The dangers of overmedication
Medicine exists for a reason; you take it to deal with physical, emotional or psychological pain. When prescribed and taken correctly, medication is an effective tool for wellness. Unfortunately, in our fast-paced and demanding lives, it is often easier to reach for the pill bottle than it is to manage issues that might not otherwise require medicine. This has led to a great deal of overmedication in America.
Think about your daily routine and how health issues can interrupt it. It might seem tempting to take a few Advil every time you have a slight headache – after all, you need to get back to work – but let’s assume you take the medicine and correct what’s causing the headache. Sure, we all get little aches and pains sometimes, but if you are suffering from problems constantly, it’s important to get to the root cause rather than take medication over and over again.
Overmedication can have adverse long-term effects that result in serious health problems like addiction, organ failure or even death. The next time you consider taking pills you might not need, try one of these methods for health and vitality instead.
Overhaul your diet
A healthy mind and body are two prime factors for success. When your diet is healthy and sustainable, you feel your best and can perform at a top level. On the other hand, if you’re fond of cookies, candy and sugar and spend your days downing processed foods and alcohol, you’ll feel lethargic – not to mention that sort of diet leaves you susceptible to health problems like heart disease and obesity. Many people who subsist on a poor diet have overmedicated in their efforts to ease aches and pains, or get a boost of energy. If this sounds like you, set aside the medicine and focus on cleaning up your diet. Choose plant-based proteins, high-quality fats and dairy and water-rich fruits and vegetables.
Say goodbye to being sedentary
If you work in an office setting, chances are you spend most of your day seated. This can be a necessary part of your job, but a sedentary lifestyle can wreak havoc on your health. You may be turning to overmedication for the sore back, shoulders and wrists that often come with computer-based work, or for headaches, eye strain and stress.
You can’t reach your peak state by sitting around all day, so find ways to take control of your health and keep moving. Can you walk or bike to work instead of driving? Can you squeeze in 20 minutes on the treadmill during your lunch break, or even do some exercises at your desk? Challenge yourself to get in at least a solid hour of movement each day. Whether you just walk or join some group fitness classes, you’ll find that aerobic exercise will energize your body and mind.
Take care of your mind and spirit
We often limit thoughts of health to our physical bodies. We worry we’ve gained weight or feel achy, forgetting that our physical forms are only part of the full portrait of wellness. Reaching your peak state means physical wellness and mental health, which comprises your mental, emotional and psychological state. Take control of your mental health by adopting a growth mindset, choosing gratitude and learning to meditate.
Taking small but meaningful moments to appreciate your life and visualize your goals can work wonders on your personal health and relationships. Tony uses priming techniques to start each morning, noting that this 10-minute practice gives him the clarity and energy he needs to have an extraordinary day.
Combat stress and loneliness
Experiencing negative emotions can lead to physical ailments in the body. When you regularly feel stressed, anxious or depressed, you may have physical symptoms like headaches, weight gain or heart problems, or begin suffering from insomnia. It’s crucial to learn how to manage your stress levels so you can live in a healthy, balanced life. This means identifying what is stressing you out and either removing it from your life or, if that’s not possible, learning how to live with that stressor without letting it get to you.
One way to face stress and other problems is to accept that life is happening for you, not to you. You are ultimately in control of your life; the only person you can change is yourself. You are fully capable of mitigating a stressful situation, but you may not have figured out how to yet. By realizing that life happens for you, you cease to be a bystander in your own life and start taking control of your everyday thoughts and actions. This simple shift in mindset can make you feel more open to taking on new challenges.
Additionally, it’s proven that loneliness can have catastrophic effects on humans. When you feel socially isolated, your stress hormones rise, meaning your immune system is weakened and you’re at greater risk for issues like heart disease and stroke. Make it a point to reach out to loved ones. Interact with family, neighbors and coworkers, or join a local professional or recreational group.
Medicine has its place in American culture, but many people in the United States use medication as a cure-all. Instead of damaging your body through overmedication, identify ways you can fortify yourself without substances.
The information and other content provided in this article, or in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment. See full disclaimer.
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