I would hazard a guess that currently there are millions of people thinking about what they eat. Worried about their weight. Concerned about their calorie intake. On a diet.
But what about what we are feeding our minds? Isn’t that equally, if not more, important? I would think it’s safe to say that for a majority of people what they are filling their thoughts with has no real value. No positive value anyway. They are not having sustaining meals, not even quality snacks, they are just having chewing gum for the mind.
Think about it. There is a plethora of information out there in relation to your diet. The best foods to eat to achieve the physical result you want. There are countless articles and advertisements on social media, in magazines, online. There’s even a staggering amount of television programmes. You are what you eat? being the first one that comes to mind.
It’s all focused on the exterior. How you look to the outside world.
But what about what’s inside? What about your mind? The way you think?
I know that from my personal experience anything I have seen in relation to that has come from specific sources relating to personal development. You almost have to seek out such information. It isn’t as all-pervasive, as prevalent, as the information on your eating habits. It should be.
Think about your week. What have you consumed that has benefitted your mind? Your mental well-being? The way you think? I would imagine that unless you are specifically working towards something the answer would be very little, if anything.
Now think about the stuff you have read, or listened to, or watched, that has been meaningless. The things that have left your mind as quickly as they entered. Oh they might have had some flavour as you (I was going to say ruminated but that implies deep thought) temporarily considered them.
But once that flavour was gone. They would have left your mind like that flavourless chewing gum would leave your mouth. Spat right out and added to the trash. Some might be worse than that. Some might have left a bad taste in your mouth. Left you thinking negative thoughts. The worst of it is all this was probably done unthinkingly.
Imagine how much time of your life you have wasted on social media, watching pointless television programmes, playing computer games etc. There is a lot of distraction out there. A lot of ways to waste time. Waste your mind.
It is not my intention to preach here. I used to be just as bad, if not worse. I used to spend pretty much all my so-called free time watching pointless films and television programmes. That is wasteful enough. At the same time I was probably wasted from smoking marijuana. A double whammy.
Look, I understand we all need time to unwind, relax, turn our minds off for a while. That’s ok and necessary. But if you truly look at those habits I bet they account for an awful amount of hours in your week. Hours that add up over the years. Hours where you are doing nothing really. Hours where all you are doing is wasting your life away. A life that only contains a finite number of them.
Since I started becoming more conscious of the things I do, and didn’t do, and since I started finding the time to do the things I needed to do to grow, to develop, to progress. I started to recognise all that wasteful time. All that time that was either doing me no good, or causing me harm. All that time my mind was going to waste.
Take the news for example. Why do you watch it? It contains rarely anything positive. It’s mostly reporting negative events. Which do what to your mind? Make you annoyed, angry, frustrated. If you watch or listen to the news everyday. You are assaulting your own mind with negativity. It gives you a skewed view of the world. It makes it look all doom and gloom.
I’m not even going to write about social media. It is well documented just how negatively it can impact people.
Whatever fills your mind is what your mind becomes. I have found that since I cut out the news from my life, stopped watching hours of pointless television, even drastically cutting down on the amount of music I listen to, and started replacing all that with listening to audio books, always factual by the way, I have found myself becoming happier. Feeling much stronger as a person. Being able to cope better with life’s little problems. It is actually quite remarkable.
But all this isn’t common knowledge. No one on television or radio is going to tell you such a thing. They want your attention after all.
So it’s time to make a decision. Time to think about what you consume. Time to think, full stop.
Why fill your mind with so much emptiness or negativity? Stuff that has no real value. When you could be nourishing it instead. Helping your mind to grow.
I think the band Jefferson Airplane said it best at the end of their song White Rabbit. Feed your head. Feed your head!