There's a "great big elephant in the room"1 -- a startling, well-verified fact about health and wellbeing that is being avoided, even though it is oh-so obvious.
With the help of decades of solid research we now know that the number one cause for ill-health and early death is ... NOT obesity, or smoking or bad diet, or bad genes, or any of the other lifestyle factors most think of.
What Sir Prof. Michael Marmot and others have found is that the number one factor in your ill-health is "lack of control over your life." This by far determines the level of your wellbeing and health.
"Autonomy - how much control you have over your life - and the opportunities you have for full social engagement and participation are crucial for health, well-being, and longevity."2
Yet few are talking about it because we can't prescribe a pill for ... toxic relationships that are keeping you in turmoil. We can't prescribe a pill for those who are too poor to afford good services and medical care. We can't prescribe a pill for working in a job you hate.
The "elephant in the room" is being avoided because people think it's too hard to fix. It's believed to be hard because the relationships we have with the world have been deeply habituated. We forget to notice how much we deny ourselves in order to fit in, or to be "one of the boys".
Fortunately it becomes easy to see these restrictive and damaging relationships when a good Belief Doctor is on hand.
- 1. For those unfamiliar with the term, "an elephant in the room" means there is an obvious truth or fact about life that everyone in the room is avoiding. People will discuss the weather, politics, everything but the glaringly obvious, because it's too embarrassing or difficult to deal with, even though it is huge and hard to not notice it.
- 2. Michael Marmot, The Status Syndrome: How Social Standing Affects Our Health and Longevity, Holt Paperbacks, 2005, page 1