Supplements ... The New Magic Pills?
If I hear one more person suggest supplements as the cure to
life stressors I'll scream! Everywhere I go I hear someone
talking about this or that supplement, this or that herb, this
or that dietary regime as the answer to health and happiness.
Over the next week or so, listen for the ads yourself and take
On the radio I hear, "Are you feeling stressed? Is your life
reeling out of control? Do you have too much to do, too little
time to do it? Then send for ABC product and help protect
yourself from the ravages of stress. ABC will restore your
health and well being"
Or one like this, "Do you suffer from heartburn or acid stomach?
Is the stress in your life catching up to you? Then send for XYZ
product and solve your stomach problems."
Or I am conversing with a holistic health practitioner and I
hear, "If only so and so would get into herbs, or put a drop or
two of this or that under their tongue every day, their problems
would be solved." How would they know what problems or life
stressors so-and-so is dealing with?
Multi-level marketers, physician offices, traditional or
integrative, it doesn't matter. All want you to ingest some
magic product to solve all your problems. Never mind that the
stress is caused by behavioral habits that need to change, or by
distorted thinking that impedes success and destroys
self-esteem. Never mind that relationship or financial problems
keep us awake at night. Never mind that you are fourteen years
old, have no friends and are being harassed at school. Just take
these products and you will feel better. The only difference
between the old and the new line is that the traditional
physicians push chemicals and man made medicines, and holistic
practitioners push soy, herbs, and gluten-free diets.
For heaven's sake, even on a popular wellness physician's
website I read, "From improved energy and lowered stress levels
to a stronger immune system, our special vitamin plan has the
answers." Apparently you can answer a set of questions and
magically solve your problems as you "receive regular delivery
of your customized supplement packs." Apparently you can answer
a set of questions and magically solve your problems as you
"receive regular delivery of your customized supplement packs."
Unfortunately, no matter how fantastic the supplements are,
stress releases damaging hormones into the system and shuts down
immune function, and no pills or supplements will reverse that
process. Only identifying the source of the stress, and doing
something about it, will solve that problem.
But, unfortunately, that takes work. Quick and easy is always
easier to sell. It is a little harder to stop, look around, and
make life changes, than to stick something in our mouth every
day. It is much easier to merrily continue to do what we have
always done, and get what we have always gotten. And what we get
is chronic stress. And chronic stress brings with it worries and
fears, stomachaches, backaches and migraines, arthritis and
heart disease, numerous doctor appointments, and strained
relationships at home and at work.
What is the answer? Fortunately the answer is not as difficult
as it may seem. You don't have to stop with your supplements,
vitamins, yoga or meditation. Just add a few minutes a day to go
inside and become aware of you. Look at your life as a pie, with
each slice a different area such as physical health, spiritual
health, relationship health, finances, work, social, etc.
Consider each area and ask yourself, "On a scale of one to ten,
how do I feel about this part of my life? Do I experience stress
in this area of my life?
If you identify a problem area, decide whether you want to do
anything about it. If you do decide on change, develop a plan of
action to reduce stress and improve satisfaction in that area.
Then follow through with your plan. If you have trouble
following through, or feel you would benefit from a little help,
hire a life coach. They say two heads are better than one. There
is no limit to what you can achieve with a little support and a
lot of encouragement from a friend.