Stop Consuming Junk! (It's not just what you eat!)

Every day we are alive, we make choices. What we choose to absorb into our bodies, minds, and senses has a huge effect on every aspect of our health: physical, psychological, and spiritual. There is a ton of junk out there being offered to us on a daily, hourly, minute-by-minute basis. How much junk do you take in each and every day? Can you control this flow of junk? How do you pull the plug?

JUNK FOOD is everywhere. When you shop at the grocery store, junk food takes up the vast majority of designated space. Sure, there is a junk food aisle. Maybe you could just skip over that one aisle? Nope, junk food has penetrated every single aisle. All of this highly processed food means more profit for everyone. A plain old potato doesn't pack much profit for anybody, but once it is sliced, diced, shredded, deep fried, seasoned, preserved, frozen, and packaged, you will pay many times over what that original, lowly potato cost. The best way to avoid the cost of junk food (monetary and health costs!) at the grocery store is to shop the perimeter. Choose products that have no list of ingredients: fresh produce, grassfed meats and poultry, pastured eggs, wild-caught seafood. If you can make your own, instead of buying something premade in a factory, go for it. If you have to buy some processed foods, try to avoid those containing refined sugars, flours, preservatives, additives, and transfats. Look for short ingredient lists that only contain real food.

JUNK NEWS is also everywhere. How many horrific, ugly, disturbing, sensationalized stories do you want to absorb each day? I haven't watched the news on television in decades. Who wants to hear about all the bad news and none of the good? News programs are designed to upset people, to cause anxiety, to ramp up the negative emotions. "If it bleeds, it leads." I realize some people want to stay "informed." I find it much more peaceful to be blessedly ignorant of most news. If you are interested in particular kinds of news, you might try selectively choosing websites or twitter feeds to follow. This way you can weed out the news you want or need to hear, while blocking most of the extraneous and stress-promoting hype.

JUNK ART is another load of crap that is shoved in our faces on a daily basis. Have you ever surfed through the TV channels in awe of how many absolutely worthless shows are produced? Have you ever tried watching the show about hunting bigfoot???? (A group of people walk through the woods in the dark, saying, "Is that a 'squatch?" It never is.) And how about the radio stations that play the same 4 songs over and over, hour after hour? The same songs with the same 4/4 beat, repeating the same 4 notes, with the same boring, empty lyrics. And the authors that churn out hundreds (literally!) of "novels" with the exact same plot, a different set of names, but basically the same characters, performing the same actions, even parroting the same lines! The library shelves and the bookstores are filled with this drivel. Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge fan of creativity, art, music, literature, film, and even television. But how much worthless junk do you want to absorb through your eyes and ears each day? Remember, you have choices.

JUNK RELATIONSHIPS are another waste of time, effort, emotion, and often money. Are you throwing away your precious life with people who drag you down? Who can't be happy for you when you succeed? Who are only looking to get something out of you rather than share something with you? Are you trying to please someone who will never be pleased with you? The world is full of beautiful souls who want real friendship and have real love to offer. Take a close look at the people with whom you spend the majority of your time. Do they make you feel warm and fuzzy? Or anxious and stressed out? Cut ties with those leeches that are sucking the life force right out of you. Choose relationships that lift you up instead.

These are just a few of the junk traps to avoid. If you think of more, please add them below, in the comments section. We can help each other escape the junk by becoming more aware.