As sleep deprivation, poor nutrition and poverty are all becoming significant factors in America, college students and teachers are a target of high stress, and Americans continue seeking solutions.
Some popular ways to reduce stress include exercise and removing carbohydrates and fatty foods from their diets. Healthy eating contributes to healing; however, the attitude behind the foods people eat may be just as significant as the foods themselves. The French can be used as an example of this.
The French paradox, for example, teaches it’s possible to consume high-fat foods, alcohol, and bread on a daily basis while maintaining a physique that packs a punch to any passerby. Scientific research has yet to discover the meaning behind this peculiarity, although many have offered a variety of hypotheses.
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, French attitudes in relation to food and red wine could explain their reduced statistics of heart disease and stress.
Before falling back on a rigid exercise regime and drinking plentiful weight-loss beverages, consider the following life lessons from the French.
Joie de Vivre
It’s called the “joy of life.” It’s what Americans may equate with the pursuit of wealth, status and fame. Constant pursuit of these things can significantly increase stress. Joie de Vivre can be described as the joy of life itself. It’s the moment a person stops and enjoys. That’s it. There’s nothing else to it. Taking time to stop and appreciate life. This may revive and increase energy levels.
Music boasts healing properties to the soul, so that it’s been described as “love’s food.” Art is an expression of humankind’s transcendence from the concrete. While in Paris, it’s common to be serenaded by street musicians while hearing thousand-year-old cathedral bells. The Louvre houses priceless artistic treasures. Consider finding such things in the world around you. Take time to stop and stare at the majestic surrounding the temples of life in order to attain balance.
While American fast food companies dot the French landscape, they are a rarity. Grocery stores are non-existent. Instead, food comes from local farms, so the French purchase and prepare smaller quantities of fresh food, meaning fewer preservatives. Genetically modified foods are almost nonexistent. Family ties are close, and communities gather around to celebrate meals. Possibly this and local foods may be a tradition worth reviving.
Scientists may remain confounded by the French Paradox, but in the meantime, consider taking these life lessons with a pinch of crème brûlée and a dash of Rodin, to reduce the American stress paradox.
The Puyallup Post is the award-winning student news of Pierce College Puyallup in Puyallup, Washington. Copyright The Puyallup Post 2017. Twitter/Instagram @puyalluppost