A child really has no fear; it’s only through the process of trial and error and the lessons from elders that
fears are grown. Now fear is actually a protective mechanism, it stops you jumping off a cliff and approaching animals that can be dangerous, this makes sense from a keeping you alive perspective. But have we become too fearful? Are we wrapping our children and ourselves up in cotton wool?
We are constantly on the defensive (not to say situational awareness is not important) but we are sometimes too fearful to do anything. Ok, walking of cliff edge with your eyes closed is not what I mean, but perhaps sometimes we should take more calculated risks, the rewards will most likely outweigh the negatives. Try and do something that scares you, something that gets your heart rate up. Adventure sports like climbing or abseiling are great or even a roller coaster can have the same effect.
Don’t be so scared of the dirt.
Leading on from the fears is our fear of the dirt. We are living in a world where we are cleaning constantly, sterilizing are environment of any bug or mini beast that comes along. We tell children to stop playing in the mud and dirt when really it’s actually good for them helps build the immune system and their own gut microbiome.
“Parents today are keeping their children away from the things that are critical to their health,” says Dr Shetreat-Klein, a pediatric neurologist and mother-of-three from New York. “We are sanitising their lives with cleaning products, pesticides and antibiotics.”
But this leads onto later life as adults we continue to be obsessed with being clean. We still need to help our gut biome stay strong and healthy and by exposing ourselves to the outdoors in nature and getting some earth on our hands, perhaps through gardening, we can help support this important part of our physiology.
And it’s not just digestive issues that can be effected there are strong links to brain and mental health. (See links at the end of the post for more information)
Be more excepting of people
As grownups we are have lots of preconceptions of people that we have learned through our lives, we judge them before we have even met them. We make these judgments sometimes due to race, background, accents, the way someone dresses and acts but perhaps we should look beyond this before making snap decisions.
Children don’t have opinions of others from the moment they meet, they will quite quickly, but perhaps timidly, start up a conversation and before you know it they are playing as if best of friends.
Perhaps if as grownups we were a little more open to people for who they are and not our first impression we would have a more diverse relationships.