Global warming, bushfires out of control, hurricanes and cyclones, floods, polluted waterways, endangered species, melting icecaps – these are some of the environmental issues that are confronting our world today. With increasing warnings from scientists, we are more aware than ever before about the urgent need for action. We are all trying to do our bit – buying fewer plastics, recycling and reusing, conserving energy and resources where we can. Most of us are prepared to make some sacrifices to contribute to a better environment.
But it’s challenging when the weather here in Queensland heats up, and that air-conditioning makes life so much more comfortable. It’s hard when the bike is there in the garage, but the car would be so much quicker. It’s tempting when the strawberries are on sale, but they are only available in plastic containers. We want a less toxic world, but it takes dedication, sacrifice and a community approach.
As well as the environmental toxins, this is also a time of emotional toxicity in our world. There is so much divisiveness around us right now, with people holding on tight to often opposing opinions and world views, unable to begin to understand the “other side”. COVID seems to have amplified these differences – there are the “vaxxers” and the “anti-vaxxers”; the supporters of lock-down for the good of the community and those protesting for their freedom; the conspiracy theorists and …. You get the picture. Even our state and local governments are at odds with each other, and the blame is flying. People feel misunderstood and alienated from each other and from those whose opinions are different from their own.
What can we do to reduce the emotional toxicity in our lives? Our first reaction might be avoidance. But this is not always wise or possible. We have control over how we react to any situation or encounter, so the extent of the toxic impact on us is up to us. “It’s not negative emotions that directly impact our health and well-being, but how we react and process them when we do experience them that really counts” (https://positivepsychology.com/negative-emotions/). One way to minimise the toxicity is not ruminating too much about the conflict and adding meaning to the interaction that may or may not be true.
Acceptance of each other is another important way to reduce the stress and anger that can be a by-product of emotionally toxic interactions. It doesn’t necessarily mean agreeing with those with a different point of view, but more agreeing to disagree. The bottom line is to listen, be open and see the human being in the other person. After all, holding anger and resentment does more damage to us and changes nothing externally. Like Ram Dass, a famous spiritual teacher, once said,” Allow people to be who they need to be.” It is not our business to change people or expect them to be who we want them to be. Food for thought…..
In these challenging times, care and self-care are more important than ever. East Asian medicine has always been focused on physical and emotional balance.
At Ondol Clinic, we are here to support you in times of stress and uncertainty. Whether it is preventative or protective, we can assist you in strengthening and balancing your body and releasing your mind with Acupuncture, moxibustion, herbal medicine, and Yoga.
If you have any further questions or would like more information on lifestyle advice, acupuncture or booking appointments, please call us on 3371 0100 or visit www.ondol.com.au/make-a-booking/.