It’s likely you choose the food you eat based partly on how you want your body to feel. Coffee wakes you up, pasta fills you up, and green smoothies put some pep in your prance.
By comparison, how much consideration do we give the thoughts we ingest to determine how our souls feel?
The smorgasbord of information we consume, while much of it benign, might not be fueling the emotions we want in our lives.
The conversations that happen around us, like passed hors d’oeuvres, may be delicious and satisfying, or they may leave us hungry for more.
Most importantly, the recycled thoughts we get stuck in our teeth (er, our minds), are often stale and do not nourish creativity, empathy or growth.
How then, do you change your thought diet?
One simple solution? Stock an optimism pantry.
Fill up the cupboards with encouraging podcasts and inspiring Pinterest pages. Start a collection of email folders that overflow with love and playlists that soothe the soul. Line the shelves with favorite workout videos, yoga poses, and meditation mantras. Stockpile rituals like gratitude walks and teatime reflections as emergency reserves.
Build up a store of feel-good resources that will bring you out of a slump or quiet your scattered mind.
Then, when worry shows up as le plat du jour or malaise feels like its been on daily special for a week straight, put the fork down, push the plate away and saunter to your positivity pantry.
The brain has a funny way of getting stuck in a rut. When you’re tired of the menu of emotions it’s serving up, use the spice of new thought to bring about a flavor change in the emotions you feel. Anxiety weighing you down? Let humor cut its acidity. Anger raising your temperature? Maybe some curiosity will cool it off.
Fill your plate with voices that say, “You got this.” Pour a glass of gratitude. Savor a few side helpings of essays, poetry or articles that celebrate the marvel of life.
It may seem overly simplistic, but if our thoughts determine how we feel—and they do—then choosing wholesome, delightful ones will leave our souls feeling satisfied and nourished.
So, instead of dishing up a makeshift meal from whatever buffet of ideas the world is serving, take the time to mix up your own recipe with a scoop of motivation, a dash of positivity and a generous pinch of optimism. It will definitely hit the spot and make life even more delicious.
Becky Burton is a freelance writer and hopeful adventurer. Her most recent accomplishment is a 160-page love letter to New York, otherwise known as her first novel, The Audacious Magpie. She describes her blog as "a little spot of sunshine on the Internet." Through everything she creates, she seeks to celebrate the wonderful privilege of being human.
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