Hello, everyone, thank you so much for joining me for another episode of the More Than You See podcast hosted by me, actor, filmmaker mental health advocate Deborah Lee Smith. Every Monday, I come to you to share some tips, some resources, have a conversation, and generally just dive into all sorts of topics around mental health. I am not a licensed practitioner or therapist, but just a woman exploring my own mental health journey and sharing it with you, my listeners. My hope is that this podcast brings you some joy, some understanding, and some tools so that you can build your own mental health toolkit.
Hi, guys, welcome back to this second part in my four part series, all about the different aspects of mental health. Now, if you missed last week, we talked about environmental factors. And that is both your social environment as well as your community, your physical environment, and how all of those things so strongly affect your mental health. I also gave you some tips about different ways that you can potentially improve your environment, and maybe some different ways that you can actually look at your environment because perception is also a huge part of environmental factors.
Now we have three more parts of this series. And we're going to be talking about our brain chemistry, our hormones, our sociology, how we talk about ourselves, and spirituality. And today, we are going to dive into that fourth part, spirituality. Now, as I've said in previous episodes, the reason why I'm diving into all four of these different pieces of mental health separately is because each piece has such a huge impact on our mental health. And I think that we often only look at one or two of these aspects when we're trying to work through depression or anxiety or go through different, you know, dark points in our lives, instead of really looking at all four pieces, and figuring out how all four pieces are affecting us and what we can do to improve those four pieces. I'm really excited to continue discovering all of this with you.
Now today we're going to talk about spirituality. And I have to give major props to my sister, who is a social scientist, which means she studies, sociology, and you know, different societies around the world. And she shared with me that spirituality is very firmly tied to capitalism. And there's a lot of history in there, which I would like to explore with you today, because I think, as I've said before, the more that we really understand where we come from, the more that we understand our history, the more that we can really understand ourselves.
So let's go back in time, a little bit, one of the founders of sociology was a man named Max Weber. And he wrote a very famous book called The Spirit of Capitalism. This was written right after the Industrial Revolution. And it really addressed how capitalism was going to change society. And clearly it has, I mean, if you think about what was going on, during that time, we had a lot more communal societies, a lot of people, you know, lived in much more isolated towns, we also, you know, had a much stronger tie to different religions. And just for the sake of this podcast, I'm going to be talking a lot about spirituality in a general sense. But I would like to emphasize that spirituality can be a lot of different things. It can be religion, it can be an organized religion, it could also be a belief system that you have about the planet, about the universe, about Mother Earth, whatever that is, there is roots of spirituality in there. And so I just want to say that we're talking about this in generalities here.
So again, let's go back to the Post Industrial Revolution. Now, during that time, Calvinism, which was a religion, a branch of Christianity believed that the more that you produced economically then the closer that you got to God. SoW there's a lot of reasons in there as to why there was this striving for economic excellence. Why people had this strive for more money in the industrial revolution. And that was because they really did think that the more money that they had, the closer that they would get to God now Weber saw what was happening, and he basically wrote in The Spirit of Capitalism, about how the closer that we got to capitalism, in this Industrial Revolution, period, the more that spirituality goes to the wayside. Basically, capitalism became the new religion. I think that we see this in modern society today, money rules, so much of our lives. And that capitalistic belief is based in history, there is historical reasons for that.
Now, another part in all of this is that the Industrial Revolution really led to what we know now as capitalism. And that is going away from like the farming system, going more into factories and production lines, assembly lines, like all of that is tied back to the Industrial Revolution. And we look now the difference between capitalism when it first started during this time that we're talking about, and then capitalism now. And today, our jobs aren't actually tangible, like we very few members of society are actually creating tangible goods. And sociologists call this abstraction. And what this means is that we're not tied to our food, we're not tied to our cars, we're not tied to our homes, we hire out other people to do things for us, we aren't physically creating things with our hands. And that abstraction has really led us to feel more lonely, because we aren't getting that satisfaction of creating something from our hands, which again, goes back to our hunter gatherer days, like where we, as humans were created, we were created to actually create things with our hands. And now we have this abstraction. We have this separation from the collection of goods.
