Have you ever wondered why we feel compelled to ‘do’ things?
Humans are driven to participate in different activities for survival, the basics of these activities are around feeding
ourselves, keeping ourselves safe so that we can sleep/rest/relax. As we have evolved our activities in terms of ‘survival’ have altered considerably, however, the very basics are still the same, we just have a lot more activities that we do on a day to day, minute by minute time frame because the basics are usually met quite easily. This is not to say that meeting those basic needs is easy for all of us as many people are in very different situations and have very different circumstances. For some getting the basics of food, shelter, safety, caring for themselves and health are considerably hard.
When we are so ‘busy’ all we want to do is have a holiday to do ‘nothing’ ie relax. When we don’t have enough to do all we want is to do more and we will find ways to do activities to keep us occupied. If you look across all the different age groups from infancy, childhood, tweens, adolescent, early adulthood, adulthood, retirement, and aged. The activities that we participate in change, however, at all these different stages we are always doing activities of some description. Most of the basic activities that we do are around feeding ourselves, caring for ourselves, sleeping/resting and then participating in activities that we choose to do such as employment whether paid, unpaid, parenthood, volunteer work, leisure activities, and socialising.
Our physical and cognitive makeup have us designed to do things such as hunting, thinking, caring for babies and others, creating new things, building things. Once these activities are done we tend to find more activities to do. It is the activities such as sleeping, eating and looking after ourselves that we are also compelled to do at our most intrinsic levels.
Even those that are not employed in paid/unpaid volunteer type work or looking after their families will be doing lots of activities. There are those that can not work or choose not to work or can not find work, they will still be participating in activities.
At times some people who can not find paid employment or volunteer work are participating in socially unacceptable activities, but they will still be participating in some type of activities and aiming to meet the same basic needs such as feeding themselves, finding shelter to sleep and staying safe.
Babies and children love to play and this is their doing. Their play will change based on their developmental stages, but through this play they are always learning and ‘doing’ something and if you are a parent, or someone who works with children you will know that quite often these little people are the busiest of all doing something most of the time, except when they are sleeping.
Tweens and adolescence is a time where individuals are going through so many changes they are at times still needing to play to a degree and mimic the adult type responsibilities required of them in future years, but all the while they are still constantly participating in activities.
As adults, we know that we should be doing lots of things or feel like we should be doing more. Quite often we are ‘busy’ doing and forget to relax. We are in paid employment, volunteer work, we are meeting our own basic needs and the needs of others.
“Humans are Doers”
As we age physically our bodies change sometimes our cognition changes too and so do the activities that we participate in, but again we are still participating in activities until the day we pass away.
We are intrinsically driven to ‘do’. It is when we are not doing things or unable to do the things we need to or want to that health issues start to appear; these may be physical, cognitive, emotional, social. So, given we are always doing something whether it be paid work, sleeping, eating, exercising, shopping, playing, looking after ourselves, we are participating in activities whether these activities have a positive or negative impact on our health is based on the context that they are in, hence, everyone will be different, doing different things, and being affected in a different way.
There are also so many old and new industries out there that are designed around helping people to be able to function in our busy lifestyles of doing. Lifestyle Medicine is a new strand of medicine which looks at chronic health problems brought about by doing activities of any description in a way that negatively affects health. If we were participating in our many day-to-day activities the right way would these new strands of medicine be required?
What used to be considered as ‘alternative health’ such as naturopaths, acupuncture, chiropractors, holistic living, meditation, reiki, are all services that are growing in demand at such a rapid rate, that it would lend us to think that maybe we need to reconsider what we do and how we do it.
I think that reasons that all the traditional and new health services required and available is multi-faceted and again everything needs to be considered in the right context, however, I definitely believe that prevention is better than cure and we need to review how we do our activities regardless. So as you read on or return to read posts there will be ways in which you feel challenged to review how you do what you do, or relieved that you may be on the right track to prevent future chronic health problems and live happily and healthy.
Have a great day