At New Year’s start, or some other significant date in time, we feel obligated to jump on the bandwagon for some new fitness or diet fad. It’s great to make goals, but this often leads to unrealistic expectations and therefore, failure. So let’s ditch the resolutions and instead implement a mental diet that can bring positivity and abundance into our lives.
What is a mental diet?
From Weight Watchers to Paleo, they all agree: you are what you eat! But this doesn’t apply just to our food. Let’s look at what we’re feeding our brain. The main source of news for most Americans (unfortunately) comes from word of mouth and social media (Proof). They are called feeds after-all.
Just the way we can control the things we eat through moderation and healthy choices, we can also control our mental diet. It took me over a year to adjust mine, and I now find myself surrounded by the positivity and abundance that I need to stay focused and motivated.
Here are 3 tips for changing your mental diet
1. See No Evil
Who are you subscribed to on your social media pages?
I spent most of the past year selectively adding positive, inspirational and educational sources to my social media feeds.In the latest LoudaVision podcast I speak to model and motivator Jacob Bacaner about his inspiration. We named quite a few great sources which you might like. Here’s a link to the podcast for some suggestions: LoudaVision Podcast
I also recommend subscribing to the Zen Habits newsletter, Thoughts and Divine Blessings, Weekly Does of Daring and Thoughts from the Universe. It’s been fantastic waking up each day with a few positive inspirations and sayings. Much better than starting the day off with bills and other stressful emails. There is also the Secret Daily Teachings book which has short daily notes for inspiration.
My top sources of positive messages on social media have been Greatist, Good and Positive Minds. I also recently subscribed to various feeds that have information for filmmakers, entrepreneurs and artists, which keeps me informed of news and updates in the field. You can surely add sources of your interest too. Maybe even something you would like to learn about, like geography or science. Go for it! It’s your feed.
But just like a food-based diet I still had to cut out the bad stuff. So over time, I deleted the gossip, negativity and superficial junk off my social media feeds. I won’t name anyone specific but my Facebook page (for example) is a lot less gossipy and judgmental ever since I stopped following a certain celebrity news host.
I also did this with my DVR and Netflix accounts by eliminating the gossipy, superficial fluff. And so can you! Take inventory of everything you watch just as you would write down your meals in a food journal. Are you spending time watching commercials? Perhaps there’s a way to cut that out so you’re not distracted by material things that don’t add value to our lives.
Think carefully about what feeds you on social media, magazines, books and on-screen. Only look at things that are worth your time. It’s a gradual process that you can start today. Next time you’re on social media and click on something that leaves you feeling sad, depressed, down, distracted or like you wasted time… Unfollow. Unlike. Your time is precious.
Your vision is a gift that can shape your future. Nourish your vision.
2. Hear No Evil
Similar to See No Evil… What you hear, so shall you speak.
Use the technique above of paying attention to the music, podcasts, audiobooks, and people you listen to. If you don’t like what you hear, turn it off. Unsubscribe. Earmuffs.
For people in our lives like family, this might be tricky. Remember though it takes two to tango.. or in this case, two to have a conversation. Next time you’re hearing things that are negative and unproductive, try changing the subject. If that doesn’t help, you might have to tell them directly that you don’t want to partake in this kind of conversation. Some people might be a little too crabby for all this real-talk. In that case, limit your talking time with this person.
So now that you’ve limited the audible sources of negativity, you’re going to need some positive, uplifting listenings to fill those mental calories.
Do you listen to podcasts? Check out this one. There are tons of other great podcasts out there that promote well-being, peace, health and happiness. Find some that speak to you. This also applies to music. Get in a good mood with some positive tunes. Find your anthem! Mine is “I believe I can fly“.
3. Speak No Evil
Outside sources of negativity can surely affect us, but we need to build an impenetrable shield of goodness around our thoughts. That is done from the inside.
Pay attention to your thoughts when possible. We all have the filter between our brain and our mouth (some more than others). Add another layer to that filter by asking yourself to only speak good things into the universe.
If you want something, ask for it. But if you’re always speaking negative, that is what will be attracted to you. So speak abundance and happiness into your life, one thought at a time. Try a mantra, which is a personal, positive reaffirmation that you tell yourself. These are great to try during meditation, when we can really sit quietly with our thoughts.
The quiet, silence-your-mind type of meditation never really worked for me though. What HAS worked, however, is guided meditation where I listen to someone speak positivity to myself. I get these wonderful CDs from Peace Village Brahma Kumaris.
Or you can try adult coloring books. They’re very relaxing.
Speak good things to yourself and to others. You are what you speak.
I hope these tips help you consume positive energy to your mental diet, while eliminating the negative ones.
Please share your favorite brain-food in the comments below.
Podcast LoudaVision Connect on LinkedIn