Black culture encourages the proper use of nature to establish one’s divine nature.
NOTE: This is Part 12 of a 12-part series that defines the core elements of Black culture.
Virtually everything we do is affected by our health — our thoughts, behaviors, how we handle challenges and setbacks, how we relate to others, our mood, vitality levels, ability to achieve goals, etc. Health is a major component of our lives. As we age, our health issues often become more prominent. Thus, promoting good health should be a principal aspect of an “advanced” culture.
If you want to improve your health, you must know some basic biology. When you’re emotional, certain chemicals are activated – namely adrenaline and cortisol to stimulate the fight or flight response. Blood flow goes to the muscles to stimulate a reaction as though you’re being threatened. If you remain in a persistent emotional state, the shortage of blood flow is what makes you sick because it deprives vital organs of blood and nutrients. If you indulge in these emotions several times per day, your body cannot rejuvenate itself. Since the indulgence of emotions is the chief cause of illness, the key to health and longevity is to eliminate stressful responses.
According to the World Health Organization, stress is “a state of worry or mental tension caused by a difficult situation. Stress is a natural human response that prompts us to address challenges and threats in our lives. Everyone experiences stress to some degree. The way we respond to stress, however, makes a big difference to our overall well-being.” Stress is your physiological response to a challenge… …it is not the situation itself that is “stressful.” Avoidance of so-called stressful situations does not resolve the problem.
Stress causes a variety of problems in life. For instance, stress makes it difficult for many people to relax or sleep well. Stress also causes a range of emotions, including anxiety and irritability. When stressed, we may find it difficult to concentrate, and experience headaches or other body pains and digestive problems. Chronic stress can worsen pre-existing health conditions and increase the use of alcohol, tobacco and other substances. In addition, functioning in a persistently stressful (emotional) manner will invariably cause opposition with others and lead to conflict and estrangement.
Stressful situations can also cause or exacerbate mental health conditions, most commonly anxiety and depression. Mental health conditions are often due to symptoms of stress that have become persistent and have begun affecting normal daily functioning.
The chief cause of stress is in the mind due to wrong thinking and not in the myriad of events that have been classified as “stressors.” The primary cause of illness is your self-image, i.e., what you think and believe about yourself. The human self-image lays the foundation for reacting emotionally in life. The human believes it is natural to behave emotionally. It is the acceptance and perpetuation of these emotions that create illness. The ultimate cause of healing is to adopt a divine self-image. A divine self-image is when you are peaceful and joyful no matter what is going on in your life.
The key to healing is to eliminate negative emotional responses in your life. Holistic healing requires establishing peace and joy in your life. If you can hold onto peace and joy in all situations, you will be healthier. Tension (or stress) is the opposite of peace and it inhibits your ability to be peaceful. A major source of stress is a false belief that your physical circumstances cannot be changed, which leads to low self-esteem, worries, doubts, fears, depression, etc. Once we eliminate the stress, all that remains is peace.
Challenges are unavoidable and provide opportunities for personal growth. Our natural response to adversity and challenge is peace! The negative effects of emotions result in lowered IQ, poor performance, ill health, etc. If negative emotions diminish your well-being and survival it cannot be natural. However, being peaceful amid all challenging situations promotes mental clarity, improved performance and problem-solving, better health, etc. Therefore, peace is natural to your well-being and the stress response is unnatural.
Life is all about how to attain the goal of happiness, but first, you must heal your brain and re-train your mind. Tension (or stress) is the opposite of peace and it inhibits your ability to be joyful. Everything on earth is transitory, but peace and pleasure are eternal. Once we eliminate the stress response through deep meditation and self-reflection, yoga, qi gong, proper diet and nutritional supplementation, quality sleep and other healthy lifestyle practices, all that remains is peace and joy.
Adherence to good health practices is an essential requirement for a good life by living in accordance with nature. Our culture is under assault due to unnaturally poor health practices. However, good health is a vital component of Black culture. Since Black culture is rooted in functioning in a godly manner above everything else in life, all the other elements of Black culture are designed to help you properly handle your earthly existence through the adoption of a divine self-image. The establishment of our divine birthright is our most beneficial health practice.