MND Fitness

Core Principle 10

Reduce stress

Heart disease is the biggest killer in Western society, cancer is number 2 and ‘medical errors’ are number 3. Despite the widely held belief that high cholesterol is the number one cause of heart disease, I have read many books pointing the finger at ‘lifestyle stress’ as the main cause of heart disease. As a medical hypothesis, this is controversial, but I believe it to be true.

I discuss all this in much more detail in my upcoming books, so I am not going to write masses here. For the last 30 or 40 years people have been told that animal fats are the major cause of all our health challenges, and as food manufacturers have taken fat out of our food, they have put sugar and chemicals in our food instead. People seem to be fatter than ever, and obesity and diabetes are reaching epidemic proportions, and heart disease and cancer rates are still rising. You go figure.

I have read a great deal about stress, and I think there are links between lifestyle and disease rates. I will leave most of this for my book, because I have written hundreds of pages about how modern lifestyles are pulling us ‘away from nature’ and making us sick. Low-level constant stress places an enormous strain on our bodies, and this is very unhealthy. Stress hormones have a place, for sure, but it is the constant stress that is harmful. An occasional adrenaline response is perfectly natural, ‘fight or flight’ is quite healthy and quite normal, and very useful under certain circumstances.

However, the low level stress, from an unnatural sounding alarm clock buzzing to wake us early in the morning, to shouting at the kids all day, through being barked at by the boss, to straining our eyes at a screen all day, to going to bed too late worrying about the mortgage and the car payments and the credit card debts, this constant all-day stress disrupts our natural hormone responses and has an undesirable effect on our immune system. For many of us, we are burdened by this low-level stress almost constantly, day after day, and over the years,
these negative emotional patterns have a negative physical impact on our health.

I could (and one day I will) write whole books on the subject of reducing stress and living a life more focussed on love than money, on personal growth rather than personal consumption, on placing good health over owning a big house and a fast car, and on helping others as much as helping yourself. But, this page is not the place for all that, so for now, I will just say that it is essential to good health, and an essential element of MotherNaturesDiet, to try to reduce the stress in our lives by following a few simple, sensible guidelines.

  • Do a job you enjoy. If you don’t enjoy it, change it
  • Don’t buy things you can’t afford. Save for things, don’t own a credit card and don’t borrow money
  • Live within your means. Only spend 90% of your income, then save 10% for the future
  • Love more. Don’t hate. Smile more. Complain less
  • Walk more often, allow time, leave the car at home, walk with your kids, listen to the birds, talk, take time to observe things
  • Get a bicycle, and use it

I could fill pages with this kind of advice, but you get the message.

Constant, low-level stress is more of a burden than most of us appreciate. It drains your energy, it makes your body hold on to fat, and it kills your libido. If you eat a good diet and exercise but you still can’t lose that excess 20 pounds, it might be that stress is the answer. If you are healthy, active and successful in life but you wonder where your sex life has gone, it might be that stress is the answer. Stress is, in my opinion, a major contributor to lifestyle diseases, such as heart disease and cancer. Two or three decades of constant low level stress can be very harmful, get a handle on things now and manage your life more effectively to reduce the stress burden on your health.

Summary

  • Low-level, constant lifestyle stress is a major health hazard
  • Chill out, before you peg out
  • Value good health over money and possessions – no sense being the richest man in the graveyard
  • Try to get a job you love. Cut up your credit cards. Take a day off. Stop and smell the roses