Wednesday, December 05, 2012
I was getting long winded on the Staying Motivated message board, so I decided to expound here...
I protect my state of mind like I would protect my food plan or my fitness time. Motivation doesn't just fall from the sky, and there is a lot of stuff out there trying to sabotage us. Just like junk food, there is junk attitude.
I used to watch 4-6 hours of news a day, when I was a young woman. I'm not saying all news must be avoided, just like it's not balanced to say you can never have bread again. Just if you do, you work a little more in some other area, either cutting calories or burning them. And like bread or other carbs, the more processed it is the worse it's going to be for you.
Related to that is interactions on social media, which are great up to a point. Moreso than news, you benefit from interactions with your friends and family, so I would say it's more like cheese and dairy. But you have to know how much is too much, and when people are just winding each other up for attention, or just participating in mindless games. I'm sure that with the election this year, you probably ran into some people who didn't see things your way, who were obnoxious about it. At that point it is a cause of stress and not a relief.
And finally there is the real mind candy and chips. Soap operas, video games, reality TV, pop music. I don't think anyone doesn't know this stuff is fluff. Some of it is cotton candy, some of it is like that 2,000 calorie milkshake. I watch a couple of night time dramas, and sometimes they freak me out.
My daughter used to ask why people like dumb stuff, and I said the best I can figure, we get addicted to poison. So that's some of the bad stuff. It's not exhaustive, just a general purpose rundown. I didn't hit bacon or alcohol, but trust me, they have equivalents. So what is the remedy? How do I sweat off the demotivation and junk attitude? How can I replace fear and anger with love and joy?
One start is replacing junk media and interactions with higher quality input. I like to watch classics and nature documentaries, and movies I know are good rather than something that is novel but I don't know how it will make me feel. I look up reviews on movies from reliable sources before I sink an evening into one.
Water is indispensable for a healthy lifestyle, and I would compare this to mindfulness or spirituality. Whatever you call it, meditation and stillness are refreshing and create space in our lives for good energy. It takes effort for me to read something inspiring or interesting, but I always am glad I did it. I enjoy writing quite a bit and would include it under this area.
I'd compare fitness to having positive interactions with folks. Hugs and encouragement are great and build both the giver and the recipient. Whereas I'd define social media as a generally passive activity, building communities even if they are "only online" is more active and adds value for participants. Giving service to people is another great way to fill our inner reservoirs.
For a lot of folks, this stuff comes naturally or isn't that big a deal, just like some people don't struggle with weight. It doesn't come naturally for me. I've actually struggled through most of my life with a negative attitude. I don't know how much this system would really work without a spiritual foundation of some sort. But I see that there are patterns and paths to learn just like with other aspects of healthy lifestyle.