When I was training for my first marathon, one of the things I had to focus on to prepare my body for success was my nutrition. During my training, I became hyper-aware of what I was feeding myself. To optimize my physical strength and stamina, I had to control what I was allowing into my body. Not everything was good for me or would contribute toward me finishing strong.
Today, I understand that training my mind is no different.
I realized about a year ago that I was consuming a lot of negativity in my media diet. Based on the news and social media that I was intaking, I was feeding my mind things that were not making me stronger. They weren’t helping me reach my goals. Instead, they were filling me with fear, anxiety, drama, and unrest… which was, in turn, stealing my focus.
What I was absorbing was dragging me further and further away from the life I was trying to create.
With that in mind, I changed my mental diet. I started to turn off the sources that weren’t making me stronger or adding to my positivity. I changed the voices I heard from on social media. I quit watching the news and tuned out the negativity. I used to turn on the 6:00 news and listen to it in the background as I made dinner. Today, I pull up positive content on YouTube or listen to music. I’ve disconnected from the anchor that was dragging me down.
Let me be clear about one thing before I move on. I haven’t simply buried my head in the sand. I am still well-informed on what’s going on in the world. I’ve just decided that I’m not going to be consumed by it or let it dictate how I experience the world I’m living in. I’m not going to be controlled by fear, anxiety, drama, and unrest. This doesn’t mean I’m not aware of the world around me. I’m just taking control of what gets in and how I let it impact me.
I realized three things in the process.
- A lot of the things in the world that were creating my anxiety and stress were things I cannot control. What I can control is me and how I show up. I can be a source of positivity, no matter what’s going on around me. I can treat other people well, regardless of our differences. By controlling what I consume, I redirected my energy away from what the world is doing, and back on what I am doing.
- There is still an abundant amount of goodness in the world. Unfortunately, these things rarely make the news. If they do, they show up in a short clip at the end rather than in the beginning. In general, the news and media always starts with what attracts the most attention… fear, unrest, and bad behavior. By changing my viewing habits, I’ve realized that even in the midst of that, there is still so much positivity in the world. We have to hunt a bit harder to find it, but it’s out there.
- My faith is rooted in something greater. The last thing that has become very clear to me is that what I believe in is stronger than what’s happening around me. When fear and anxiety creep in, that’s the world trying to hijack my faith. Battling that means replacing some of the old things I was feeding myself with things that provide for my spiritual health. For me, time spent in the Bible, prayer, and meditation are vital in creating my mind’s new and improved diet. For you, your faith may look different… Wherever you find yourself, your spirituality is an essential element in developing a strong mindset.
Be careful what you’re feeding your mind, and be intentional about what your diet is made up of. Then, just like preparing physically for a marathon, prepare yourself mentally for life by feeding yourself a diet rich in positivity and goodness. It’s all out there for you if you look hard enough and are intentional to absorb it, and it will change how you walk through life.
I hope this blog is part of your mind’s positivity diet. Follow me here for your weekly mental nutrition.
This conversation about training your mind and feeding it what it needs continues on the Grit Meets Growth podcast that I share with Chris Cathers. It’s available here or on your favorite podcast platforms.
Keep feeding your mind the good stuff! – John