emotional health and psychological well-being 3 facts about myths physical health and emotional well-being

Myths About Emotional Health and Psychological Well-Being —

Learn about the elements that influence your health.  Find out what you can control and how to deal with those we cannot control; learn to distinguish the facts from the myths.

There are several myths about health and well-being which lead us to make poor decisions.  To improve the quality of life, we want to bust the mythology around these issues.

Let’s look at some facts about myths in general and then show how they influence our emotional health and psychological well-being.   Then we can discuss what we can do about it.

3 Facts About Myths

These myths are the basis of misinformation about your health.  Superstition and prejudice make these myths a part of the subculture that fights against scientific evidence.

1) Fact number one, mythology and superstition can be more powerful than logic and common sense.  The more exposure to myths, the harder they are to overcome.

So, remember, if someone is entrenched in mythology and superstition, presenting facts and evidence will typically not win them over.  You’ll need to invest considerable time and effort to become accepted before you can suggest any ideas that challenge the boundaries of their worldview.

“You can’t use reason to convince anyone out of an argument that they didn’t use reason to get into.” ― Neil deGrasse Tyson

2) Fact number two, mythology and superstition are nearly invisible.  Religious mythology is so pervasive in our cultural folklore that we fail to recognize it.  Recognizing it is the first step toward overcoming its grip.

Seeing and acknowledging beliefs as myths and superstitions is a big step for the religious acolyte.  Unmasking the stories of renewal and the symbolism can be scary; these are the basis of your identity.  The Ego can identify with anything that gives it power.

“The ego is only an illusion, but a very influential one. Letting the ego illusion become your identity can prevent you from knowing your true self. Ego, the false idea of believing that you are what you have or what you do, is a backward way of assessing and living life.” — Wayne Dyer

3) Fact number three, mythology and superstition are justifications for harmful behavior.  When myth becomes accepted as part of the cultural norm, it becomes the benchmark for acceptable and unacceptable behavior.

“In America, you’re allowed to justify almost any kind of bigotry, sexism, or intolerance if you source it to God.” — Bill Maher

Myths About Emotional Health and Psychological Well-Being

With a basic understanding of the 3 facts about myths, we can move on to the realm of our physical health and emotional well-being.  There are some pre-conceived assumptions here as well.

There are four main areas of our well-being.

    • Psychological
    • Financial
    • Physical
    • Career

It’s vital to have whole-health goals to achieve the proper balance of these criteria.  We want our lives to matter.   We affect everyone in our sphere of influence, but this has a ripple effect.  So, we must be mindful that our actions bring about positive change.

When we are “out of balance,” we may not project the positive shadow we want.  Additionally, our health suffers.  Achieving balance is easier for some than for others.  There are some common misconceptions about this that we want to bring to light.

Imbalance Affects Wellness

Many people and companies focus on the physical aspect of wellness because it is easiest to measure.  But, their strategies often exclude the other three areas, which are just as important.   Reports from the Society of Human Resources Management (1) show that about half of all employees say problems in their personal lives have an adverse effect on their work performance.

Additionally, more than one-third of human resources professionals say that financial emergencies and issues are the root cause of a significant portion of absenteeism.  For example, a single mother who needs daycare to return to work after the pandemic finds that the only available childcare is too expensive and too far from home.

The US Department of Health reported in 2000 that stress is a significant factor in at least 50% of all illnesses.  (2)  This shows the importance of mental health and the ability to learn proper skills for coping with stress.  It’s worth noting that this report is well before the pandemic, so the stress factor is likely to increase.

Unequal Access to Healthcare

Economically disadvantaged people often suffer physical and psychological issues.  There is an economic barrier to receiving adequate healthcare in general.   In America, access is to healthcare is under the control of the insurance industry; they take more than their share of the funds spent on healthcare services.

The first myth about our emotional health and psychological well-being we want to bust is that everyone has the same access and distribution of these elements.  This assumption is false.  People who live in poverty can’t simply find a job.  There are laws to protect people with disabilities, but subtle forms of disparate treatment allow employers to find a better-suited candidate.

If you look at what the insurance industry says it takes versus what the healthcare industry gets, the difference is closer to 33%.  That means one-third of every dollar spent on healthcare goes to the agent who stands between you and your doctor.  If you can’t afford to pay it, you go without healthcare.

In America, you’ll need health insurance, but you’ll also need separate policies for eye care, dental and psychological counseling.  Otherwise, you must pay the retail price for services which is often thousands of dollars.  Why is it so costly?  Because the hospital or healthcare provider must make up for the losses of the profits taken by the insurance industry.

