A recent survey on clear conscience by Yakult has found that while 91% of Munster folk feel it in their gut that they have done the wrong thing when they lie, more than three quarters think some lying is acceptable and often necessary. A total of 89% felt that the stress and added burden caused by lying was as unhealthy for the body as eating unhealthily. Nearly half of Munster respondents also felt they were not good at letting go of bad experiences and moving on. In a world obsessed with beauty on the outside, Yakult’s clear conscience survey was conducted in order to find out just how beautiful we are on the inside and if our minds are as clear as we would like our bodies to be during Spring’s health kick.
Yakult’s survey found that despite any lies they might tell, 53% of Munster respondents claim to have a clear conscience. The survey revealed that the majority also differentiated between ‘white lies’ and ‘hard lies’. A total of 79% of respondents agreed that white lies were lies of no importance, with half admitting to telling white lies once a week or more. A huge 93% felt that hard lies were lies with consequences and unexpected outcomes. Hardly surprising then that 57% of Munster respondents claim they seldom tell hard lies.
Commenting on Yakult’s survey and attitudes to white lies, consultant psychologist Dr. David Carey believes that generally speaking, not telling the whole truth in a genuine effort to protect someone from being hurt is not necessarily a bad thing. “Modern life is moving so fast that most of us find it hard to keep up with all the demands placed upon us. Additionally we live in the so-called “information age”. We are bombarded with news that 25 years ago took days to reach us. All this information, this rapid pace of living, makes it harder and harder for us to get through the day without creating a constant stream of stories. We have different aspects to our persona, one for work, one with the children, one with our life partner, one with extended family, one with friends. Each persona carries with it a set of embedded stories we live by. Each story is a bit different from all the others. Are these lies? Are we weaving a tapestry of fabrication that will eventually confound us? We live by story and every story brings with it a slightly different plot. This is our basic survival tool.”
Yakult’s survey revealed the majority of white lies arose when paying compliments, with 65% of Munster folk admitting to telling someone how well they looked when they didn’t really think so. As a nation we can also be deceptive when it comes to our shopping experiences; just over one in ten of us have purchased an item, worn it and taken it back as new. Women were more likely to lie about a purchase, with nearly half of females surveyed lying to a partner, either by concealing the item or by claiming that it was something they already had. A total of 37% of Munster respondents have also lied to employers, calling in sick to work when they felt like a duvet day, while a fifth of all men have lied on their CV or cheated in an exam. A quarter of those surveyed in Munster also admitted to damaging another person’s car and just driving off.
Yakult’s survey revealed other differences between the sexes when it came to personal relationships. While nearly a fifth of those surveyed in Munster had cheated on a partner, men were the more forgiving of the sexes with 40% saying they would forgive a cheating partner, compared to just 23% of women. Speaking more generally about lying and the guilt, doubt and worry it causes, 58% of men felt they were good at letting go and moving on. A total of 62% of women said they didn’t feel they were good at letting go and felt they kept the burden with them. A similar number (63%) of Munster respondents claim to have regrets in life.
According to Dr. Carey, having regrets is sometimes a part of living. “It is interesting to note that research about people’s regrets reveal that most people regret things they have not done, choices they have not made rather than the mistakes they made in living. Mistakes are part of living. Holding onto our mistakes and becoming unforgiving of yourself for them is not a good idea. We learn by making mistakes and sometimes we have to make the same mistake several times before we have mastered the lesson. The best way to positive mental health is to have a forgiving spirit towards oneself and others. Be ready to forgive, to move forward, to reflect maturely on your past and to learn from it.” A healthy way to see clearly and detox the mind is to de-clutter and tidy up around us, as according to Dr. Carey, the outside mirrors the inside. “Once we make a concerted effort to tidy up our living or work environment we begin to feel less cluttered in mind, more free to think creatively and more able to make good decisions. Healthy living is dependent on a large number of factors and one of the most important is creating an environment in which we can move freely, see clearly what has been accomplished and follow through on decisions and plans.”
Over half of those surveyed in Munster by Yakult felt that detoxing the mind was more important than detoxing the body, but separating the two may be more difficult than we think. Although 89% in Munster feel the negativity caused by lying is as unhealthy to the body as eating unhealthily, nearly half lie about the amount of food and drink they consume. With overindulgence comes guilt and 52% of Munster respondents admit to feeling remorseful when we eat or drink too much. According to leading nutritional expert and author, Dr. Eva Orsmond, body detox often gets a bad reputation because it is associated with fad diets where entire food groups are excluded or when liquids only are consumed for a week or two. “The fact is the body detoxes itself naturally and a good body detox simply means doing all the things we already know we are supposed to do like drinking plenty of water, eating more fibre, reducing processed foods, sugar and caffeine and of course getting plenty of exercise,” says Dr. Orsmond. “Eating badly makes you feel bad, sluggish and affects other areas of your health. Eating well and exercising makes your gut and digestion function better, you feel better, lighter and happier in yourself. It is not complicated.”
“Food not only provides the fuel needed every day but is essential for the proper functioning of the digestive system,” says Dr. Orsmond, who recommends the following to help the body detox naturally;
Drink plenty of water as staying hydrated helps your gut flush out waste, preventing constipation. Aim to drink eight to ten glasses of liquid each day.
Eat your five a day: Aim to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables each day and choose a varied range in a rainbow of colours. Where you can, eat them raw with the skin on for extra fibre.
Stock up on Fibre: Fibre is essential for good digestive health; it provides the bulk to our food, helping it to move through the gut. Good sources include fruit and vegetables, pulses (such as lentils and beans), grains and cereals. Choose wholegrain varieties of carbohydrates like brown rice or wholegrain pasta as these contain significantly more fibre.
Get your protein providers: Good sources of protein include lean meat, eggs, fish and dairy products. Proteins are essential and are building blocks for the body, important for growth and repair.
Take your time: It’s not just about what you eat – but how you eat. Eat slowly and chew your food well – this releases enzymes which kick-start digestion and hormones which will reduce the amount you want to eat. If food is not chewed properly, stomach enzymes and acid have to work harder to break it down, which can cause bloating and heartburn.
Reduce the amount of processed foods you eat. Pre-packed meals contain high levels of sodium. You should also try to reduce your sugar and caffeine intake, cut back on unhealthy fats in your daily diet and be sensible about your alcohol intake. If you smoke, now is the time to kick the habit.
Get moving: Make exercise a natural part of your daily routine. Take the stairs instead of the lift. Get off a few stops early on the way to work and walk. Exercise not only burns extra calories but helps reduce stress and helps to boost your mental health.
If you are looking for further inspiration on little steps that can make big changes in 2013, listen to your gut and log on to www.yakult.ie. Each bottle of Yakult contains at least 6.5 billion live cells of the unique Lactobacillus casei Shirota strain of bacteria, scientifically proven to reach the intestines alive. Available nationwideYakult retails from €3.59 for a pack of seven bottles, one for every day of the week.