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In the Most Health-Obsessed Society Ever, All Is Not Not Well!

Written by Shanelle Franklin

I do not envy our hospitality workers trying to keep up with our extravagant health obsessed orders and that is just where coffee is concerned, don’t get me started on the smoothie orders.

We are driving ourselves crazy by cutting corners, swapping out ingredients and spending a small fortune on supplements because Instagram tells us we’ll remain a ‘shitty’ version of ourselves if we don’t buy into it!

Not to be a ‘Debbie Downer’ but all is not well!

Dr Gabor Mate – a physician for over three decades and a well-respected author says: “In the most health-obsessed society ever, all is not well and at the pinnacle of medical ingenuity and advancements, we are seeing more and more chronic illness, physical afflictions, mental illness and addictions”.

health obsessed supplements wellness

How can this be if I drink ‘Matcha Tea’, shove buckets of wheatgrass down my throat and avoid bread? Also still convincing ourselves that we only drink 1-2 units of alcohol per week.

Throughout the western world, depression and anxiety are amongst the fastest growing diagnoses. In Europe a recent international survey stated that mental health issues have become the biggest challenges of the 21st century.

So why are we so ‘healthy’ on one side of the coin, yet drowning in our own mental states on the other?

The question is, what is happening to our minds? We are highly strung, shackled to responsibility, stressed out, constantly distracted, over-looked, dismissed, frustrated and even hopeless. Some will also say that we live in a toxic culture. We live a life that is expected of us and if we are honest with ourselves most of us would say something is missing.

The one thing that is missing in our lives as adults is the ability to ‘PLAY and to have genuine fun on a regular basis. Adult recreational play time is truly one of the most undervalued resources in our current world.

As adults we tend to give up on ourselves a bit and often put the needs of others and our responsibilities first. We are driven to work too hard and ignore what we are really in need of. We sacrifice our need to be joyful because of our unconscious parameters. The adult side comes in and says “I haven’t got time for that, I’m too old for that, I should have done it when I was younger – oh well” or you look over at someone else thinking – I wish I could do what they’re doing.

Let me be clear here, ‘play’ is not goal orientated, nor is it outcome driven. There is no right or wrong way, no rules, tests, or boundaries and no one is judging – it is where your spirit can run free.

brain seeks dopamine play fun adults

As humans our brains are hard-wired to seek out behaviours that release dopamine, which is a neurotransmitter that plays a role in pleasure, motivation, and learning. It’s like a reward system. When you engage in a version of your own play, your brain is releasing large amounts of this gold dopamine, you’re feeling great, and you want more of that good stuff!

We know how incredibly beneficial it is for young children, yet we lose these skills because it’s not an effective use of our time. Plus, we are apparently ‘too old’ for it. Yet it is one of the main tools at your disposal to improve your mental state and well-being. We also struggle to reach our play states as easily as children do. Truth be told it is not actually that hard and it only takes a little self-awareness and the ‘just do it’ attitude to start it.

enjoy life embrace play work life balance good mental health

Is it getting creative, recreational sport, dirt bike riding, playing poker, pottery, drawing, golf, playing music, dance classes? The list will quite literally be endless if you focus your attention on finding what hits your sweet spot!

You’re all the person you’ll be the day you die, which means you’re never too old to play! Trust me you’ll live happier, longer and you will sure as hell wonder why you haven’t started doing this earlier. 



writer columnist shanelle Franklin comedian mums lounge

With over a decade’s experience in radio, television and the music industry, Shanelle has collaborated with brands both on a national and international level in the media landscape. Shanelle’s radio career has seen her present in both the peak Drive and Breakfast time slots, as well as solo announcing on commercial radio at SAFM. She has presented a Foxtel national music TV show as well as being the project creator and presenter for Jam Live, which aired on Channel 9 in Adelaide and nationally on 9NOW. With her natural warmth and wit, Shanelle is a popular interviewer and has chatted with some of the biggest Australian music stars as well as hosting outside broadcasts at major events to large-scale audiences.
An in-demand MC, Shanelle has worked on large scale and boutique events both in Adelaide and on a national level and she recently has been deemed a ‘Woman to Watch’ in South Australia.
Shanelle is one half of the hit comedy podcast ‘The Beautiful Nightmare’ which is now considered in the top 20% in the world and their live shows have performed to sell-out audiences. The podcast was also nominated for ‘Best Comedy Podcast’ at the recent Australian Podcast Awards.  
As well as juggling this multi-faceted media career, Shanelle is a mum of two.

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