So we're all kind of operating in our own little castles. It is very isolating. And I think that this is why in quarantine, there's been such a huge influx in people making sourdough and growing herbs and all those sorts of things, because we actually want to get back to our base level. And I think that whether or not we're actually consciously thinking about that, or if it's just an innate part of us trying to feel better, and connect to others, that we really are kind of reverting back to those pre-capitalism times. And trying to get back to the basics, trying to get back to growing our own food, making our own bread, all those sorts of things.
Now, of course, you know, we're a long way from that we still have so many things at our fingertips that we can just purchase at any time. And of course, I am talking about this, from the perspective of someone who lives in America, and who you know, has the finances in order to purchase that sourdough bread or, you know, whatever. Of course, again, this comes from a very privileged place. But I think that it's important to recognize why we have gone back to that base level in so many ways.
So now let's look at how all of this ties to mental health. Because of course, the further that we get from actually connecting with people, the more that we are isolated, both in our everyday lives, and especially in covid. That certainly increases our feelings of depression. And so sociologists would say that part of that is because we aren't physically seeing people. But part of it is because we are so tied to capitalism, we've disconnected from spirituality, we've disconnected from the idea that there is a greater community out there that we are tied to. And so I think that the key here and again, I'm not talking about organized religion, I'm not talking about anything specific. The key when it comes to mental health is figuring out what spirituality means to you, and devoting yourself to a practice in some way.
Now, spirituality could mean devoting yourself to meditation, it could mean joining a running club, a covid-safe running club, it could mean joining a book group that aligns you with others connects you with others. It's just focusing on a community, and the idea that you are all tied together by similar ideals. I think that there's a real need for that in any time, and especially right now. And I think that COVID has really shown us how much we rely on that part of society.
I think that it's really interesting to think about what historians and sociologists are going to say when they look back at this time in 100 years. I think that there's going to be a real focus on the fact that in so many ways, we've actually come together more than ever before, connected to ourselves and connected to our communities more than we ever have before. And there's something really wonderful and special about that. Of course, we still are striving for our big dreams and ensuring that we, you know, have a home and have food and all those sorts of things like we are still tied to our capitalist ideas. But I think that there also really has been a reversion to a desire to connect. And there's something really special and wonderful about that, that has come out of all of that.
So again, as we wrap up this episode, I would encourage you to, you know, really look at this element of your mental health, do you have something that ties you to other people? Whether that is a shared belief system, whether that is a focus on meditation, or whatever; whatever it is, it's so important to have that connection with others and not just with your central community, but with the community around the world. I think that's what's so special about, you know, even as I'm making jokes about it, but even the sourdough craze, I think there's something so special about that, because it's so many people around the country who are sharing in one experience. And that's what spirituality is really all about.
So go ahead and praise that sourdough, go ahead and make that bulk rise happen together with your community, I truly do think that there's something wonderful that is, you know, coming out of this. And of course, that does not at all negate all of the horrible loneliness and the lives who have been lost. That does not negate that at all. And that doesn't take away or belittle that. I just want to say that there's a spirituality in this shared experience that we are all going through together. And I do think that future, social scientists are going to look back at this time and see the connectedness that came out of right now.
So whether you are feeling connected to others or not, I would encourage you to get some sense of relief in the fact that, as we've said, from the beginning, we are all in this together. If by the end of this episode, you feel like maybe you don't have something that you are spiritually connected to, in some way, I encourage you to see if there's something in your life that that speaks to you along those lines, because it really will give you a higher purpose. And I think there's a real benefit in that.
I hope that you learn something today. I certainly did. I certainly do every time I talk to my sister, she is always a wealth of information. And I think that there's it's really cool to learn about where we come from, and how our past history has created society today. So I hope that you got something from this as well.
Again, please give yourself grace and self love this week. Please let me know if this hits you in any sorts of way. Thank you to everyone who is leaving me messages, rating, recording, we will be sharing all of those things, all of the sharing in the recording and the rating and the everything just means so much to me.
I am so excited about all of the future topics that we're going to be uncovering together. And I just, this community really means so much to me. You guys have become part of my own spirituality in some way. And I thank you for that. Please remember that you and everyone around you is more than you see. I look forward to seeing you next Monday. Please be kind to yourself. I will see you next week.