I love a strong black coffee in the morning, and I love a cold beer in the evening. I am sure I am not the only one. However, caffeine and alcohol are diuretics.

A diuretic is something that makes you need to piss. You end up taking in fluids, but lose them all too quickly, leaving you dehydrated. Yet the diuretics are often more attractive to us than what we really need: for example, we need water but drink beer.

We often appease ourselves in this way, with what I call, the diuretics of the soul.

We crave things, but we attempt to sate ourselves with something that falls short of the thing we crave. We crave adventure yet appease ourselves with watching action movies in the darkness of our living rooms. We let others play out the dramas we wish we had in our own lives, while we get to play it safe and appease our desires with poor substitutes.

The thirst of the soul is not sated, only suspended.

When we starve ourselves physically and psychically of the things we need to feel alive, we end up feeling empty and drained. We lose that thing that animates us…our souls! We lose the spark.

What I am talking about is not supernatural, mystical or overly complex. If we don’t get enough good quality water, or enough good quality food, we lose our energy. The equation is just as simple when it comes to our mental health. If we don’t give ourselves the balance that we need, then we will feel flat, down, and lifeless. We all know about the five portions of fruit and vegetables that we are meant to consume every day, yet, there doesn’t seem to be the same awareness of what our minds need for that same healthy balance.

We need stimulation. We need freshness. We need to play. We need to exercise. We need interaction.

Of course, unlike with food and water, we will not necessarily die if we don’t have these needs met.

They are needs of a different kind. However, like I suggested earlier, we risk losing our spark…the thing that animates us…our souls.

I am not saying that we should entirely quit drinking, smoking, eating tasty food, or any of that other stuff we love to do…for life is hard enough as it is, I am simply suggesting that we don’t live on a diet of diuretics, that we stop appeasing our souls with poor substitutes, and start giving ourselves what we need.