Essay on Cultural Variants in Health and Happiness

Essay on Cultural Variants in Health and Happiness

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As people, we tend to be products of our culture. This is very much the case for me. I have been shaped and molded by the outside influences that surround me. I have recently noticed that my American cultural views are very different from other cultures and that perhaps my view may not be the best. In fact, there may not be a best culture or view in life.
This semester we have heard multiple lectures which centered on the Chinese or Daoist cultures, which have multiple similarities and are in many facets built on each other. In the lecture about Daoism, Dr. Ronnie Littlejohn, spoke of transcendent bodies and concentrated mainly on qi (Littlejohn). While Dr. Yuan-ling Chao’s lecture about Chinese medicine was about maintaining balance by avoiding the extreme aspects of life (Chao). Happiness in both cases is found through balancing all aspects of life, including: temperature, diet and emotions (Smith). We also heard a lecture titled “Health and Happiness: Reducing Stress,” which covered how to manage stress in the American culture and ended up going slightly off topic into the prevalence of academic enhancement substances in college (Foss, Gebert and Asbury). These lectures showed me, in vivid detail, the differences between the mindset the American culture and Chinese culture.
Across the globe there are noticeable differences in cultures. Chinese cultural beliefs on happiness stem mainly from the three main religious views in the country. These beliefs promote living a balanced life style in which everything from meals to emotions are in balance leads to a happy individual. In China, illness stems from imbalance; and is essentially the root of all problems in a person’s life (Lu and Gilmour). While most people in C...


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...ssee State University Honors College. Murfreesboro, TN. 24 March 2014. Lecture.
Foss, Katherine, Kaylene Gebert and Mary Beth Asbury. “Health and Happiness: Reducing Stress.” Middle Tennessee State University Honors College. Murfreesboro, TN. 14 April 2014. Lecture.
Littlejohn, Ronnie. “Daoist Instructions for Making Transcendent Bodies.” Middle Tennessee State University Honors College. Murfreesboro, TN. 10 February 2014. Lecture.
Lu, Luo and Robin Gilmour. "Culture and Conceptions of Happiness: Individual Oriented and Social Oriented SWB." National Tiawon University (2004): 269-291.
Smith, Angela, Katie Hyduk, Justin Turk, Niki Steusloff, Annie Matthews, and Sandy Esber.Religions - Daoism. Religions - Daoism. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Apr. 2014
Zimmermann, Kim Ann. "American Culture: Traditions and Customs of the United States." Live Science 22 April 2013. Electronic.

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