Did you ever notice how often pharmaceutical companies are the primary sponsors the evening news hour? Got a problem, get a pill or a patch to take care of it. Pills and patches for weight loss, to stop smoking, for high blood pressure, diabetes, acne, hair loss, or brown spots. It concerns me that we are becoming an over-medicated America. I know that medication is needed and necessary. However, when pharmaceutical commercials dominate the most watch hour of television, I can’t help asking; “It this necessary or are they trying to convince consumers that they need it”?
Millions of dollars are spent every day designing and delivering media designed to convince you that you “need” a pill or a product. Nothing new, just much more of it.
Historically, in the 1950s and ’60s television advertisers sold us on fast food, high-sugar cereals, instant breakfast drinks, instant potatoes, and frozen dinners full of new preservatives, cigarettes full of nicotine with the promise of easier lifestyle. Now 70 years later they’re selling us medications to fix some of the problems you developed from over-eating, too many preservatives, caffeinated drinks, smoking, or lack of exercise. Problems that may have been avoided if we took better care of ourselves.
However, don’t miss the message behind the media. “You’re not strong enough to handle problems or struggles without our product.” After all, it’s “normal” to pop a pill, smoke a joint, pursue anything else that helps you manage life’s struggles. Even if a pursuit leads you to porn. The media’s message only works if they can convince you to:
- Believe that you’re not strong enough to do life without some sort of self-medicating help.
- Believe that needing something to get through life is “normal.”
- Believe that the “self-medication” you reach for won’t harm you. Unfortunately, most cause addiction problems or behaviors.
All of which makes you a good customer or “follower.”
As I shared in my previous blog entitled, “Where Do You Draw Your Strength,” we need to reject these kinds of messages. There are healthy resources for restoring, renewing, and maintaining your mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual strength. Below is a list of recommendations to get you started;
- Read, watch, or listen to stories that inspire you. Be on the lookout for new ones.
- List the people who encourage you and make it a priority to spend time with them.
- Start an ongoing list of accomplishments that you are proud of and place it in a visible place to remind yourself.
- Discover what gives you peace in the middle of a struggle. Perhaps getting away for a walk, hike or sitting alone or with a friend by a campfire provides times of renewing peace.
- Write down your hopes or dreams, no matter how outrageous. That’s why they are called dreams, because it’s beyond your imagination today, but in a few years from now, it may become a reality.
- Get involved in organizations, communities, or activities make you feel good about yourself. Helping others or working for a cause that is larger than yourself often helps you discover meaning and a stronger sense of self-worth.
- Develop a library of inspirational media: music, videos, audiobook or screensavers that provide encouragement, and inspiration in the midst of difficult days. Look for concerts in the part, places, or events where you can take an inspirational music break.
Hopefully, these will stimulate your imagination, helping you to develop some of your own. The key is looking for sources that enable you to nurture and maintain your mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual strength.
Don’t fall for the media’s message. You are and can become strong enough to handle anything that life throws at you.
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