Diet pill or Lifestyle change – which approach do you take? The ‘quick-fix’ diet pill might help you lose a kilo or two. It resolves a perceived issue for a little while. The diet pill addresses one part of the whole you. A lifestyle change means looking at every part that is you. Lifestyle change means addressing food, moving, mindfulness, laughter, energy, drive, sleep, and the overall body, mind and ‘spirit’.
Diet pill or Lifestyle change?
The diet pill solution is a short-lived, often unsuccessful way to look at a perceived need to lure your body into change. The mind and ‘spirit’ does not enter into the scenario. The lifestyle change way is looking at the whole interconnected package – and reap the rewards with stunning results that continue to amaze you everyday – permanently.
It all depends on how you approach your life as a whole. As separate bits, that do not fit together – or – as an interconnected maze that depends on how you treat it.
Body and Mind – Separate or Connected?
The brain is part of the body – no discussion there. Scientists, philosophers and religious leaders debate if ‘the body and mind’ are separate entities, or connected. Does one influence the other – or – are they independent? Why does this matter when we talk about lifestyle changes?
If you have a bad day, you are likely to toss and turn and sleep doesn’t come easy. You wake up feeling depleted of energy, and reach for a coffee to get going. Instinctively the body and mind question doesn’t seem so hard to understand. You feel bad, you don’t sleep well, and energy levels are low as a result. The feeling is the mind. The sleeping, part of the body – right?
The mind is about mental processes, thoughts and consciousness. The body is about the physical aspects of the brain-neurons and how the brain is structured. The mind-body problem is about how these two interact. One of the central questions in psychology (and philosophy) concerns the mind/body problem: is the mind part of the body, or the body part of the mind? If they are distinct, then how do they interact? And which of the two is in charge?
Dualism and Monism – two schools of thought
In simplistic terms, there are two overriding schools of thought that have influenced religion, philosophy, physiology and also lifestyle change arguments.
Dualism: meaning ‘two’ or separate. Body and mind are independent of each other – and in this sense that the world can be divided into two entities – mind and matter. It is also the view that we are ruled by opposing forces of ‘good’ and ‘evil’, and that humans have two basic needs – the physical and the spiritual.
Most western thoughts are based on dualism principles. We can see that from the thought process whereby there are differences – distinctions – where people are separated from each other, from nature, and from divinity. Competing systems, right or wrong, ‘mind over matter’. Social grouping (class system), Cold war (countries), North – South divide (development/aid). Dualism from a lifestyle perspective means that body and mind are two separate entities, and not connected or interdependent. The diet pill come to mind. Treat one perceived issue, but no other. A famous ‘dualist’ was Rene Descartes who said:
I think; therefore I am. Rene Descartes
Monism: meaning ‘one’ or whole. Body and mind are dependant of one another – parts of a larger whole. Body and mind are one unit. The world is a system in need of balance, and the journey to get there an ongoing one. One is dependant on the other, to make it one whole system – in balance. The thought processes are not of opposing, or competing – they are a unit.
Most eastern or pre-christian thought schools have a basis in monism, and examples are: Yin and Yang, Buddhism, Native American, Nordic mythology, idealism and ‘New Age’ thinking. Reaching of the goal is not a goal – but instead – striving for balance in an ongoing journey to reach a higher plateau of existence. Monism from a lifestyle perspective would imply that if your ‘mental’ state is not well, your body will also be affected – and that you can positively change how you ‘feel’ by making changes to how you treat you body and your mind – and your whole being will reap the rewards as a result. Lifestyle change is indeed to deal with all parts of ‘you’! Bertrand Russell belonged to the Monist school of thought, and said:
The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time. Bertrand Russell
Diet pill or Lifestyle change – What approach to you take?
The Human Body Systems and the central nervous system, the brain are part of the body – and are in this sense the physical side. What many consider is that the body is separate from the mind – and as long as ‘I think, therefore I am‘ – I exist, and as such feel good. You say to yourself ‘Never mind’ – as the mind has nothing to do with how you’re feeling – take an aspirin – or a diet pill – , and continue with your task!
Now consider body and mind as part of a unit – and that one can not feel well without the other? Why is it important to look at these schools of thought when we are talking about lifestyle change? Actually – Just look at what makes our bodies work, function and flow, the Human Body Systems, and compare that with what we read in magazines daily.
‘The Best Diet Pill!’ versus ‘Health for Body and Mind’ – which ones do you believe speaks to you?
Did you ever try a diet, but did not address exercise? Or did you go into a Fitness drive, but did not change how you ate? Or – have you ever felt low – and tackled that with a drink and bag of crisps? How long did the diet, fitness fad take – and how long did it last? And – did the drink fix your bad day?
Motivation to change comes from within – and only you can find what works for you. If you wish to continue your search into what might work for you, continue to read The GOODista, subscribe and let us know what works for you? The Diet pill or the Lifestyle change approach?
Tips for Mind Body Balance, Chopra.com
Body and Health Systems, The Aim Companies
Definitions of Philosophy of mind, Wikipedia
Mind over Body, Sparkpeople.com
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