Your body is a vessel that carries your soul, so you must take good care of it. That’s a concept easy to grasp. Everybody knows how important it is to take good care of the body with regular exercise, a healthy diet and moderate lifestyle; and it makes complete sense to go to the doctor when you get sick.
Everybody knows and agrees with the importance of the healthy living, but sticking to it is completely another story.
On the other hand, taking good care of your mind is not perceived as common sense as taking care of your body; even though it’s sometimes even more important.
Psychological pain is often much harder on you than physical pain. At the very least, a poor mindset leads to being constantly trapped in negative emotions, making bad life decisions, self-sabotage, several severe diseases (mind has a great influence on the body), an unhappy life in general and many other negative behaviors and outcomes.
Scars on a body are well seen, but wounds of a soul are sometimes permanently hidden.
Thus you must regularly take care of your mind.
Much like you can do many things for your physical health to avoid any serious illness or injury that needs to be cured by a doctor, so you can take many precautions to take good care of your mind, in order to not find yourself in depression, social anxiety, severe stress, eating disorder, procrastination, cognitive distortions or any personality disorder.
We don’t even need to go that far.
Being unhappy or unsatisfied in life or living a zombie life wasting your potentials is certainly a big enough reason to start taking better care of your life by upgrading the way you think. It may help if you imagine your mind like a garden that you have to take care of regularly.
Your mind is like a garden and you are the gardener general
Even though nothing lasts forever, you can extend the longevity of things with positive actions, regular maintenance, and constant growth and improvement. Your body and mind are no exceptions to that. With regular maintenance, they both last longer and function better. That’s exactly what you want.
If you want to have a beautiful garden, you have to take care of it regularly; on a daily basis. And if you want to have a beautiful mind, you have to take care of it regularly; also on a daily basis.
There are several ways how you can take good care of your mind garden:
- Plant the right seeds and regularly wipe out the weeds
- Make sure that other people aren’t throwing rotten seeds on your soil
- Take good care of the soil
Plant the right seeds
The seeds in the garden of mind are constantly being planted. The seeds in the garden of mind are your thoughts, opinions and concepts.
The right seeds, the beautiful seeds from which a nice flower will grow, are all the thoughts that bring the positive into your life. The right seeds are tender thoughts of sharing, connecting and loving – yourself, people, things and ideas.
Examples of the right seeds to plant in your garden of mind are:
- Your life visions, life mission and life strategies for how you will achieve your goals
- Being proud of yourself and feeling good in your own skin
- Brainstorming new innovative ideas
- Thinking about the positive qualities of other people and your plan to connect with them even more
- Things you are looking forward to in life
- Things you are grateful for
- Learning and constantly improving
- Mentoring others and showing them how they can do things better
On the other hand, harmful seeds or weeds are all the thoughts that bring the negative into your life. Negative thoughts or seeds are rough mental energies of excluding, disconnecting and hating – yourself, people, things and ideas.
Examples of negative seeds being planted in your mind:
- Minimizing your accomplishments
- Comparing yourself to others and being jealous
- Fantasizing about revenge or misfortune happening to other people
- Labeling yourself and others in a negative way
- Drowning in self-pity and a victim mindset
- Being a perfectionist and always wanting more and more
- Other cognitive distortions
When we talk about rotten seeds, the most important fact is that by thinking the same negative thought over and over again, you give rotten seeds the power to grow and spoil your garden.
They can completely overtake it. They can completely destroy your mind and your life. So you want to pull out the weeds while they’re still small and manageable. Stop feeding the monster. Starve it.
By thinking the same negative thought over and over again, you give rotten seeds the power to grow.
On a more positive note, by thinking the same positive thought over and over again, you give healthy seeds the power to grow. So think positive thoughts repeatedly. Enjoy them.
With your actions, you give additional power to your rotten or healthy seeds to grow. That means you have to be careful how you think, what you say and especially how you act.
Wipe out the weeds
In the garden of mind, it’s impossible to plant only the good seeds. Weeds grow in every single garden of mind. There’s no way to avoid it.
But there are two things you can do regularly to properly maintain your mind:
- You can observe what’s happening with your mind and learn to recognize a bad seed from a good one. You do that with meditation, by counting negative thoughts, writing and categorizing them, and many other mind exercises. Here are all potential toxic thoughts that you need to learn to identify and categorize.
- You can pull out the weeds while they’re still small and manageable. Not only do you have to throw away the bad seeds, you also have to cut down the ones that start to grow. You can do that with emotional accounting, cognitive reframing, positive affirmations and many other mind tools.
You either control your mind or your mind controls you.
Controlling your mind doesn’t mean that a negative thought never appears in your mind. It only means that you learn to recognize what’s happening in your garden of mind and bring attention to the positive things.
Watch what other people are throwing on your soil
Other people are constantly throwing seeds on your mind soil. When you watch the news, what you read, when you talk to other people, it all represents seeds being thrown on your garden of mind. You want to make sure that as few rotten seeds as possible are thrown at you.
Making sure that the healthy seeds of other people land on your mind soul isn’t rocket science:
- Don’t spend time with bozos, zombies, and ignore the haters
- Read useful and positive material, and read a lot
- Don’t watch TV at all
- Don’t read the news and trashy magazines
- Don’t let social networks be the main source of information for you
- Browse educational not mental masturbation internet sites
- Listen to positive music and different audio books
- Go to seminars, lectures, subscribe to MOOCS and never stop learning
- Get yourself a mentor
All these things are part of your personal infostructure. Your personal infostructure is like a sieve that separates healthy seeds from the rotten ones so that they don’t even have a chance to reach you. Build yourself an outstanding infostructure and your garden of mind will start to blossom.
But even if you build yourself an outstanding infostructure, a few rotten seeds will still land in your mind. Luckily, you can only be infected with a negative idea if your mind is fertile ground for such negative words and ideas. Make sure you’re simply not sensible to anything negative, because you know very well that you can’t live a positive life with a negative mind.
You can only be infected with a negative idea if your mind is fertile ground for such negative words and ideas.
Take good care of the soil
Last but not least, make sure you take good care of the soil. That brings us back to the body. A healthy mind can only reside in a healthy body. So make sure you’re taking good care of your body, especially your brain. It’s actually not that hard to do that.
There are only five major things you must do to take good care of the soil:
- A healthy diet means a healthier brain. Eat a lot of green veggies and fruit in moderation, a high amount of healthy fats, low amounts of sugar, and consume low amounts of alcohol.
- Exercise at least three times a week. Go for a 30-minute walk if nothing else. Exercising in nature is much better than being a gym rat.
- Get enough sleep every night. It’s the number one thing for keeping your brain healthy and making sound decisions. If you’re sleepy, you don’t act as rationally as you should.
- Reduce the amount of stress in your life. Stress slowly kills you and it also kills your brain and the ability to take good care of your garden. Increase your margins, simplify your life and learn to manage stress properly.
- Constantly try new things, challenge yourself, travel, talk to new people, never get bored. Do a creative task every day – do art, brainstorm ideas, write etc. You can do brain teasers, games and different puzzles. You can play challenging video games. Constantly try new things.
Your mind is like a garden. Make sure it’s a unique and beautiful garden. You will be rewarded with a happy and high-quality life, and people will love to spend time with you.
There is no wiser life advice than: take good care of your body and take good care of your mind.