The health epidemic today has a number of causes. Three of the biggest are the following:
(1) Foods (& other junk) that has hijacked your innate satiety regulation, causing you to eat more food than you need
(2) Toxins that disrupt cellular function and homeostasis
(3) Emotional holes, plugged with food and toxic junk
Most people give the first two plenty of attention, but neglect the 3rd. And I think the 3rd is one of the most important.
Many of the most toxic behaviors people engage in are
The problem is two fold. First, all meaning has been exterminated from society. This is a longer discussion, but it’s a product of the decline of religion, increasing alienation and destruction of all the “meaning making practices” in society. It’s a trend that started with the enlightenment, but accelerated around the time Nietzsche declared the “death of god”.
People have been stripped of any “meaning-making” systems and emotional toolkits. For 100s of thousands of years, humans felt a connection to the cosmos. Sure, some of the beliefs were anachronistic. But they gave humans a home.
Science, for all its benefits, have ripped these traditions from society.
Religion, for all its sectarian, divisive ills, provided people with a framework to create meaning in their lives. Whether through the community religions provide, or the prayer and meditative practices, religions helped bootstrap meaning for 1000s of years.
And unfortunately without them, people are left with a nihilist void and told that the only way out is through “meaningful work” or accumulating more crap. Traditional religion may have died, but it was replaced with pseudoreligions like capitalism, progressivism and consumerism.
Religion created a gaping hole in your brain, and like a jelly donut it was filled with crap from China.
People have completely forgotten how to deal with emotions. For thousands of years, human beings turned to god or to meditation. But now, people just suppress any emotional pain or distract themselves.
Netflix. Porn. Sugar. Drugs. Alcohol. All of these are ways people suppress their emotional pain, sweeping it under the carpet.
They[re quick hits that make you feel better momentarily…almost like taking cocaine for a headache…but in the end you wake up with a worse hangover.
This is what carbs, sugar and overeating are to most people. After a long day at work sitting in a cubicle farm, getting yelled at by a terrible boss, people need something quick to paper over the pain. These are what people usually turn to. But in the end, they only make things worse.
A study on rats illustrates this well. When rats were isolated in a cage they ended up taking cocaine until they died. But when they were given connections & community, they avoided the drugs. The drugs I mentioned above are inherently addicting. But that’s just one piece of the puzzle. If you have a bigger reason to avoid them, you will. The problem is that most people don’t have that bigger reason.
The first step out of this hell is replacing toxic mood enhancers with beneficial ones. This alone will make you feel 100x better.
The practices above may not be the ultimate answer…because I don’t think external things can solve internal problems. But they’re a hell of a lot better than what people usually turn to.
I know that if I’m ever feeling down (which I never do of course…), 30 minutes of sun, pushing my muscles to the limit under 100s of lbs (sometimes 1000s of lbs…), and a cold shower does wonders for me.
But then you need to take this practice to the next level and ask some really deep, hard questions. What is real meaning? What is connection? Why are you here? What is love?
When you feel uncomfortable emotions arise — whether that’s in your stomach, face, or chest — it’s time to stop covering them up. Try the opposite. Dig deep into them. What do they feel like? Feel the pulsing, vibrating energy. Is it warm? Is it tight? What is its shape? Its color.
Pain is a portal through which you can find liberation. But if you just cover it up, you never will.
Hope this helps.
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