We're not all helpless victims in all of this. Other more drastic solutions would include relocating to a far less densely populated area of your state or province, especially if you are retired.

We also, of course, must do all that can be done to prevent the spread, like hand-washing, wearing a mask, and social distancing, etc.
The bottom line, is that all of the worrying, stressing, and anxiety in the world will not do a damn bit of good. In fact, it will do an incredible amount of harm, physically. So, do whatever you can do, prevent the spread, and then relax.

Try to enjoy your life, no matter how weird our lifestyle may seem right now. It's not going to last forever, and (for most of us), it's a completely different routine than what we're used to. Different can be a nice change of pace, variety is the spice of life. This will force us to be a little more creative, and come up with new things to do. Thanks to the internet, much of our work and education can be done online. This simply would not have been possible 20 years ago.

We all know that this is a really tough thing for all of humanity right now, but keeping an optimistic, cheerful mindset through this will not only make it less painful, it will literally and dramatically increase our odds of survival.
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Discussion #9 - Health Tip

The human body is an amazing (biological) machine. It can recover/heal from just about anything, if you do one simple thing; reduce your daily level of anxiety. Stop worrying about, well, everything! Stress/worry/anxiety greatly increases free radicals, compromises your immune system, accelerates aging & generally puts a lot of extra strain on your body. How to do this in modern society? (In my opinion) work hard, play hard, enjoy life & when you start feeling stressed out, take a break! Do very little for a day or two.

Many people find vacations more stressful than work. This is due to the common modern attitude that we should always remain busy, even on vacation. Many are concerned about being labelled "lazy", if they do nothing for a bit here & there (more common in type "A" personalities). Everyone is entitled to their opinions/attitudes in life, but they must also live with the health consequences of these attitudes. Also, stress-related illnesses put a huge strain on health care systems.

Another completely bizarre and nutso attitude would be the idea many people have, that it's socially weird to be seen enjoying time alone in public. It is incredibly cathartic and relaxing to have a bit of solitude, & even people-watch, read the paper, or spend time on the internet, etc. IN PUBLIC! What is the big deal people, it does NOT mean that you're a loner, a loser, a social outcast, a bum, a slacker, or anything similar! This notion is completely paranoid and insane, and is robbing many out of one of the most relaxing and enjoyable activities on Earth. We do not ALWAYS have to be social butterflies (even though it's obviously a blast much of the time)!

Everyone needs a different amount of overall stimulaton to stay amused in life, but everyone can also use a break now & then, no matter how high or low your entertainment needs are. It's not a good idea to wait until you're sitting on a beach in the Caribbean, unless you've got enough money and time to do it on a pretty regular basis.

Where we set our daily variety expectations is a huge factor in our life. No matter how rich and successful we are, there are still many aspects of our daily lives that are somewhat routine. Eating meals, brushing our teeth, sleeping, injecting exercise into our day, and so on. One of the biggest personal ideological differences between people, is how much variety should be in our daily lives. While it's definitely true that variety is the spice of life, the routine in our life can be compared to the meat and potatoes. The variety we can successfully inject into our day, week, month, or year definitely enriches our lives considerably, but the routine can also be enjoyable, feel satisfying, and be extremely productive.

It's all about our attitude in this aspect of life, and this attitude will dramatically affect our stress levels. The recent pandemic has definitely put a damper on the variety levels for many in the world. Luckily, this is temporary, but in a very large way, we'll likely never take our normal lifestyles for granted again.

Another huge issue in modern day societies is that in many affluent countries, the average person sits an average of 75% of the time (awake) in a day. The human body was not designed for this, so it's a really good idea to keep this in mind and choose a lifestyle that is far less sedentary in nature. We can mainly thank technology, automation and modern transportation for this little goodie.

Sitting is the new smoking. You don't have to run, jog, or do hard-core workouts, etc., just get up off your butt and move a little (as often as possible), maybe climb a few stairs or go for a walk. This is what our bodies were designed to do, not sitting around for hours on end. Running & jogging are obviously awesome too, and much better for weight loss and building cardio capacity etc., just a little hard on the joints as we age.

Another serious problem that can sometimes be a result of the above issues is sleep quality. Think of anxiety as being like the engine in a car. If our anxiety motor is revving too high, it can be extremely difficult to get enough quality sleep, which in turn results in a higher daily anxiety level. I personally believe that this "catch-22" or "vicious cycle" is mainly responsible for most serious sleep issues. The combination of high-anxiety and sedentary lifestyles that many are living is creating an environment for this, along with an epidemic of people with high blood pressure (hypertension). 26% of the world's population currently suffer from this condition (soon to be approx. 29% by 2025).

Poor sleep quality is one of the most important and yet most under-researched and under-knowledged areas of modern medicine. The specialty of Neurology attempts to address it with sleep studies, etc., but in reality there is very little that is understood about the sleep processes in the human brain. Even the location in the brain where sleep takes place is not completely understood. Given the complexity of this biological process, the medical treatment options are extremely primitive at best. In my humble opinion (based on my own experiences), controlling anxiety with natural methods is by far the best solution for this problem. It will break the cycle, and the magical self-healing powers of the human body will do the rest. In many cases, a common symptom is fairly serious and painful back issues. Back pain is also becoming a bit of an epidemic in many countries around the world.

