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age shopper engaged in ten times more
conversations at the farmers’ market.
They weren’t just acquiring their weekly
calories, they were rebuilding broken
communities.
Yoga for
Q. Realistically, which other vital areas
of community life can we make
sustainable soon?
Depression
We can do much more for ourselves. In
communications: A few giant conglom-
and
erates own most radio stations in this
country; now, a low-power FM move-
ment is erecting community stations
Anxiety
across America. In education: We know
that the best education comes in small
classrooms and small schools; it’s time
to start deconsolidating. In government:
In Vermont, where I live, we rely on
town meetings; everyone in town gets
together once a year and hashes out the
by Viki Distin
budget, and it works.
Individuals’ long-term survival de-
pends on having a strong working com-
aminobutyric (GABA). Low brain levels
munity. By patronizing local businesses,
of GABA are associated with anxiety
they remain a hardy support network in
F
atigue, restlessness or irritability;
sadness or lethargy; lack of con-
centration; insomnia; and persis- and depression.
tough times.
tent ailments like headaches, digestive Dr. Chris Streeter, assistant profes-
disorders or even chronic pain—all sor of psychiatry and neurology at the
Q. In speaking of the environmental
these troubling symptoms can be a sign Boston University School of Medicine,
fallout due to escalating consumption,
of dysthmia, a form of chronic, low- was the lead researcher for the study. “I
you observe that, “If the rich countries
grade depression. am quite sure that this is the fi rst study
can’t change course, then the poor
Mental Health that’s shown that there
countries won’t.” What will it take to
America estimates that
According to a recent
is a real, measurable
make the transition to a different life-
dysthmia affects about change in a major
style tolerable?
three percent of the study published in the neurotransmitter with
Global warming makes it clear that
U.S. population, a rate
Journal of Alternative
a behavioral interven-
we’re all in this together. The only way
slightly lower than the tion such as yoga,” she
we’ll get out of this fi x is if we work
rate of major depres-
and Complementary
states.
cooperatively.
sion. Though it is not Streeter be-
That’s why we’re accelerating
as disabling as major
Medicine, yoga’s postures,
lieves that yoga could
a huge global organizing drive for
depression—sufferers
controlled breathing and
be a useful tool for
350.org. 350 is the amount of car-
can function and may individuals battling
bon dioxide, in parts per million, that
even appear to have
meditation may work
depression and anxi-
climatologists now deem the safe
a satisfying life—dys-
together to boost levels
ety. Its holistic mind-
maximum for our atmosphere. At 387,
thmia is a serious body-spirit approach
we’re already past that total, turning the
disorder and can be of the neurotransmitter, can help dysthmic
global climate issue from a problem
diffi cult to treat. And, individuals deal with
into an emergency. We need Natural
it is often accompa-
gamma-aminobutyric
their diffi cult feelings,
Awakenings readers to join us October
nied by anxiety.
(GABA).
rather than avoiding
24, 2009, in organizing and attending
One type of them through such
rallies and events around the planet to
therapy that extends mind-numbing distrac-
draw attention to that number and its
the lifeline of hope and better health tions as television, overwork, caffeine
meaning. Together, we can reach out
is yoga. According to a recent study or—worse—drugs, alcohol or food.
beyond individualism, toward survival
published in the Journal of Alternative It is easier to pretend the feelings
of the community of humankind.
and Complementary Medicine, yoga’s do not exist and distract ourselves so
postures, controlled breathing and we don’t have to feel. The problem with
For more information visit
meditation may work together to boost this approach is that these negative
BillMcKibben.com.
levels of the neurotransmitter, gamma- emotions, if not dealt with in a healthy
40 Oakland, Macomb, Livingston & St. Clair, MI
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