The most common reason patients come to see me is because of consequences of lifestyle (such as diabetes and high blood pressure from being overweight and sedentary). Most people intend to be healthier, they say they want to exercise regularly, they want to eat better, they don’t want to be on medication, but they find themselves too busy with managing family and work and the chores of life, and feel too tired to go for a jog and have no time to prepare a meal from scratch. In truth, every aspect in a day is a choice, everything we do or don’t do is a decision, and these decisions demonstrate our priorities. In our North American culture, we are encouraged to strive, to be over-worked, to be over-committed; many of us have to live like this for financial reasons, but our culture encourages this over-subscribed lifestyle to keep us consuming and to keep us distracted from paying attention to our best interests.
Not taking care of our basic needs for good health can cause or exacerbate anxiety.
Anxiety arises out of difference, out of comparing ourselves or being compared, from fearing or being judged ‘less than.’ These differences are based on aspects such as class, race, ethnicity, biology – generally traits that we have no choice about, and thereby easy targets – and they are used to gate-keep us, to determine who has access to what sorts of education and employment and housing. These differences determine your opportunities in your life. These differences are used to determine who has access to ‘the good life.’