This is a guest post from Lifestyle patient Caitlin Collignon.
The human mind works in two ways: It wants what it does not have and it does not want what it does have. Take a moment to think about that. When we find ourselves living outside of the present moment, then it becomes difficult to find gratitude for all the things that we do have in our life, that we otherwise take for granted.
Naturally, our mind compares us to those around us, telling us that if we want to be happy, then we need to have what they have. Our mind is also very critical of ourselves, telling us that one small, usually insignificant, aspect or our life is enough to blind us from everything that is amazing. Therefore, it is our responsibility to retrain our mind to work in new ways, but we have to consciously do this every single day. Good news is, a short amount of time every morning will be enough to start this shift towards a life of gratitude, a life with far less suffering. Wake up in the morning and remind yourself of everything that is good in your life. The truth is, if you get to wear clean clothes and eat three meals a day, you are already ahead of 80% of the world.
We have all heard that inflammation is the root cause of disease. What is even more important to acknowledge is that inflammation is not just caused due to physical reactions from the body, but mental too. Fear, uncertainty, stress, anxiety, fatigue, metabolic dysfunction, diet, anger, physical injury; anything outside of a balanced state, causes inflammation. And we wonder why the rates of cancer, diabetes, and psychological diseases are higher then they have ever been. When was the last time you took the time to acknowledge that you are in a constant state of imbalance, or sympathetic overload? These perpetually imbalanced states that our society is existing in can all boil down to one root cause, we are moving faster then our bodies are designed to function. This convenient, fast-paced lifestyle, is causing inflammation throughout our bodies.
Convenient food is packaged, processed, microwaved, modified and void of nutrients. Convenient lifestyles consist of phones, televisions, internet and instant gratification. Convenient relationships are available, easy, selfish and disposable. Convenience is the cause of our physical and mental suffering. Our bodies are not designed to handle the impact of convenience. To put it into perspective, let’s think about the weather. What if we began to control the weather to the point that it was convenient? Would we not all agree that this would create dysfunction in the natural world? We are that same nature, made of the same material, alive and dying at the same time. From the burning of fossil fuels to a quick bite, our convenient lifestyle is altering the world we live in, along with the bodies that we live in, in a degenerative fashion. Inflammation is a response to anything unknown; Fear, uncertainty, inorganic matter, trauma, stress, anxiety; they are all responses to the unknown.
While moving into the woods and living off of the land doesn’t sound all that bad, it is not exactly practical. We shouldn’t stress the big picture, but we can all start to become more aware of how quickly we are moving and ask ourselves if the convenient option is really the best option. We need to slow down, acknowledge how certain situations make us feel, understand what it feels like to be in sympathetic overload, find gratitude every day and make more mindful choices when it comes to the food that we are eating and the manner in which we are consuming it. At the end of the day we have to realize, if we are unhappy, sick, stressed, fearful or in any physical or emotional pain, we are in a state of inflammation and something needs to change. The good news is, we are the ones that can change this and it all starts with moments of gratitude.