Bad habits

We grow up with so many pressures around us, that by the time we are adult many of us have lost touch with the functioning of our own bodies. We no longer know what is natural and what is not. The mass production, advertising, and sale of such a variety of food and other commodities, have created a new, fast-moving environment in which we are inundated with images, products, and services. People are constantly looking for ways to do things faster. A lifestyle based on this obsession has become so ingrained that it seems "natural". But there is a great difference between these ingrained habits and the way of nature.

Most of us develop techniques for "coping" with these and other stresses in our lives. Such techniques include smoking, alcohol, or sometimes even losing control of ourselves. We also ignore advice on food and diet. Some of our bad habits are described below, with reminders of how Zhan Zhuang can help.

Smoking This does lasting damage to the lungs and cardiovascular system, which are so vital to the circulation of Chi in your body that you should avoid undermining your health in this way. Many people who practise Zhan Zhuang regularly find that they lose their taste for tobacco and gradually drop the habit.

Narcotics Drugs do not contribute to a natural, healthy life. Most of them place a strain on your body and all of them affect the functioning of your central nervous system.

Alcohol and other depressants

Dependency on alcohol or other types of depressant can lead to extremely serious medical problems, as well as severely reducing the natural alertness of your mind. Dependency is a gradual process and therefore many people find that they have become addicts without having realized the route they were following.

Poor diet Many people pick up bad eating habits early in life. It is up to each individual to decide what is best, but one thing is certain: if you want a healthy life, you won't get it by eating rubbish!

Mind and emotions out of control

There is a tremendous difference between a rich inner life that results in the natural expression of emotion, and the kind of mental or emotional outburst that betrays serious internal disturbance. Such outbursts may seem a spontaneous, even necessary, release of feelings, but the person may in fact be a victim of behaviour patterns in which he or she is trapped. The regular practice of Zhan Zhuang will greatly aid the calm functioning of your nervous system, but it is wise to be alert to your mental and emotional habits. Your thoughts, moods, and emotions are part of your energy system and need to be in balance just as much as the rest of vou!

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