Treat your mind like your body
I like to think about my mind similar to my body. It needs to be trained and fed proper nutrition. Just like my physical health relies on proper exercise and food, my mind needs the same stimulus, but in different forms. Instead of food, the mind requires healthy and clean information being submitted every day. And instead of exercise, the mind needs to be actively quietened and controlled on a daily basis to make it stronger and more focused.
What does information (nutrition) for the mind mean?
Well I believe that all surrounding information such as television shows, conversations, radio, movies, advertisements, news, music etc, is food for your mind. The type of information your mind ingests, will dictate the relative negative or positive state you are in on a daily basis. So I aim to only consume information that will leave me with more knowledge on a topic, or in a better mood because of a great and stimulating conversation with a friend, or happier because of some kind actions and words from a positive news source. I compare this type of positive information to eating a healthy and nutritious diet. It keeps your mind optimistic and hungry to achieve.
In opposition to this, you may unknowingly be consuming a lot of negatively influencing advertising, such as gossip magazines. Or maybe you have a few really pessimistic friends that are constantly bringing your mood down with unkind words or complaining. These types of information are akin to junk food, leaving your mind drained, unfulfilled and lacking with enthusiasm.
What does actively controlling (exercising) your mind look like?
So if you can feed your mind a healthy and nutritious information source each day, then exercising the mind becomes just as beneficial. The most common way to exercise the mind is through meditation. A simple meditation aimed at focusing on your breath, is a fantastic way to begin noticing how your mind works, and a step towards having more control over your thoughts and focus. You will almost immediately notice how quickly your mind wonders off into la la land, with random thoughts of an upcoming holiday, or a conversation you had recently, etc. So exercising your mind not only enables a stronger focus during your day, but can be related to that of a muscle being trained and becoming bigger and stronger.
What are the benefits of feeding your mind properly?
Well this is all well and good, but what is the point unless there are some real benefits to becoming aware of your “mind’s state”. Well I believe that a synergistic mind, one that is calm and cultured to think only on the things you want to see in your life, brings about more happiness and success than any other method. Even a healthy body is rendered useless if the mind is not also nurtured.
Having healthy and positive information being submitted each and every day, whilst adding the ability to control your minds attention, is a winning combination that surely speaks for itself. Because if you have control of your attention, then you have control of your time. And having control of your time is the catalyst to achieving more than the average Joe. No matter how you would ideally like to spend your life.
Practice, Practice, Practice
As the old saying goes, if you don’t move it, you lose it. This applies to your mind as well. If you do not practice mindfulness and meditation, and take an active role in minimising negative information in your life on a consistent basis, then you will not reap the long list of potential benefits.
So practice everyday, try to get better and never compare yourself to anyone else.