Working on your attitude is an essential component of every personal development program.
And how do you develop this positive attitude that so many successful people talk about? It’s simple: maintaining a positive mental diet and not allowing any negativity to find its way into your mind. In this article, you’ll learn about the most important elements of a healthy mental diet. Read on, apply the following rules, and see how your life changes for the better.
“I am a part of all that I have met.” – Alfred Tennyson
The mind is like a garden
Your mind (or being) is a set of different processes (sub-minds) competing for your attention. There’s constant sensory input, and thoughts and feelings emerge on their own. This process is very difficult to manage unless you have lots of experience with meditation. But that’s where the garden metaphor enters the discussion about keeping a healthy mental diet. If you see the seeds of positivity, joy, happiness, and gratefulness, the garden will reward you with flowers that represent these feelings. If, on the other hand, you leave the garden without the proper attention, the weeds of negativity will start to spring up. That’s why you have to tend to the garden – you need to feed it constantly. This corresponds with the mental law of reflection: your outer world is the reflection of your inner world.
Positive mental diet: positive thoughts, visualization, affirmations, books, people, education, health, and action.
Brian Tracy, author of dozens of books covering business, success, sales, leadership, time management, and goal achievement often talks about how you can change your life forever just by feeding your mind with positive input for 21 days straight. Antony Robbins, who’s a world expert when it comes to changing mental states also talks about an exercise that changed his life: try not to blame anyone or complain about anything for 7 days. Do your best to keep it positive. If you fail, you have to start all over again. This is how you change the habits of the mind.
Learn how to develop positive mental patterns
The Tetris Effect is a well-known phenomenon in the field of psychology. I’ve learned about it from the Happiness Advantage book which I highly recommend. Researchers found that if you play Tetris for eight hours with just a few breaks, your brain will start projecting the falling block pattern on the objects in your real life. You will see your bookshelf as a tightly knit Tetris structure, and you’ll try to re-arrange the cardboard boxes to satisfy your insatiable need to put things in the right order. In a similar respect, if your brain absorbs positive messages, your world will become more positive as well. If you want to see the world through rose-colored glasses, you need to feed your mind.
Here are the major pieces of a positive mental diet:
- Positive thoughts – stand guard at the door of your mind and cultivate optimism.
- Positive visualization – imagine your goals and dreams as already achieved.
- Read positive books, listen to positive audiobooks, and watch positive videos.
- Hang around with positive people.
- Cultivate positive health habits.
- Take positive action – regular action that moves you closer to your dreams.
Of course, it’s not possible to stay positive all the time. We all have our moments of sadness and despair. They’re healthy for the psyche and act as a behavior-correction system. The key, however, is to feel positive most of the time.
Feed the beast, Starve the Doubt
In his book Be Obsessed or Be Average Grant Cardone talks about “feeding the beast” – the best of your obsessions. This means writing your goals down, keeping your mind on target, and constantly looking for inspiration to achieve your goals. By feeding the beast, you won’t have time to dwell on negativity.
How to immediately put these ideas into action:
- Start following a “positive mental diet”. Read some positive and beautiful books such as “Promise at Dawn” by Romain Gary or “Three Men in a Boat” by Jerome K. Jerome.
- Get rid of excess negativity in your life (most of the stuff in the news and TV, and perhaps some of your friends or relatives). Just like George Carlin, you should have a very low tolerance for stupid bullshit.
- Try to think about your objectives most of the time. Become busy working on your goals, so you won’t have too much time for negativity. A good sense of direction is the key to a healthy attitude.
When the sadness comes, accept it, and know that this too shall pass. “Mind is a flexible mirror, adjust it, to see a better world.” – Amit Ray. How did you like this article about developing a positive mental diet? Do you have some of your ideas you would like to share? Next up, you may want to explore a guide to the top mental health book publishing companies.
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