We’re going to start somewhere far off-topic, but then unexpectedly – and as always – make our way back to the eyes.
A rather sensational study was carried out. It turns out that there’s a connection between what people have in their heads, and their overall health.
In a sense, this is a study dedicated to envy. You can still suffer damage from it, even if you don’t believe it’s a mortal sin. It’s also possible to die much earlier from envy than without it.
Envy itself doesn’t appear in the study or the results, but that’s clearly what it’s about.
The bottom line is that your sense of self, in terms of your health, doesn’t only depend on how much you torture yourself in the gym – or put more gently, the frequency of your visits to the Temple of Health.
So what else? It’s also whether or not you compare yourself to your slimmer friends and acquaintances.
If you feel like a chunk around them, then the game is up, even if it isn’t objectively true. You’ll give out before your time. I’m exaggerating a little, of course, but the point is this:
A person plans to start a new exercise routine on Monday, but doesn’t follow through with it, and then compares him or herself to the young and beautiful people out there. They fall into despondency.
This isn’t the kind of envy where you dream of taking away someone else’s health (or bodyweight, more precisely) and appropriating it for yourself. No, you are simply grieving that you aren’t that size yourself, and this grief is enough to have negative effects.
This study is not anecdotal. Information was collected over a period of 21 years on how people were exercising and what they thought of others doing the same.
The risk of mortality among those who thought poorly of their exercise was higher by 71%. You might ask, “Is it because they were doing less?” No. All these factors were taken into consideration.
Among those that were involved in the gym, outdoors, and other physical activities, for example, the condition of those comparing themselves to or envying others was worse. This includes those that “left for a better world” earlier, where according to the rumors everyone is in great shape.
Smoking and other vices were also taken into account, and there were no loopholes; it is a fact that the body is affected by envy.
The “nocebo” effect (the effect of negative thoughts on health) may also work in the other direction – those unfortunate people who are just as active as their youthful friends, but still believe they aren’t, deprive themselves of the benefits of their activity.
Let me offer one example – the staff at a huge hotel. These people take thousands of steps every day, pushing carts, vacuuming, cleaning bathrooms, changing bedsheets… but none of them consider this exercise. Scientists opened their eyes to half the participants of this study for the fact that this is indeed physical activity. A month later they checked in on them, and half of the employees had lost weight, and their blood pressure dropped.
But nowadays, when we are bombarded with images of athletically-built 60-year-old “boys”, reminiscent of centaurs or chimeras, it’s difficult not to envy them. It’s worth a try, though.
And now, as promised, we return to the eyes. You will still be near-sighted, no matter how hard you try to convince yourself you can see the last line on the eye chart. Nope, poor vision cannot be treated with optimism. The good news, however, is that there have been some real breakthroughs in the glaucoma research. More about this later…