We hear a lot about how important our diet is. We are encouraged to eat clean, reduce sugar, and eat in moderation. Most of us know the benefits of watching our diet, but what about our mental diet? How much attention do you pay to what your mind consumes? What are you feeding your brain?
What Are You Watching?
How much television do you consume? Is it uplifting programming? How much nudity, negative language, and violence do you consume? Do you feel keyed up, fearful, or negative afterward? Are you learning anything from what you view? These are some of the questions you can ask yourself. The answers can be used to shape your mental diet.
Remember, you are what you consume. In this case, it’s what you’re watching. If you watch lot of violence, it’s easier to become desensitized to it. If you hear a lot of verbal violence, you are more likely to speak it. Everything vibrates with energy. What type of energy do you want to be around?
What Are You Reading?
Do you read? How much? What are you reading? Is it Hollywood gossip or stories of real life heroes? Is it political horror stories of who did what to whom that send you into a fear based tail spin? Or is it information that can help you build interpersonal or business skills?
People who read tend to be better educated, more successful, have a better memory, have a longer attention span, and have greater empathy. In other words, reading is healthy. However, what you read matters too. Written material that engages your emotions or intellect is often more beneficial than things that are simply entertaining. Hopefully you can find things to read that are stimulate your mind, body, and spirit.
What Are You Saying?
Words have power. They vibrate too. (Everything does). If you talk down to people, gossip, curse, complain, criticize, speak untruths, or throw rage around, you’re creating ugliness that surrounds you and everyone around you. Is this where you want to live? When you speak love, you create love. I’m not saying that you should put on rose colored glasses. Things are as they are. However, we can all speak about ugly things in less than ugly ways. We can zoom out and see the flower that sits beside the rubbish.
Reality is shaped by what we give energy to and pay attention to. When you speak more about your happiness, blessings, and gratitude, you create more of that. That can cushion the inevitable pain that comes with life.
How Present is Technology?
How much screen time do you get each day? I know technology is necessary in the modern world, but it’s also a brain and mood killer. It can disrupt relationships, sleep patterns, mood, and lead to weight gain. Technology separates us from people. If you want to engage more in the real world, you might want to consider limiting screen time.
This includes cell phones, video games, and computers. A good rule of thumb is to turn everything off until a certain time in the morning. You can turn them off at meal times too and also for at least an hour before bed. This will help you to sleep better and be more present and connected with yourself and others.
Our brains need time to rest. They need space to connect to other people. They need healthy stimulation. When you put some thought into what you are feeding it, you often make healthier choices. So, what’s your mental diet like?