Knowledge is more accessible than ever. Between the internet and 24-hour news stations, we’re swamped with it. But there’s knowledge and then there’s “knowledge.” Let’s discuss the difference between the two, because separating them is vital to your health.
For me, knowledge is information gained through evidence-based research. This includes checking your sources and the sources of the people providing you with the information. That’s one of the reasons I follow the Northern Health position papers. Many heads have worked on them, combining research from a variety of credible sources.
“Knowledge,” on the other hand, is the 10-second sound bite. It’s the picture of a piece of fruit on Pinterest that comes with a quote like, “Seven strawberries a day cures the common cold” without offering a source. These more accurately align with Stephen Colbert’s “truthiness.” They may have portions of the truth or they might just feel like they could be the truth. But we weren’t we all taught from a very young age not to believe everything we’re told?
Between the knowledge and “knowledge,” I always choose the first, burying my head in books and listening to audio books, all by credible sources. And that’s the key isn’t it? It has to be credible.
Here are some tips that are based on sound research from credible sources to help you stay healthy in mind and body:
- Eat a balanced diet.
- Stay active to improve well-being: stand up often if you work in an office, even if you lead an active life after work.
- Avoid addictive substances: stop using tobacco and be careful of alcohol intake, it is a poison after all.
- Engage with your community socially, laughing with friends as much as possible.
- Practise meditation and yoga for better mental health.
That’s just scratching the surface of the available knowledge that will help us stay healthy. We can’t fit all of it into our brains, but we have to make sure that what we do hold onto comes from a good place (as is the case with all of the links in the above health tips).
Good luck to you!
About Jim Coyle
Jim is a tobacco reduction coordinator with the men’s health program, and has a background in psychiatry and care of the elderly. In former times, Jim was director of care at Simon Fraser Lodge and clinical coordinator at the Brain Injury Group. He came to Canada from Glasgow, Scotland 20 years ago and, when not at work, Jim plays in the band Out of Alba and spends time with his family.