Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Mind Games: 3 keys to keeping a healthy mind in a media mad world

We all know that if eating fast food all day everyday will not make you a healthy bunny, but do we think about our minds in the same way?

In today's internet world we are daily bombarded with images, stories and global news and can access more information than most of us 'ingested' in one week just a decade ago. If you are finding yourself lacking in peace, with your thoughts taking you down a route that makes you agitated, anxious or sad it might just be that you are not feeding your mind in a healthy manner. (Please note, I am not talking about clinical depression or mood disorders here and if you suspect you might be struggling with that, then don't hesitate to talk to your doctor).

When it comes to our minds it will be helpful to consider these three keys:

1. What you focus on, you empower

When focusing on learning a new skill, your constant attention to it will enable you to improve and master that skill. However, if your focus is constantly on reading about every weird symptom your body is currently manifesting, the result is likely to be increased anxiety and agitation!  Likewise, reading about difficult circumstances in other parts of the world can shift you from 'concerned and empowered to help' into 'overwhelmed and overcome' if you are not careful.

2. Fail to plan and you plan to fail

If you were changing to a healthy diet you would make a plan, work out daily menus and consider what isles in the supermarket you should avoid! If you want to have a mind that is more at peace then you can't allow your eyes and mind to roam wherever the internet 'takes you'. A strategy needs to be considered which includes 'what isles you need to avoid'! This can also include giving yourself some internet/media breaks where you indulge in something radical like taking a walk or talking to someone! Try deciding what your limit for the day should be and maybe even set an alarm to help keep you to it!

3. Do a regular 'mind check up'

In the same way that you would step on the scales or consider how your body is feeling whilst in 'diet mode', remember to do a regular 'mind check up'. Ask yourself:
  • What have I been thinking about for the bulk of my day?
  • What have I been reading or watching?
  • Did I really need to think, watch or read those things?
  • Do I feel better or worse as a result?

I'm not suggesting you become ignorant of current issues or refuse to become better educated on matters that interest you, but I do think you need to figure out for yourself what your  'media tolerance' level is and be careful to guard your mind. After all, you won't be able to step into the world's problems and release your own unique brilliance if you are so soul weary from constant feeding on it. 

Some thoughts to ponder!