Symptoms vs Root Cause
In this short video, I want to talk to you about the difference between symptoms vs root cause
And why knowing this will help you pin down where you need to apply your attention if you want to get back in shape, stay fit and make health your main ingredient.
In medicine, symptoms are physical or mental signs that together, point to an underlying issue.
In other words, symptoms point to a root cause, also called disease. Painful symptoms will not be fixed unless the root cause is addressed.
Now, let’s take this understanding and apply it to nutrition and fitness.
Over and over again, I see people who say, I have some back pain, or, my knee is bothering me, or I’m feeling tired and lethargic every day, or I get sick often…And what they do is finding ways to patch those issues and go on with their lives, failing to realize that those signs are pointing to something deeper, they are symptoms of being unhealthy and out of shape.
If you understand back health, you know that just focusing on the area where you are experiencing back pain will not solve the issue, because your pain is often a symptom of your overall fitness level, and other deficient areas in your body can be linked to your back issue. We also can’t forget about nutrition.
The same logic applies to other health issues people have, there are symptoms of the body as a whole not being healthy and fit. You are as strong as your weakest link.
We want quick fixes, we look for a pill or quick solutions to problems we are facing. Like taking Tylenol if you get a headache. Taking it once, okay, but imagine taking it every day to turn off pain. How is that any different than someone taking illegal drugs to feel good.
This is what people are doing with back pain, headaches, digestive issues, lack of sleep, all the way to stress and depression.
Instead of fixing the root cause, they want to patch up issues at the surface.
The truth is, If you fail to dig deeper and understand the root cause of problems you face, they will keep growing in the dark, in your shadow, faster if you decide to numb yourself at the surface. Because physical and mental pain are like phone notifications for us to pause, and take care of our health.
That’s why I always say, nobody gets sick or overweight overnight, nobody gets chronic back pain, chronic sleep issues, diabetes or hypertension overnight…If you pay attention to yourself, you will notice early on signals your body is sending you, you will be able to sense when your body is getting out of sync, out of shape.
Generally, people don’t fall sick because of bad luck, it’s not a magic spell, it’s science. It’s the law of cause and effect. The body you have today, the mental state you have, your fitness, your pains, are all flowers of seeds you planted in the past.
As you might know, the US and the world at large are facing a health crisis. You hear that this country or that country has a terrible healthcare system, some want the government to spend more money, obesity is rising, heart diseases, the leading cause of death is killing young and old, and worse, drug addictions are on the rise, from illegal to prescribed pharmaceuticals. But to me and many in this field, all those issues are symptoms of deeper problems modern society is facing, obesity to cardiovascular issues and the opiate crisis are not diseases, they are symptoms pointing toward mental health and lack of peak wellness.
Diabetes, hypertension, heart diseases, if you have total control of your mind, move as a unit and understand the consequence of your lifestyle, your behavior will strengthen a healthy lifestyle.
Craving unhealthy food, overeating, impulse eating, boredom eating, all these triggers are mental and lead billions of people to get out of shape and be exposed to diseases that are preventable.
Debates on fixing the healthcare system continue to stay superficial, failing to address the root cause.
Helping people develop emotional control, mind control, equanimity…you automatically take care of those potential diseases from emerging.
Peak wellness is the highest mental state you can reach, depression is the lowest state. Being normal is in the middle. People in the middle, who are normal and not sick nor depressed assume that they don’t have to work on their mental state, why fix something that is not broken.
But that’s a dicey game because you don’t know how your body and mind will react if stress you experience every day increases by a few inches.
How many people we know to be strong-minded who, facing new challenges in life, completely collapse and let themselves go. Then they become addicted to overeating, get out of shape and start to gain weight, all the way to obesity, or worse, fall into drug addictions or depressions.
I don’t know if you are familiar with Jordan Peterson, whose book, 12 rules for life sold north of 3 million copies in the past two years. Becoming a huge success in the self-help category. Yet, someone as accomplished as Jordan Peterson, a clinical psychologist, ended up falling into a deep depression and became addicted to an antidepressant.
This is a perfect example of how someone with normal mental health can succumb to mental issues.
What happened to Jordan Peterson and many people we know personally are strong reminders that we each need to be proactive, with our health, physical and mental.
Modern life is very good at helping countries and people increase prosperity and wealth.
But modern society is not equipped to help individuals being fulfilled in life, blossoming.
Being centered, balanced, at ease, that’s mental wealth, prosperity is outside, it’s material wealth.
There is a saying in management that you become what you measure, and in modern society, our focus is on the external, material wealth, GDP and appearances. But have an honest conversation with people and you see how much need there is for mental wealth, inner calm and peace.
But that’s not a conversation you see on the public stage, everyone wants better healthcare, more money. The world is infinitely richer than 40 years ago, but mentally did we make a leap? Addictions are on the rise, depression, lack of fulfillment, there is a strong case that emotionally, humans are going backward, material wealth might be increasing for some, but mental health, in large, is going backward.
People want quick fixes, let’s throw more money at it, let’s blame the pharmaceutical companies,
The big food corporations, we focus on the suppliers but fail to look at the obvious, without demand, there would be no supply. Would Mc Donald survive without people buying it, would the drug cartels survive without demands for drugs? Would people be drawn to it if they were flourishing mentally?
What is our individual responsibility in what’s happening in the world? As buyers, we have tremendous power in deciding what companies stay at the top.
So three things to take away, first, look at the root cause of issues you might have, lack of sleep, back pain here and there, knee issues, take them seriously and fix your overall health and fitness.
Second, going deeper, look at your mental state, what can you do to improve it, and reflect on the connection between your mental health and happiness.
And third, what will be the ripple effects on the world at large if individuals increase their emotional health toward peak wellness.
Health is wealth but It’s up to you, thank you.