The Good Life?

Physical + Mental Wellbeing

Physical + Mental Wellbeing

Proverbs 14:30 says, “A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.”  Our lack of contentment with enough and society’s ever-changing definition of success are having serious consequences on our physical and mental health.  Despite advancements in medical technology over the past 50 years, we are experiencing a chronic disease epidemic.  The foods and substances we consume, our lack of physical activity and our levels of stress all contribute to chronic disease.  In Australia, almost one third of adults are now obese and one quarter of children are overweight or obese with the national obesity rate doubling over the last decade.

The stress of constant consumption, the pressure to produce and achieve, and the inability for many people to rest their minds is not making us a healthier society.  This stress can manifest in emotional exhaustion, feelings of inadequacy, physical pain or constant feelings of unwellness.  A recent study in the UK found that 74% of people have felt so stressed that they found themselves unable to cope with 32% of people who reported feeling stressed also saying that they had suicidal thoughts and feelings.  Some of the causes of this reported stress were comparing oneself to others, the constant pressure to succeed, feeling the need to respond to messages instantly, and debt.  How might our physical and mental health improve if we are freed from the idol of consumerism?

The Current State of Play

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(12.5 million) of Australian adults are overweight or obese.

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Around 7.3 million (45%) of Australians will experience a high prevalence mental disorder, such as depression, anxiety or a substance use disorder.

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of Australians report having a significant level of distress in their lives.

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More than 300 million people are now living with depression, an increase of more than 18% between 2005 and 2015.

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Stream Three: Relational Wellbeing

For ourselves and for those we care about to flourish, we will need to reimagine what it is to love our neighbour in an age of consumerism.