Tuesday, January 2, 2018

5 Ways to Love Yourself (Part 3) ~ Healthy Mind

This is #3 in the series "5 Ways to Love Yourself." Check back tomorrow for Part 4.

Create a nourishing environment for your mind.


Ever heard the saying "you are what you eat"? I believe that can also apply to your brain. 

Quoting contemporary Buddhist Monk Thich Nhat Hanh:

"When our mind is conscious of something, we ARE that thing.
When we contemplate a snow-covered mountain, we are that mountain.
When we watch a noisy film, we are that noisy film."

But that doesn't mean you're helpless against this force called Consciousness. Even in our digital age--where information is relentlessly thrown at us--we have control over what we choose to read, watch, and think about.

Quoting Thich Nhat Hanh again:

"The mind is a television
With thousands of channels
I choose a world that is tranquil and calm
So that my joy will always be fresh."

You can filter what you engage with online, be mindful of who you follow on social media, separate yourself from toxic behavior, and focus on what you find fulfilling.

Whether it’s painting or skydiving, just do what you enjoy.

Here are some ways I filter and have filtered my experience:

  • Following Positivity on Facebook:
    I unfollowed everyone on Facebook (pretty much the only social media I use often), and re-followed only my closest friends, positive people; and pages that make me happy, nourish my spirit, or teach me something I need to know
    I also use FB Purity to filter certain topics or block my newsfeed when it becomes distracting, and a Stylish dark theme that's easier on my eyes).

  • Disabling Notifications:
    I do this for nearly every app on my PC and smartphone, besides crucial ones. For me that would be Facebook Messenger, texts, calls, and sometimes a game or task I'm doing temporarily. Either way, I don't check notifications often so I can stay focused. I don't need to hear about the latest deals on Amazon or even new posts from my favorite bloggers.

  • Accepting Only What Resonates:
    I don't often enjoy violent, explicit, or fear-breeding content, since it doesn't resonate with me. I consciously turn down horror movies, shooter games, and whatever I find too negative or distressing. Media that is too complex or difficult for me to process is also off the menu since I am prone to information overload.
Like, I get that Overwatch is amazing but I just don't have time or energy to devote to playing it.

I have enjoyed a few dramas and action movies, but they’re not my norm. Typically, I choose relaxing, lighthearted TV series like Aria (anime), cute games like Little Big Planet, and anything else that is calming to me. I also listen to music that suits what I'm doing or what kind of mental state I want to be in.

(Of course, your preferences likely differ from mine. Focus on whatever makes YOU happy.)

Recovering From Negativity
If you've already absorbed a lot of negativity from media, people and experiences—and it's something you truly want to let go of—the good news is that you CAN recover from it. However, negatively is oddly addicting, so it may take time, patience, and weathering through some "withdrawal" symptoms before you can fully alter your preferences and thought patterns. With that in mind, the first step towards moving forward is consciously deciding to focus on better things.

But what about people who have suffered abuse or trauma? Like a brain affected negativity, a brain racked by trauma can also heal (though the process is not easy nor painless). If you have or are currently suffering abuse or trauma, I urge you to get far away from the situation (make a careful plan first though!) and consult a counselor or therapist to help you process it.

The experience of abuse and PTSD is much more painful and difficult to resolve compared to the general negativity, grudges, drama etc. that most humans experience. When you take those brave steps towards recovery, it becomes easier to nurture a healthy environment for your mind.

To close this post (because I'm far too tired to write smooth transitions)....

I don't often quote scripture but here is one that has stuck with me:

“…whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things and the God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:8).

Grab a copy of "Through Our Eyes: Living with Asperger's" (Special Edition 50 min version) for only $10! Discount expires soon (1/15/18)

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