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Are You a Drug Addict?

Thoughts on the use of caffeine in society and finding balance in your life

I don't know about you, but it seems that more and more these days our society, our jobs and environment keep us pushing ourselves more and more. We are now trained as a society that if you are tired, then drink coffee/tea and keep going. Forget about listening to your body saying it is tired and wants a nap. Naps are for wimps right?? It's as if drinking coffee/tea is a "Vitamin"that is good and helps your body. We have become so reliant on these stimulants just to function each day. It really is a drug that people are addicted to and rely on. Heard of the "Red Bull Energy Drink"? Seems like all the rage and the next hyped "energy drink". Well, coffee is no longer enough and people have to take larger and larger doses of stimulants to keep going as their adrenal glands get exhausted.

Last weekend I was traveling to California and as we had breakfast in the hotel and stopped in the airport to get food I always noticed the huge long lines of people waiting to get their "fix" of morning coffee. I've heard about how people can't do anything in the morning till they have their cup of tea/coffee! How have we all become so disconnected from our bodies that we no longer listen to the signals it gives us?? As a result people have more and more health problems. Then to top it off, everyone wants the quick fix. As if taking a pill is going to erase all the damage done to your body after years of abuse.

I have been fortunate to have been raised very health conscious so tend to be very sensitive to my body and it's messages. I used to love drinking cold-coffee with ice cream back in my boarding school days, and we used to get watered down black tea for breakfast and snack. I still love the taste of coffee and tea but avoid it because of the caffeine. My body is so sensitive to the caffeine that if I drink a Coke one day...the next morning I still feel it in my system and wake up a lot during the night because the caffeine is still in my system. That's because different people process caffeine differently in their bodies.

Did you know that one of the symptoms of being dehydrated (not drinking enough water) is fatigue and being tired? Rather than drink water, more and more people drink sugar filled drinks and have little actual water. Not only does this cause dehydration and fatigue, but drinking this much soda can be very unhealthy. It's a cycle that only takes you down and down.

Did you know that in Chinese the word for "food" and the word for "drug" are the same word? Anything we put in our body affects us whether we call it a food or a drug. Chinese medicine recognizes that. I know a big part of this is awareness. A lot of people just don't know that certain things can be bad for our health. But if we want to live healthy, long lives then we have to educate ourselves and take care of our body! You take your car to get tune-ups and repairs right? The better you take care of your car the longer it will last. The same with your body. If you ignore it, the signals will get louder and louder until your body forces you to listen and then you have no choice. Unfortunately you can't always reverse the damage that has been done.

If you want to refrain from something, refrain when you are young. Youth is the time of life when you can do anything. It is during the time of old age that the bloody wolf declares, ‘Now I have become vegetarian’ because after losing his teeth he can’t hunt anything.” - SSS Harbhajan Singh Khalsa

I'm sure we all do some things which are not healthy. Even if you don't drink tea/coffee we all ignore our bodies from time to time. I'm guilty as well, however I try to manage it consciously. For the past 14 years I have worked a huge amount of hours on a regular basis on the computer (doing SikhNet) and as a result get tendonitis in my wrists. Even though I'm doing good things with the time that I spend, I still have to take time to rest and take care of myself (which is not always easy).

I just got back from four days with my wife, away from work and the kids, relaxing in the mountains of Crested Butte, Colorado. Even with two half days of driving (getting there and back) I feel so much better having had some time to rest and relax. Taking time off for vacations is a must, but in the end we have to balance ourselves so that we have little "vacations" every day! Each day we have to consciously find time to de-stress, rest, have fun, and enjoy life!

Ultimately, everything can be bad for you if done in excess. You don't need to be fanatic to mess up. Too much or too little of many things can be bad. Finding the balance is key.  Life is a constant balancing act and learning how to create balance in our lives is a constant process. Especially for us "workaholics!"

Here are some helpful related links:

  1. Caffeine, Stress and Your Health: Is Caffeine Your Friend or Your Foe?
  2. How Do I Handle All This Stress?
  3. Getting up Early in the Morning
  4. Drink the Healthy "Yogi Tea"
  5. 11 Tips For Drinking More Water
  6. Practice Kundalini Yoga
  7. Finding Balance in Your Life - Cycles of every day life
  8. Food, exercise and balancing your Life
  9. Stress - A State of Mind
  10. Kundalini Yoga and Meditation for Dealing with Stress
  11. Simple Meditation Using Your Breath
  12. Using Meditation to Deal with Stress
  13. The Health Benefits of Yoga

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