I recently heard Dr. Murad speak at a conference about conquering cultural stress and he also gave away his book. Conquering Cultural Stress, The Ultimate Guide to Anti-Aging and Happiness. I thought the book was a great reminder of how to stay sane in this high paced, never ending “to do” society.
Cultural stress is man-made, meaning it comes from the evolution of our environment and our reaction to it. Cultural stress is a collection of the daily events ingrained within people’s habits because of the perception that these rituals are needed for everyday subsistence. They include daily long commutes to work, watching the news, the pressures of work, managing health issues, being “on time” and over scheduled, technostress, social media, emails, texts etc. Internally cultural stress can cause sleep issues, hormonal imbalances and accelerate aging. The good news is, is we can manage and control cultural stress.
The things I found most valuable in the book: 3 pillars of the Fountain of Youth:
#1) Give yourself permission to live a more imperfect, playful life, in the pursuit of happiness and total well-being. As we get older we tend to lose that joyful inner zest, that we had when we were children. It becomes hard to keep a positive attitude given life’s trials and our exceedingly high expectations of ourselves. The irony is that we expect more and more from ourselves and strive to be perfect, we simultaneously fail to put ourselves first and really take care of our bodies from the inside out.
#2) Watch what you put in your body. Adopt a water eating plan, which means eating more water-rich foods. We absorb water in food more slowly because it is trapped in the structure of the food. That slow absorption means that water in food stays in our bodies longer, with a multitude of additional benefits. A cucumber is a great example of this. Because cucumbers are 96% water, eating a three-ounce cucumber is almost the same as drinking three ounces of water, but better.
#3) Take time to be mindful every day, which could mean mediating a little each day, or just taking time to be quiet in nature or at home. Get outside and go for a quiet walk or take a yoga class. Don’t have time for any of that? Just remember to take deep breathe, when you are in the car, before you have a meal or a drink of water. Take a moment to take a few deep breaths, it will calm your system and bring you into the present moment.
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