Inflammation. You’ve probably had it whether you know it or not.
It’s those things that end in “itis.”
Arthritis. Pancreatitis. Bronchitis. Tendonitis. Tonsilitis.
The “itis” tells us that a body part is swollen or inflamed. It generally causes pain, reduced function, varying immobility, negative side effects elsewhere, and many more possibilities.
The thing about inflammation is that we generally treat the symptoms and not the cause. Although, most medicine these days is aimed at that. Just look at all of the pharmaceutical commercials on television. Relief, not the root.
There are now doctors and other healthy people who are encouraging us to reduce the inflammation in our bodies, so that the pathways for everything are more clear. Antibodies, vitamins, blood, oxygen and all that we need to function properly, require smooth roads to keep us running at 100%. Heart surgeon, Dr. Dwight Lundell, has been very active in getting his research out to the American public. Cholesterol doesn’t kill you. Cholesterol is a natural additive our body uses to keep those pathways (arteries and veins) lubricated as we age. Cholesterol becomes the problem, when the walls of the pathways become inflamed and squeeze down around all of the good stuff flowing through them. There are many foods that we are consuming today that cause or encourage the inflammation of our body’s pathways. Doesn’t the saying go, “You are what you eat?”
I have personal experience with another group called Whole9 who have a program called the Whole30. It removes all of those foods which cause inflammation in the body and try to restore some more fluid pathways. The process also is designed to retrain our tastebuds to desire quality food that doesn’t cause harm and instead find new flavors and excitement for the quality foods. I have completed one Whole30 and it was amazing. Read more about it here in a previous post. I plan on doing another one very soon.
I wondered if there were other aspects of my life that had been affected by inflammation and, therefore, were preventing me from fully using all of the capacity of my brain and body. It had occurred to me that my creativity and personal learning levels hadn’t been at heights they once were. I wondered what had led to that.
I finally settled on the fact that I’m like most people in the smartphone world: I’m filled to overflowing with endless todo lists, 24-hour news, newsfeeds from multiple social networks and therefore too many things to think about or try than I could ever attempt to accomplish. For an extroverted, goal-based, passionate, idea person like myself, it’s overwhelming and I hadn’t put my finger on it.
Now, some of you could stop reading right here and say, “Yeah, good points here Seth. Eating better to prevent health issues sounds great, but my mind feels healthy. I don’t know what you’re talking about.” I’d say, “Fantastic! Carry on.” For people like me, I have an idea.
Create more space by decreasing inflammation.
Well…how do I do that?
Get at the cause.
My cause seems to be an addiction to information input. It’s something I love anyway. Learning, growing, searching. The only problem is that I’ve been filling that desire and space with little bits of frivolous details. NOTE: I’m not calling Facebook and Twitter, etc bad nor am I saying I don’t like knowing what my friends and family are up to. I just use that information to fill spaces of time when my brain could be creating, playing, thinking, pondering, or just simply resting. I (and this could be the case for you too) seem to be causing inflammation of the neural channels that allow my creativity to pass freely, to be in the moment with a conversation, to think deeply about a topic for more than 2.5 seconds.
Now, again, this may not be you. If you don’t struggle with this, I am sincerely elated for you! Yet, in my interactions and conversations with a few other people, I know there may be others.
I’m going to attempt to reduce inflammation in two areas of my life and I haven’t set end dates for them. I’m going to be checking back in with myself to see how I feel mentally and physically for positives gains. I’ll post some updates on here as well.
1- Reducing physical inflammation by doing the Whole30.
2- Reducing mental inflammation by only checking my social media notifications once a week and replying then.
What do I hope to accomplish?
1- If my body is less inflamed, then I should see less body aches, pains and overall wellness. Hopefully sleep will be better and my emotions will be even more steady and positive.
2- With less mental inflammation, I hope to have more processing power to create, rather than consume. I’ll be reading and learning from one book at a time, rather than skimming 20-30 articles in the same amount time. Hopefully that will enable me to remember and apply that information more. More than anything, when in conversation with others or when I have 1-2 minutes of quiet time, I won’t immediately be tempted to pull out my phone and fill that space with snippets of information I probably won’t even remember or need to. I may even have more time to call and talk with friends and family whom I love.
We’ll see how it goes and I’ll give an update in a few weeks!