The best wellness advice that I ever got
In a world filled with spirulina face masks, activated charcoal, chlorella, and cordyceps on toast, it would be fair to say that perhaps we are overcomplicating wellness. Health has never been more convoluted in the history of man, as today we are overloaded with miraculous superfoods be it our humble turmeric, or acai berry powder from the Amazon. We’re popping supplements, eating superfoods, rolling out our yoga mats with the hope that we will be healthier and happier. Still, the rates of depression and suicide are going up. And despite all the wellness advice, I’m not sure if we’re even physically more healthy than our ancestors.
In fact, some of the wellness advice is borderline dangerous. I follow many wellness bloggers and one of them was mixing ashwagandha into her matcha. There was no warning about ashwagandha being unsuitable for people who have high blood pressure. Just “hey this is a great adaptogen, have it!”
So, it was a refreshing to interview Dr. Sir. Jitendra Uniyal for a Vogue post on boosting energy. He pooh-poohed all my questions about energy boosters and he told me three very basic things you can do to increase the flow of energy. You can read that post here.
But more than that he told me that the health of our bodies depends on two emotions - love and fear. And these days unfortunately the whole wellness industry is based on fear. Don’t eat this or you’ll put on weight. Could you be allergic to gluten? Should you eliminate sugar from your diet? OMG that samosa is going straight to your arse. Fear, fear, and more fear. We feel guilty when we eat a slice of cake, or indulge in chole bhature. And when we do indulge guiltlessly, we spend the next morning fretting about how to work it off. I know I do.
But this fear goes deeper than just wellness. We are fearful of everything. Of getting assaulted when we go out, of being alone, of never finding love. And more than anything else, we are afraid of being failures.
I for one over push myself. I set high standards and then work my hardest to meet them. And still I worry about failing. Or not being good enough. In my experience, everything I've learnt in life is from my failures. As have you. But despite knowing and understanding that failure eventually is a good thing, we are still afraid of it.
Dr Uniyal seemed like a real chiller, so I asked him how does one deal with fear? His answer was very simple: “Just do what you’re supposed to do and don’t worry about the outcome, because no one can control it.” It sounds easy and obvious, but it has literally been the best piece of advice that has helped me a lot.
Now when I need to write I write, and when I need to rest, I rest. Without worrying about the outcome. Because when you worry about the outcome you tend to not do what you’re supposed to at that moment. In my case these days I need to rest…and so I am, because its best thing for now.