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“Wellness” Products Vs. Lifestyle Choices
Physical Wellness vs Mental Wellness
By many objective standards, health in the industrialized world is at an all-time high. People living in these regions have largely escaped the ravages of terrible diseases like smallpox, measles and other conditions that plagued previous generations, as well as problems like malnutrition.
But progress has brought new problems. On the physical side, obesity and related conditions like diabetes have gone up. And the modern, fast-paced lifestyle of cities (where the majority of human beings will be living in the 21st century) can be quite stressful. Chronic stress can have cumulative and debilitating effects on both our physical and mental health.
Mental illness is at record highs in many places, especially the United States. A five-year study by SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) found that an incredible 45 million people reported having some degree of mental illness, with 11 million having serious conditions. What was even more disturbing was that over 60 percent of those surveyed indicated that they weren’t getting any treatment or help for their symptoms. Many felt they were too busy, and others couldn’t afford the cost of treatment. Many (31.9 percent) believed they could handle it on their own, and chose not to pursue any treatment.
Large segments of the wellness industry offer help for mental illness, and this is good news, as it provides additional help for people who might otherwise not get it. But what about the underlying causes of all these mental and physical maladies? Is it possible to look at the whole concept of wellness in a different, and possibly more effective way?
The Power of Choices
In so many cases, what you don’t do has just as much effect (if not more) on your health, both mental and physical. Yes, there are genetic predispositions, and sometimes random things do happen. But generally speaking, your health, both good and bad, begins with your choices. The first step to being healthy is to make different choices—to alter your behavior in a positive way, not to reach for pills and supplements, or sign up for some expensive program or retreat.
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Eat healthy. There’s hundreds of articles that will show you how. Be physically active, and do whatever you can to reduce stress in your life, as this is connected to many health problems. “Wellness” is a lifestyle choice; it’s just not something you buy. Choose to start being well today.