We are bombarded with between two to four millions bits of information each second. The conscious mind can only process about 134 bits per second, so there is little wonder if we feel stressed. A further explanation of how our minds deal with all this information is the topic for another time, but for now I want to talk about some choices we make in our everyday lives.
Companies who want you to buy their products advertise in ways that compel you to buy. They use specific strategies to effectively get their message across. Do you recall a time when your young children were with you at the grocery store, and they knew precisely what cereal you should buy? What they wanted you to buy may not have been your first choice, based on your rational, thoughtful consideration, but did you buy it anyway?
This is merely an illustration of the effectiveness of the advertising strategies, read “manipulation.” If we are told something often enough, especially while evoking a desired emotional state, and even more compelling if consistent with our belief system, we will quite easily and with little critical thought comply with that which we have been told. We have been told that reliable, scientific study is required in order to have confidence in claims made by companies about their products. Do you ever wonder who performed the studies or who funded the studies? Actually, we know (yes, from scientific study) that if the scientists performing the tests believe in a particular outcome, the results will be skewed toward that outcome.
If you knew a product had harmful side effects, you would surely not buy that product, would you? Have you ever bought products containing Aspartame, for example? Reports by the CDC, the FDA, and others list possible side effects associated with Aspartame including headaches, dizziness, seizures, hyperactivity, high blood pressure, hypothyroidism, and depression. We have been led to believe that the chemicals in the foods we eat have been sufficiently tested to be safe. It appears that the more tests that are performed on Aspartame, the more links to serious risks to our health are uncovered. Perhaps more tests (independent and reliable) should have been performed before the FDA allowed Aspartame to be used in our foods. Whatever the case, many believe that Aspartame and substances like it (artificial sweeteners) are actually harmful.
With all the misinformation out there, it is up to you to determine what is best for you and your family. Read every test with a skeptic’s eye, and the next time you watch an advertisement on television, you may want to ask, “Who funded that study,” or “Can what they want me to buy really be better for me than the most original, natural product I can find?” Our bodies were made to ingest natural, organic foods. Do you truly believe chemicals you can’t pronounce are going to be better for you? When your body is in balance and well rested, it will keep you healthy and full of energy. How cool is that?
All the best,