It’s the last day of January and New Year’s resolutions, for most of us, fell foul a few weeks ago. Yet still the media machine will be serving us up platefuls of advice on what to eat, how to exercise, the right look, the right shape, the right clothes and and what is considered an acceptable, successful life (by whom Im not sure but that is another story). By now holiday marketing will be well underway and side by side the sale of the perfect beach body perhaps? Greedily we consume, rarely considering what we are placing in our minds and fragile thinking. Yet we buy organic, count calories and obsess about kale, what about our thinking diet? With our thoughts being at our very core, driving our emotions and behaviours, shouldn’t we be more mindful of what we comsume mentally as well as physically?

Have you ever watched a film and an image live with you for a long time, one that you cannot seem to shake out of your head no matter what? In one way it’s a sign of a fabulous film, in another it’s an example of consuming something into our thoughts in a state of relaxation. Like junk food it’s sense of immediate gratification passes quickly and we end up with a thought or image we would prefer not to have. Sometimes Its below our radar. We consume thoughts and ideas without even noticing. Interactions with social media for example can both inspire us or depress us, leaving us feeling unworthy somehow without ever knowing why. Isn’t it time we made a choice as to what social media diet we will follow? How much of it we will consume, when and where rather than allowing it to take hours of our life only to end up with negative thoughts and feelings about ourselves and others.

Others also play a part. We are all human but some humans are not good for each other. It’s not that they are necessarily bad people, just that somewhere one mind set clashes or overpowers another and that’s never a good thing. Some individuals are highly competitive even in conversation. Rather than feeling happy, inspired, supported or loved, when we leave them, we can part from a conversation feeling wholly inadequate. Is this really the food for thought that we want? If we consider who in our social life invariably makes us laugh, feel good, supported and loved who would that be? Shouldn’t they then make up the majority of our daily plate of social interactions? If not, can we control the conversations that we do have with less wholesome relationships so that we absorb only the best from it?

Books, magazines, TV and film all enter our thinking. Drama can be a wonderful bubblegum for the brain but too much at once is like eating a multipack of mars bars, nice at the time but do we really need a mindset fully charged on domestic upset, abuse, murder and desolation? Being mindful about what and how much we watch is surely what our thoughts deserve. Equally, supplementing ourselves with inspiring documentaries, informative films and historical stories can provide nutritious morsels to ponder and consider.

Our top tips for creating your best thinking diet are as follows:

A social media fast. How long – you decide but a week being off-line to break old habits seems about right. Not ready to go cold turkey, try cutting back to just 30 mins a day.

Death Eaters- (as in Harry Potter) Learn to spot which conversations seem to suck the life out of you and avoid them if you can. If this isn’t possible learn to control the conversation through being ready to lead it with questions.

Mindful Consumption: Choose your viewing material as you would your weekly shopping basket. Plenty of green leafiness with a peppering of trashy dramas! Switch to radio for half (or all) of your leisure time and discover worlds of thinking previously untouched (or unheard in this case).

News: At the risk of being controversial; very, very little news reported today is unbiased. Take an approach to find the alternative argument to what you read. Check the provenance of who has written or created it, question what is said and look for world balance not just western ideas. Anything written about celebrities isn’t news its just someone else’s life reportedly going really well or really badly (newspapers sell more with the latter) It is therefore empty calories, junk food, best left where it is.

If you are feeling down it is easy to flick through channels and surf media for hours. Get back to nature, 10 minutes fresh air and bird song is an elixir for the soul.

For our owner run businesses, consider making your place of work a clean thinking zone. Provide inspirational publications in your waiting room or staff chill out areas, have a policy on social media that reflects your values, consider walks in nature for 5-10 mins as valuable work!

For more information on how we support individuals and owner-run businesses to flourish get in touch with us to book a coffee (or green tea) powered zoom.