In a time when obesity has hit an all-time high and everywhere you turn the media offer miracle weight-loss solutions, much attention is paid to re-establishing healthy eating habits. We are being re-educated on which foods are nourishing and which are detrimental to our health. But once we have our food diets under control, what about the thoughts we feed our mind? How would a mental diet affect our overall well-being?

The foods we eat either nourish or deplete us; our energy, our vitamins, minerals and all the other things that promote good health. Our thoughts are much the same. Thoughts have a higher energy if they are positive and we feel better when we think such thoughts. For example, when we engage in thoughts of kindness towards ourselves and others, we can feel the effects in our bodies as well as our minds. Positive thoughts benefit everyone in the end.

Proof can be found in spending time with someone who endlessly complains and is nothing but negative about life. Whenever you interact with someone who has nothing but negative thoughts, they deplete your own energy; people always say negative people are ‘draining’ or ‘exhausting’, they feel tired after being with them. Negative energy is greedy in a sense; it continually, unconsciously takes from others and its environment and does little in the way of contributing to the world.

On the other hand, positive thoughts uplift others and in doing so, re-energise our own systems. We feel better, happier, and lighter when we engage in positive thinking. In sharing these high energy thoughts, we contribute to the world. Spirits are buoyed by positive thinking.

All thoughts, whether positive or negative, begin a chain reaction within us and others. One thought leads to another and another and another, making it difficult to cut the link. Wouldn’t it be wiser and healthier to build a chain of positive thoughts than negative ones? It all boils down to being aware of the thoughts our minds feed on, much like becoming conscious of the food we eat. For instance, if we want to cut out excess sugar from our diets, we educate ourselves on what foods contain too much so we don’t slip up. It’s the same for our thoughts; if we have trouble with envy or jealousy, we become more conscious of the triggers that set these thoughts into motion and try to avoid them.

When we look at our over-indulgence in certain food groups, we sometimes wonder why we are never full. The same can be said for thoughts; why do angry, sad, judgemental, envious, or greedy thoughts never fill us up? They always have us reaching for more but they never fill the void or satisfy us as much as positive thoughts do.

So, what is a thought diet? It is similar to a regular diet. A regular diet requires a person to monitor everything they eat during the day and abstain from foods that are unhealthy and offer no nutritional value. A thought diet requires a person to monitor their thoughts and abstain from the ones that are negative or destructive.

Both diets have the same goal of promoting well-being. Why would we watch what we eat without paying attention to what is happening in our minds, when our thoughts may be the reason we over-indulge in the first place? It makes sense to take a holistic approach and pay attention to everything our minds, bodies and spirits tell us.