January 08, 2014

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Positive Psychology and Herbs: How to reach more people

My Story

 

I am 40 years old and grew up around herbs and wholistic living. I remember playing on the floor in my aunts herbal store, stacking the bottles to make pyramids. I remember the smell of herbs every time I stepped into my aunts house. Often times the very things we grow up around we tend not to appreciate. I grew up doing just the opposite of what I was taught. I ate Mc Donalds everyday, drink liters of Pepsi and Coke. Interestingly enough, the earliest memory I have of reading was being able to sound out french fries on the McDonalds Menu. After many years of no excercise and living a junk food lifestyle, my life started to stagnate. I couldn't sleep. My blood pressure was out of control. Often times awake from overdoses of caffeine, I could not even attend family and religious functions because of being so sick. I was getting fat. Many times people will look at a sunrise or sunset and feel relaxed. During those time of days I would get deeply depressed, a heaviness would feel my chest. You see when I saw the sunrise or sunset it just reminded me that I could not sleep that I had not slept between the cycle of the sun. The worst thing that hurt the most was that people just didn't understand. I would at times get snide remarks that I was lazy or a loafer. While my body sat in waste, the world inside of my head wanted to jump out and accomplish things. I literally became a prisoner of my own body. So, because I could not do physical things, I spent years developing my mind and I came to some interesting conclusions.

 

I am by nature an extremely skeptical man. Perhaps that is why while attending UC Davis my primary academic interest was rooted in epistemology, Social Psychology, and Logic. When I was younger surrounded by the people who were herbalists I saw things that were not backed by science. Now I know writing this will upset some in the various herbal related traditions and schools of thought, perhaps even Aunt Jenny. As a caveat, I should also say that some of the things that I  had seen as a youngster, I know was not back by any scientific rigor but I also know that such techniques have helped thousands and thousands of people. While science is definitely good, it is not everything. Seeing some of the things that I saw, some things that certain circle dub as pseudo-science and quackery, I know for a fact, in varying ways help people.  However, as I grew up, I was turned away from herbs and some of the things the "holistic" folks talk about because of what I see as a lack of rigor. While "developing my mind", surrounded by books and computers. Studying day in and day out. I stumbled on an article, I don't quite remember the exact article, but the title talked about food addictions, thhen another article only weeks later gave me another "aha" moment, The Science of Positive Psychology. I did not know it, but those two articles would end up changing my life. It is the combination of these two small articles that would cause me to think of a new way to approach health.

My next post will cover these two articles and how I used them to slowly, steadily, and permanently change my life.