Many try to remedy the problem by buying a better mattress or taking medication. The mattress is not a bad idea, but sleep medications normally wear off quickly and are highly addictive (not a great long-term solution). A better solution would be to take up meditation or yoga, or just try and de-stress your life somehow (commonly easier said than done). Sleep is not just for the lazy, it slows down aging and is critical for survival. And let's face it, much of life is about survival. The harsh reality is that the aging process is designed to keep the human population under control. The genetic portion of this (so far) we can do nothing about, but there is still a huge element that we do control.

Also, whatever you do, do NOT spend the majority of your life living on "pins & needles", or "walking on eggshells", especially in the areas of marriage and career. It's in these two main areas of life, that people either derive the most pleasure, enjoyment, & satisfaction, or, the most stress & anxiety. Believe it or not, you could potentially survive & thrive after the loss of either one. In fact, not living in fear of this will actually dramatically improve your odds of keeping both, as you'll be overall far less stressed & anxious in life, & therefore will be far more fun to be around.

The list of aging-related illnesses is quite long. It's probably safe to say that in the end "natural causes" is normally a unique collection or singular illness from this list. In my opinion (and many others), superficial cosmetic procedures are a complete waste of time and money. They do absolutely nothing to extend our healthy lifespan. In fact, if we do REAL things to accomplish this, the cosmetic aspects of aging will also improve naturally (and far more dramatically). In most societies around the world, this seems to be a much bigger deal for women than it is for men. That being said, most men aren't overly thrilled about the aging process either (especially after the age of 60 or so).

Most people do not realize just how much money is being spent in the cosmetic industries, and those on the receiving end certainly aren't complaining, but it's still pretty ridiculous. Reduce your daily anxiety levels, get better sleep, stay young (for real/below the surface). It's that simple.

Obviously, this entire page is a huge oversimplification of a very complex issue, as diseases like cancer, heart & stroke, and many others often have genetic or birth defect causes. Human life overall is incredibly complex, and we are all just doing our best to make some sense of it all. Zooming out and looking at the bigger picture (now & then) is a powerful tool in accomplishing this.

Currently, the biggest source of stress and anxiety is the coronavirus pandemic. As difficult as it may be during this crisis, it's actually more important than ever to de-stress and reduce our anxiety levels. We all need to keep our immune system strong, in case we do (God forbid), actually catch this virus. Mental health is not just a good idea for it's own sake, it will also dramatically increase our odds of physically surviving this virus. Mainly due to the positive effects on our endocrine system, which dramatically boost our immune system. Exercise and nutrition are also extremely important, but deliberately taking control of our emotions, and focusing on things that will calm (or excite) our soul, are the most powerful tools in the box.

Governments and political leaders want us to have a healthy level of concern, which is of course extremely effective in getting people to behave. There is a massive difference however, between a healthy level of concern, and health-degrading stress and anxiety. World leaders' main objective is to reduce the spread, which of course benefits every one of us. We as individuals however, also need to do our best to survive this thing, if we do actually get it. Hospitals having enough ventilators & PPE are not the only ways to accomplish this. If we allow ourselves to become run down from weeks, months, or years of worry, this will make our body's ability to fight off the virus that much worse.

As to why this pandemic is happening, it's difficult to know for sure. It may have something to do with the carrying capacity of our species on this planet. Most experts believe that we may be nearing, or have actually surpassed this limit already. Nature has a tendency to want to suppress the number of people, living organisms, or crops if they excede what a region can support without environmental degradation. There definitely seems to be a correlation between population density, and the spread of this virus.

Just as there are with insects and animals, there are mechanisms in this natural world, that are designed to keep all species of creatures (including us) at a reasonable population level. We may not like this idea, as it takes away some of our beloved control over things, but unfortunately, there are still some things which will always be a challenge for survival.

You may be currently thinking, how is this line of thinking supposed to reduce our anxiety levels? Especially for seniors and those with underlying health conditions. The answer is simple. Just as with the common flu virus, covid-19 is not a death sentence, we must all view this as a challenge, similar to most other areas of life.

This does not mean that we should all become germophobes (as our immune system needs to be exposed to a healthy dose of germs, on a regular basis, to stay strong!). What it means, is that we need to stay as healthy as we possibly can. We cannot take our health for granted any longer.

If we're overweight, and living with high or borderline high blood pressure, we need to do something about it. If we're living a high stress lifestyle, we should do something about it. We're not all helpless victims in all of this. Other more drastic solutions would include relocating to a far less densely populated area of your state or province, especially if you are retired.

We also, of course, must do all that can be done to prevent the spread, like hand-washing, wearing a mask, and social distancing, etc.
The bottom line, is that all of the worrying, stressing, and anxiety in the world will not do a damn bit of good. In fact, it will do an incredible amount of harm, physically. So, do whatever you can do, prevent the spread, and then relax.

Try to enjoy your life, no matter how weird our lifestyle may seem right now. It's not going to last forever, and (for most of us), it's a completely different routine than what we're used to. Different can be a nice change of pace, variety is the spice of life. This will force us to be a little more creative, and come up with new things to do. Thanks to the internet, much of our work and education can be done online. This simply would not have been possible 20 years ago.

We all know that this is a really tough thing for all of humanity right now, but keeping an optimistic, cheerful mindset through this will not only make it less painful, it will literally and dramatically increase our odds of survival.