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Lesson 4

Your Wellness Goal _____________________________________


Key #3: Become aware of harmful cultural messages and their influence on you.


There are two obstacles to vibrant health and longevity:
ignorance and complacency.
World Health Organization

Do you feel that you live in a plugged-in, high-speed, consumer-oriented society? When we’re “plugged-in,” we get a lot of our ideas about how to live by watching television and surfing the Internet. We live and work in a sea of media and advertising messages that entice us to eat fast food, eat too much, eat processed food, sit for hours at the computer, spend a lot of money on non-essential things, seek popularity, and get rich by playing the lottery. Even though we may “know better,” the dominant culture still can have a powerful influence over us.

Our families, peers, and community members also exert powerful cultural influences over us, and we’re not always conscious of these influences. We tend to eat what everybody around us eats, do what they’re doing, say what they’re saying, think what they’re thinking, and drink what they’re drinking. Life seems easier this way.

In order to live a wellness lifestyle, you’ll need to create your own personal wellness culture. If you have even a bit of a rebellious spirit in you, it will serve you well here. Break away from the pack. Be a little counter-cultural. Others will surely join you. Believe it or not, adopting a wellness lifestyle is becoming very popular.

Small Action Step

Do you know how your culture affects your daily lifestyle choices?

With your wellness goal in mind, brainstorm and list as many healthy and unhealthy cultural influences as you can. Consider the influence of the mass media, advertisements, your family, your co-workers and friends, politics, etc. Do this exercise by yourself, with your family, or with your co-workers. I’ve included a couple of examples to get you started.

Healthy Cultural Influence                        Unhealthy Cultural Influences
Eat together as a family                                         Eat a 4th meal (b/w dinner and breakfast)
Create family rituals                                               Shop till you Drop! Charge it!
Be financially responsible                                    Get plugged in (your own world)

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Next Lesson (#5): You will learn to simplify and improve the manageability of your life to make room for wellness.

Quick Links (if you miss an email lesson)

Lesson 1: What is a wellness lifestyle?
Lesson 2: Key #1: Have a vision and passionate commitment.
Lesson 3: Key #2: Become an expert on YOU.
Lesson 4: Key #3: Become aware of harmful cultural messages.

Quizzes & Worksheets

Wellness Quiz
100 Wellness Actions

Need help recognizing and resisting unhealthy cultural and family influences? Click here


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