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In The Essence: All-round shaping since childhood

Posted on July 15, 2010 in Specials

By Bindu N Doddahatti:

Health and lifestyle are one of the most sort after topics at present. After the establishment of the UNO these things started gaining much attention from all over the world. In 1986, the WHO, in the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion, said that HEALTH is “a resource for everyday life, not the objective of living. Health is a positive concept emphasizing social and personal resources, as well as physical capacities. In the same way, LIFESTYLE can be defined as, “A way of life or style of living that reflects the attitudes and values of a person or group”. It can be said that the Lifestyle of a person reflects the personality of that person.

Health and lifestyle are interrelated. Lifestyle of a person determines the Health of that person. Lifestyle or health related factors are behaviour factors, material factors (such as the environment and living standards) and psychosocial factors (for example, stress and risk taking). These factors often exist in clusters, for example behaviour and social issues that impact health including smoking, diet, nutrition, family violence and alcohol. The combined effects of these factors are devastating as they account for many cardiovascular, diabetes and cancer deaths, poor diet and lack of physical activity leading to obesity thereby reducing life expectancy or sexual behaviour leading to teenage pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. Both developing and developed countries around the world are experiencing an explosion of these lifestyle diseases.

Modern lifestyle has  wrought major and potentially disruptive changes in the traditional family and gender relationships. Some of the most important problems of this lifestyle are Tension – Physical, mental, emotional, health problems - Physical, mental and emotional diseases (including psychosomatic disorders), Ecological pollution/rupture in Ozone Layer,  Disturbed Family Relations, Violence and Cruelty, Corruption/Dishonesty/Immorality, Drug-addiction, Neglect of Law and Order and Ethical, Moral and Social Discipline, Armament and Keeping Arsenals of Nuclear Weapons, Exploitationetc.

When compared with the traditional lifestyle, this modern life style is proving to be destructive to all means of life on Earth. The traditional lifestyle was very simple as people were healty, had longer life spans, were happy with what they had and maintained peace and co-operation. But the newly adopted lifestyle is deadly against the traditional one and  is highly harmful. If changes are not brought in lifestyle that we are living with, certainly there is going to be destruction all over. It may be related to Health or other matters.

Firstly changes should be brought in the education system which later accounts for our lifestyle. It is obvious that the main purpose of education should be character-development, mental equilibrium and peace of mind. Alas, this purpose has been entirely ignored by the educationists. The present system of education does possess elements which are efficient enough to develop the intellect and talent potential. If this was not so, how could it have produced scientists, engineers and doctors? But, inspite of becoming an expert in one’s respective field by education, one does suffer from enormous mental tensions, because he has not been taught how to relax. A very learned person may be full of psychological distortions such as cruelty, retaliation etc. We may be surprised when a talented scientist commits suicide, say under the unbearable stress of jealousy or despondency. We would be justified in asking: Did this highly educated person not learn to maintain emotional equilibrium when under stress? Does our educational system contribute anything at all to prepare the future citizens to learn to relax and maintain mental equilibrium and peace under the present stressful conditions? It is abundantly clear that we shall have to supplement and enrich the present system with such training that can reinforce the student’s reasoning mind, increase his capacity for bearing stress instead of buckling down, and help him to subdue fear, hatred, jealousy and lust. With that, everything should be done in moderation — eating, working, resting, playing, maintaining hobbies, socializing, and so on.

“Health is a state of complete harmony of the body, mind and spirit. When one is free from physical disabilities and mental distractions, the gates of the soul open.”  ~B.K.S. Iyengar.

Everything we do depends on how we take things and how we do things. Even the new and problematic lifestyle that is ruling can become a healthy and happy lifestyle by living our life in the Right way and with Positive thinking.