Worry about our social place in the world, what has happened to us in the past and what might happen in the future is a major factor in our health. Understanding this factor is going to be a major element in your health.
Our great evolutionary gift is our mind. Our greatest problem is our mind. We use our mind to worry too much. We think all the time about our place in the world – we worry about the future, we fuss about the past. All of this drives the stress response. If you are being chased by a Lion, you need this. But if you are worry about stuff all the time, you are being bathed in Cortisol that damages your immune system and your health.
This social stress is one of the most important aspects of our health. It is part of the Trinity of the fit we need to be our most happy and healthy.
- Fit to our evolved diet – the Insulin Issue
- Fit to a healthy social community where we have a valued part – the cortisol issue
- Fit to the natural world – where we experience the fullness of nature – the Circadian issue
Robert Sapolsky is one of the most accessible researchers in this field and this short video is an excellent introduction to this aspect of your health. If you want to go deeper, here is his key lecture that goes all the way. If you find the science a bit baffling at the beginning – go to the last 1/3 where he puts it all in context with the baboons. Brilliant.
So what to do with all this chatter in our minds? Can we reduce this?
This of course is at the heart of most meditative practice – To reduce the chatter. I have found Tolle’s book The Power of Now a great help.