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The Modern Mind-2

The expression 'modern-day stress' might seem like a cliche, but boy-oh-boy, it is true. Look around you and try to think of one person you know who isn't weighed down with family responsibilities they want to get out of, or desperately looking for the relationship they'd like to have, or anguished by a did-functional family, or sick, or worried about a sick relative, or just plain overworked. It makes you wonder  - is there anyone out there who is totally, truly happy?

I remember once seeing a TV film about people working in a factory where the interviewer went down the production line asking each person in turn what they were thinking about. About 90 per cent said they were working out what they were going to do when they won a million pounds on the football pools - this is escapism on a massive scale. Indeed, given the amount of stress we have to deal in, escapism seems to be a functional necessity. Without it, how many more of us would go mad?

I'm not going to say a word about the depleting ozone layer, or mention the scientists at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington who have discovered a way of attaching living embryonic brain cells to computer silicon chips  - the first step, apparently, in making a 'bioelectronic ' artificial brain. - We can all read the papers  - and scare ourselves rigid!

What I do want to do in this section is spend a little time discussing some of the issues that immediately face The Modern Mind -Body Connection, we see that science is making us face up to the fact that mind body are one. The implication is that, for physical as well as mental health, we have to address our psychological problems and deal with them.

In Drug Culture we discuss the fact that some so-called 'recreational drugs' are causing new problems, with cocaine stripping people of their character, for example, while in Addiction, we see that a simple cup of tea can catapult a person into a vicious cycle of tranquillizer addiction, while heavy drugs turn normal people into monsters prepared to rob and murder for a fix.

Consciousness and Control explores the difficulty of finding, through the jungle of media interference, who we truly are, while Spirituality, addresses the problem of religions scepticism and spiritual void. The Untapped Mind reminds us that there is more to heaven and earth than we yet understand. Psychotherapy, Counselling and Other Therapies discusses ways forward for some, while Meditation and Visualization could be a way forward for others.

I have a friend who spent time in Ethiopia working with orphans who had literally nothing - no family, no home, no possessions. If They had a pencil, they considered themselves lucky. But they were happy, she tells me, and on returning to London after a couple of years she was shocked to see the misery in the faces of people who, materially, seemed to have it all. Somehow we have lost our capacity for happiness. Not just the happiness we feel at particularly good times - a night out with friends, evening with our lover, but the joyful openness and positivity we, surely, were meant to feel each new day.

Life is a blessing, an adventure, a lesson with inevitable ups and downs. OK, it's hard and rocky in places, and like sailors in a storm we have to hold on tight sometimes. But life was meant to be enjoyed and happiness is our birthright. There is much out there to help us find a way through to the light, including, as we shall later see, nature's essential oils - our little help mates.

Reference: Valerie Ann Worwood: The Fragrant Mind.