Healthy Living in a Modern Environment

In today’s society, we often have the mindset of “pills solve problems”. If you’re nauseous, queasy, stuffed up, or otherwise not in the best of conditions, you grab whatever pill treats those symptoms and hope it works… but is that really the best way to treat (and prevent) diseases?

Apparently not.

Increasing amounts of evidence suggest that we’re not treating diseases very effectively. When medicine actually prolongs how long we’re sick, we know we’re doing something wrong, especially if that increased illness time makes it easier to spread diseases to others.

It’s time to reconsider the ways we treat ourselves and focus not just on covering symptoms, but on holistic, healthy living that helps stop diseases from occurring in the first place. To that end, here are some easy ways to adjust your lifestyle.

  • Eat More Frequently: We often eat big meals – bigger than we really need to – because we’re hungry. One of the best ways of staving off hunger is to eat smaller meals on a more frequent basis. Shrink the size of your main meals and supplement that with healthy snacks – you might be surprised at how effective this can be.
  • Find Ways To Move Around At Work: One of our biggest problems – and a major contributor to diseases like obesity – is the fact that we’re sitting down all day. Instead of continuing to do that, find excuses to get up and move around at work. For example, if somebody sends you an email, you can reply by walking over to their workstation and answering in-person. Similarly, if you’re going to get a drink, try going to the machine at the far end of the building instead of the one close-by.
  • Improve Your Immune System: If you haven’t started improving your immune system, it’s time to to look into that. Your body can only be as healthy as the things you feed it, and if you really want to fight off diseases, you’ll need to actively work to keep your immune system at full potential. Even if it’s as minor as taking vitamins every day, do something.
  • Turn Off The Electronics Before Bed: Yes, electronics are fun – in fact, chances are you’re reading this article on one of them! Unfortunately, the light they emit tricks your brain into thinking that it needs to be awake – and that’s a problem if you’re planning to be in bed five minutes later. Turn your gadgets off an hour or so before going to bed.

By themselves, none of these tips are going to make you so healthy you’re totally resistant to disease – but they’re not meant to. Wellness is a lifestyle, and attempts to be healthy will only succeed if you treat it as such. These tricks are small things you can start doing today – and from there, you can build on them until you’ve completely restructured your life into a truly healthy one. It helps if you get others involved – when everyone else is doing the same things, it’s far easier to keep going and successfully improve your life.

What Makes Modern Environments So Unhealthy?

Unhealthiness is a combination of many different factors – here are some of the most prominent.

  • Escapism: There’s no denying that our working lives are stressful. In fact, according to the American Psychological Association, the average American rates their personal stress level higher (about 4.9/10) than they think is healthy (3.7). On top of that, almost three-quarters of adults are stressed about money (and a significant number are extremely stressed about it), which leads directly into forms of escapism. Whether it’s sitting and watching television, using drugs and alcohol, or acting out in other ways, our methods of venting stress trend towards unhealthy.
  • Emphasis on Convenience: As a general rule, we like things that are easy. In fact, modern culture often demands that things be easy. However, what’s easy and what’s healthy are often two completely different things. It’s easy to watch a funny show during dinner, but hard to go out and exercise. It’s easy to pick up microwavable meals from the store, but hard to put a meal together from scratch. Some people still do, of course… but how often do we make lunch from scratch when we’re at work?
  • Over-reliance on Digital Diagnoses: As most doctors will be more than happy to explain, the internet is not a good source of information about our health. We often focus on individual details (such as the size or coloring of a problem) and latch onto the first explanation that seems to make sense. Unfortunately, that often leads people astray, since they may not recognize that their problem is actually a symptom of another issue that a doctor would easily have found. The rising cost of health care isn’t helping, either. When we’re too separate from genuine medical expertise, it’s only natural to expect that we won’t be as healthy.
  • Disease-Prone Environments: Offices, like schools, are not particularly sanitary spaces. Diseases can spread across an office in just a few hours, and while something as simple as a daily use of sanitary wipes could drastically cut down on sick days (and lost productivity), most companies don’t bother to maintain a truly clean working environment.