If mental health is as important as physical health, then why are you not taking care of your mind the way you take care of your body? Everyday, you feed your body to nourish your health. You exercise to build physical strength, endurance, flexibility… But what do you do that’s equally good for your mind?
You are aware that the food you eat has a positive or negative effect on your physical well-being. Your body always responds to what it consumes. This is why health-conscious individuals are often cautious when it comes to what they eat. They do careful meal-planning, making sure that what they feed their bodies will them with provide good nourishment.
If you look after your body by taking a bath daily, working out, and eating healthy foods, how do you look after your mind?
Most of the time, we don’t really pay much attention to what we feed our mind — the thoughts we allow ourselves to think, the words we hear that we allow ourselves to believe, the things we consciously or unconsciously do everyday… All these things have an impact on our mental well-being. They can either nourish our mental health, or slowly damage it.
What exactly are you feeding your mind?
You may have heard the saying “You are what you eat”. This principle stands true not only to the food that we eat, but also to the thoughts our minds consume. If you are what you eat, then you are what you think.
It’s what you feed your mind that determines the life you live.
Everything that you choose to think or dwell on creates a path to where you will lead your life. What you let your mind consume can either make or break you.
The books you read, the shows you watch, the music you listen to, the discussions you join in, the relationships you build, the conversations you make, the little things you unconsciously tell yourself everyday — all of these shape your mind, influence the way you think, create habits, and affect your overall mental wellness.
“You become what you think about all day long.”Ralph Waldo Emerson
People are often less vigilant when it comes to the things we allow into our thoughts. But these things, no matter how insignificant they may seem, can have a great influence into how we build our lives.
Do not let yourself be fed by external circumstances.
Do not let your mind be fed by other people’s words or opinions, especially when you know that these words don’t provide good nutrition to your well-being.
Be careful of negative self-talks as they could cloud your mental clarity.
Below are a few examples of self-talks you should avoid:
- “I won’t do it because I’m afraid to fail. ”
- “I’ll never improve.”
- “People hate me. I hate myself.”
- “The world is hell. People are evil.”
- “The situation is never gonna get better.”
The list goes on.
These are dangerous thoughts that can adversely impact your attitude, behavior, and overall perception. When done regularly over a long period of time, the damage that these self-talks may inflict can be very difficult to reverse.
Feed Your Mind in a Purposeful Way
The mind is a very powerful thing, and it’s strange how many people take it for granted. While it’s true that we may not always be able to control the thoughts that come in and out of our heads, we do have the power to control which thoughts we allow ourselves to dwell on.
The process of learning to manage your mind starts with you.
As children, we used to feed our minds in a purposeful way. We go to school, read interesting books, ask curious questions, study, and learn things. Children choose to see wonders in almost everything around them. They choose to take delight in these wonders — they let these amazing things feed their curiosity and nourish their creativity.
How can you feed your mind purposefully?
Stay curious like a child. Be mindful of the small wonders that surround you.
Learn something new. No matter how old you are, there are more things you can learn — try arts, music, dance, crafts, sports… the options are limitless. Sharpen your brain by trying to learn new things as often as you could.
Practice gratitude. Find two to five things to be grateful for every day. There are numerous things we should be thankful for — waking up alive is one thing. Having food to eat is another. Most of these things we often take for granted.
Start a journal. Write your thoughts, ideas, and feelings — everything, both negative and positive. This is a good practice to be aware of the things that come to your head. By writing them down, you can easily identify the thoughts that are nutritious for your mental well-being and those which you should dispose of.
Have a still moment alone each day. Choose a quiet kind of me-time. Use it to meditate or just bask into the stillness of the moment. Let your brain be engulfed by nothingness, even for just a few minutes each day.
Stay away from mental pollutants. Just as you want to stay away from pollutants that are harmful for your physical health, you should also try and stay away from pollutants that can damage your mental wellness. There are countless of these pollutants roaming around us — the evening news that instill fear, social media posts that create anxiety, rumors from our peers that spread hate, books and movies/shows that promote perversion, and so much more. If you feel like you are somewhere near these mental pollutants, do yourself a favor and pull yourself away as immediately as you could.
Your mental wellness is just as important as your physical well-being. Make sure to feed your mind properly and workout your brain with healthy practices just as you would feed and exercise your body.
Find out what’s good for your mental health and dwell on it. You deserve to have a happy, healthy mind.