Modern daily life is filled with pressures of time, productivity, and achievement. This is especially true in technology hubs like Silicon Valley (where this article originates) where it is very typical to move through the week in a sea of to-do lists, booked calendars, and constraints – often while stuck in traffic or attending to business or family. These pressures can lead to ongoing physical and emotional strain. In fact, a few years ago, the term “Silicon Valley Syndrome” (SVS) popped up to describe what happens to our health when overwhelmed by sedentary life: overwork, overuse of technology, and constant pressures. SVS is defined by both physical and functional symptoms. Physically, this might manifest as pain or discomfort in the cervical or thoracic spine or shoulder region, eye strain, and headaches, while functional issues might include insomnia, anxiety, and overall running at elevated stress levels for extended periods of time.
The good news is that there are simple fixes that are the best solutions, at a very low cost – in fact, most of them are nearly free! High in the mountainous region of Ladakh, also known as “land of high passes,” India, a roadside sign posted by Siachen Warriors proudly suggests the best prescription I’ve come across in my 20 years of healthcare experience:
“The six best doctors: sunshine, water, rest, air, exercise, and diet.”
“The best six doctors anywhere
And no one can deny it
Are sunshine, water, rest, and air
Exercise and diet.
These six will gladly you attend
If only you are willing
Your mind they’ll ease
Your will they’ll mend
And charge you not a shilling.”
Nevertheless, starting with these six natural changes can increase our overall health profiles, and decrease our stress levels, thereby improving our quality of life for years to come.