Recent Research Showed Health Implications of Living With Prejudices
Today I stumbled across an article that left me with a brand new thought: People who intentionally embrace their cultural identity for themselves and their families live healthier, happier, longer lives!
On the flip side, according to the New York Times, "Discrimination, especially when chronic, harms the body and the mind. How we treat one another, and how our institutions treat us, affects how long and how well we live." Woah...
I went a step further and concluded that even what we feed our body and the level of our wellness we engage in will affect how well we can love and embrace people. How well we take care of our bodies and souls will affect how well we can interact with people who at first seem so different from us. I heard it say in the great source "legally blond 3" (no judging here but I love that movie) (: that healthy people don't comit crimes as cruel as murder because people who exercise are just lot “happier” people with lots of endorphins going around their veins and mind. Well I'm not sure I'll take it that far that workout addicts are incapable of committing crimes or harvesting prejudices but I think it's a good thought to intentionally seek our own wellness and see it as a means to also care for the relationship with other people.
"We tend to think of discrimination as a moral or legal issue, and perhaps, in the case of immigration, an economic one. But it’s also a medical issue with important public health consequences. A growing body of evidence suggests that racial and sexual discrimination is toxic to the cells, organs and minds of those who experience it,” condluded the New York Times.
Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about the word DETOX. I began to look at it from many different angles: detox of the body, detox of the mind, detox of the soul, detox of the spirit. Letting go of all the stuff that's not helpful but harmful to my whole being. Things such as resentment and candies (sugar more specifically). I once read that what we feed our bodies either promotes sickness or cures sickness. And I believe that's true for so many aspects of our life.
It's great to think that as you are intentional about reading multicultural books with your students and family you are not doing something good for their minds and hearts and your community and world, you are actually benefiting your own and their physical wellness.
To quote NY Times one last time: "Research suggests that discrimination is internalized over a lifetime, and linked to a variety of poor health markers and outcomes: more inflammation and worse sleep; smaller babies and higher infant death rates; a greater risk of cancer, depression and substance use. The cumulative burden of discrimination is linked to higher rates of hypertension and more severe narrowing of important arteries in the heart and neck."
Woah... that makes me want to get up in the morning, run a few laps, lift my mini weights and cuddle with my kids on the couch reading lots and lots and lots of our library’s multiethnic children’s books with them! And yes, sip some of my fave green tea for detox on a daily basis! Another great New Year's resolution to keep (:
Happy exercising & reading!!!
California based Ghanaian-German educator, writer, bookworm and mama of three. A lover of all things nature, diversity & healthy.
"Education is nothing else than discovery.
And discovery full of diversity is beautiful."
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About the author
My name is Nancy. I'm a teacher, home educator, wife, mother, writer and accidental German-Ghanaian transplant to the U.S., in love with California and all things diversity.