The healthcare insurance industry controls the price it pays for healthcare services.  If you do research, you’ll see the same medical procedure will vary significantly between medical providers.  They set the price for the uninsured to make up for what the insurance companies skim off the top for their insured patients.

If you are too ill or injured, you won’t have the ability to shop around for the best care at the best price.  That works to the benefit of both the healthcare provider and the insurance company.  If you can’t pay and are in the hospital, they can put leans against your home or other assets to pay their exorbitant charges.  If you get cancer and your insurance policy does not cover the treatment, you must choose between medicine or homeless.

As the pandemic continues to drag on, there is an increase in the number of people experiencing mental health issues.  In America, public mental health facilities have been steadily reduced since the 1970s because the insurance industry refuses to offer care to those who need it most.

States and municipalities cannot shoulder the burden of the costs for housing and treatment.  So, the facilities are closed, and those who cannot afford expensive private treatment are put out on the streets to fend for themselves.  A large percentage of the homeless were once in public mental health centers.  The only way they can get the care they need is to commit a serious crime.  Then they can receive care in the prison system.

Race and ethnicity are at the root of the disparate impact.  Religion teaches a tribal worldview that judges people of other backgrounds with skepticism and contempt.  They teach their members to give preferential treatment to those part of the tribe.  If the tribal worldview is narrow, it excludes others.  This disparate treatment starts with educational institutions and continues with healthcare providers.  Even if you don’t align with their values, you follow along because of peer pressure.

The Walking Wounded

If you work for a company large enough to have a good health and wellness program, then a certain amount of mental healthcare benefits are within your reach.  Your emotional health and psychological well-being are needed to keep you productive.  In other words, your employer requires you to keep working.

The myth of the walking wounded is simple, you can work, you must be okay.  Or, you are at least well enough to keep working.  When we look at the other factors such as stress, financial inequity, negative workplace stereotypes against age, race, ethnicity, and disparity in access to proper healthcare, it leads to high turnover.

Employees facing these pressures leave employers unwilling to address these inequities.  Employers that depended upon these inequities to substantiate their business model also failed.  As employees become savvier, they are financially and psychologically unwilling to work for wages and benefits that have not kept pace with inflation and their essential health and social needs.

Improving Physical Health and Emotional Well-being

We should focus our attention on the factors we can control immediately.  We can influence some of these more quickly and directly, and others have less control to change.

Whole health goals are reachable if we have the right resources.  Our current physical and mental health and our socioeconomic status are areas in our lives that are harder to change and manage.  That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have long-term goals to improve our mental or physical health.  Nor should we lose sight of long-term educational and professional objectives.

Working toward long-term goals gives our life purpose, and that’s a good thing.  But, these objectives take time to achieve.  They are investments in our future that we make sacrifices to obtain.  However, we need to be careful that our sacrifices for our careers do not create an imbalance undermining our long-term health.

Sadly our socioeconomic status has a considerable impact on our income and health outcomes.  The United States is not a country that offers healthcare equally.  Your economic status predicts physical and psychological health.  (3)  There is a relationship between occupation earning power and other choices such as physical activity, diet, and drugs or tobacco.  All of these choices have harmful effects on emotional health and psychological well-being.

Focusing on what we can do now to achieve and maintain as healthy a balance as possible is critical.

Summary

The 3 facts about myths manifest in our modern cultures as negative stereotypes that have harmful effects.

Fact number one shows how mythologies and superstitions override the ability of otherwise ordinary people to make the proper decisions about their physical health and emotional well-being.  They make decisions based on religious and political fallacies that push back against science’s facts.

Fact number two shows how wide acceptance of mythology and superstition make them almost invisible in the culture.  It distorts values that make unequal access to healthcare not only possible but an accepted part of our cultural folklore.

Fact three mythology and superstition become the justification for harmful behavior, including the disparities in healthcare.

We hope this article is food for thought and action.  You’ll find other posts that address similar social issues on our blog.  If you have feedback, questions, or other subjects you’d like us to research and write about, please contact us.

To find out more about our organization, see our FAQ page.  Our primary purpose is to spread knowledge about spiritual exploration.  We use a blended learning process to deliver an individually tailored virtual learning academy.  This process \ reflects what Joseph Campbell called the Hero’s Journey (4).

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References

(1) Society for Human Resources Management www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/tools-and-samples/hr-qa/pages/personalproblemsaffectperformance

(2) US Department of Health on Stress as a significant cause of illness www.hhs.gov/surgeongeneral/reports-and-publications/mental-health/index

(3) American Psychological Association on the impact of Socioeconomic Status and Health www.apa.org/topics/socioeconomic-status

(4) Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia

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