Although I am a habitual faster, going without food for days, feels way easier than actually doing a mental diet. Conquering your mind is, in essence, a challenging task. That is why I always find it really peculiar why most coaches and gurus drop it around like the easiest thing in the world.
In this post, I am going to walk you through what is a mental diet, what is its purpose, how to do it properly and the challenges you might have to face as you go along. Like everything else, when it comes to your mindset, practice makes perfect and the mental diet makes magic.
Let’s get some context
You might have heard the sentence “thoughts become things”. This concept is by far one of the most important concepts in reality creation. Whether or not you believe that reality is bendable or that you can create or modify the world with your thoughts, is honestly irrelevant. Even leaving aside the “magical” aspect of reality creation, the way you think about yourself, your environment and your circumstances influences deeply how you react in your life.
You might have noticed that when you are in a negative headspace, everything around you seems to become negative. To me, the clearest example was when I was dieting. I hated myself for being overweight. It didn’t matter what trendy diet I tried. I was able to lose some weight here and there, but the weight always came back. That was until I decided to think about it in a positive manner, enjoying the journey and loving myself on my way to success. That simple shift made things fun and exciting. Pounds dropped so easily that I couldn’t even believe it at first.
Most people spend their lives running away from pain instead of running towards what they truly want. The problem with that attitude is that pain seems to catch up quite quickly and becomes a continuous rat race. A mental shift is required to break the circle. In order to get the very best, you need to expect the very best and hold that vision until you get there. A powerful “why” is the best propeller. But, how do you hold that vision without losing heart when the outcome is not even on sight? Here is when the mental diet comes in handy.
What is a “mental diet”?
The spiritual leader, Emmet Fox coined the term “mental diet” and wrote an exercise book called “the 7 days mental diet”. The premise of this book is if you consciously decide to only think positive thoughts, your reality should shift to reflect that internal change.
A mental diet is your decision to focus all your thought energy only on positive thoughts and refuse to dwell on any negative thought that might arise.
This concept is extremely simple in theory, but trust me, when I say it isn’t that easy.
You have to remember that around 90% of your thoughts are generated by your subconscious mind. It is using previously installed beliefs to simplify the task. If those beliefs are positive and constructive, you will fly through the exercise effortlessly. However, if like the rest of us, you have limiting beliefs or negative programming, this operation will be the most incredible exercise of mental control.
Emmet himself explains in his book that the conscious control of your thoughts is a hard exercise. Monitoring for every single one of your thoughts at a conscious level is not something that us mere mortals are used to. Most times we go on autopilot relying on the already installed programming.
He also claims that a mere 7 days of conscious monitoring will install the patterns of thought to make it sustainable at a subconscious level. I have to agree with him on that, although I have to add a little caveat. In my experience, it is not every day that we deal with every single one of our limiting beliefs, and even if we did, beliefs evolve over time. What serves you here, might not serve you later on. This process requires to be revisited and assessed regularly.
What is the purpose of a mental diet?
In Reality Creation the purpose is to change within so the external world will reflect that change without and serve you with a more pleasant or desirable reality. I proved that to myself, but I also remember when I was not so convinced about all those “exoteric things” and as my purpose is to cater to everyone who is looking for positive change in their life. I would like to elaborate further.
My friend Melody was not happy at work. Her boss was disorganized, incapable of taking decisions and prone to firing anyone that disagreed. Going to work had become a nightmare. It frustrated her. All the way to work she focused on how much she hated her job. That also took away her happiness outside of work, as she would cry about it even when she got home.
After a couple of months of this disaster, she decided to talk to me about it. She loves me and trusts me, but she is not a big believer in “those weird things I do”. Yet the situation was so exasperating to her that she decided to give my method a try. It was not as drastic as a full-on mental diet, but we agreed that every morning on her commute to work, she would make a conscious effort to think only positive things about her work and her boss. If any negative thought would arise, she was to quickly dismiss it and get back to affirm only the positive things.
She was surprised when that same week things started to change around her. By focusing her thought energy only on the positive, her mood at work improved, which in turn gained her praise from the boss itself. Positive thought also reflects in your body as there is less stress, which landed her even compliments from her colleagues. By refusing to engage in negative talks or complaints her general mood improved inside and outside work.
She called me a week later in amusement. She was delighted. That little mindset shift had changed her outlook. Now colleagues complimented and acknowledged her and she is happy to go to work. Now imagine, what a massive change like a mental diet can do to your life?
How to do a mental diet?
I always recommend following Emmet Fox’s instructions on this matter, although I have to say, that sometimes I choose a particular subject I want to work on my diet. For the sake of clarity, I will explain the steps for both cases.
Decide to allocate the time
Don’t do a mental diet lightly. It is an exercise of mental willpower. The decision will set the mood for what you want to accomplish. It will signal your mind that you are serious about it.
Your determination to succeed needs to be unshakeable. That is why it is important that you are in a good mental space and sure that you want to go ahead with it. Emmet recommends pondering on it for a couple of days.
The first time I started a mental diet, I knew I needed a change, that things were not working for me. I didn’t have the resources or the time for expensive therapy and I gathered that a mental diet was a free way to test if any of those crazy theories of reality creation were true.
Set reminders to help you with your task
When I am working on a particular topic I want to change in my mind, I have the habit of using a token. In my case, I get a bunch of post-its and I write the desired outcome of my diet. It is like the target weight on a regular diet. You decide on a powerful objective and you plant reminders all over the place to keep you motivated.
Let’s say that I am focusing on my body image. I will add to all my bags and coat a simple note that says “I love my body, I am grateful for the skin I am in which protects me and carries me everywhere and I treat it with care and respect because it deserves it”. As you might have noticed, it is similar to an affirmation that I carry around all day long to remind me to only think positive about my body.
For me, longer affirmations work better than shorter ones but you should use what works for you. Even a simple stone in your pocket, that reminds you to stay conscious of your diet will work. It is easy to lose focus and go back to what is familiar.
Think positive thoughts
Once you start your diet, you should monitor your thoughts like a hawk. This is the time to delight yourself in the most beautiful thoughts you can reach for. I will go as far as to say that if you can reach for better thoughts every time, you should do that.
Don’t dwell on the negative thoughts
That is the part that trips most people. Negative thoughts are going to show up, that is a fact. No one can be so isolated that they don’t receive negative impacts, now your mission is to see the thought and quickly move on to a positive thought.
You should refrain as much as possible from negative sources of influence, whether it is news outlets, negative people or talks. I try to stay away from of media as much as possible. As most of the information we consume tends to be designed to generate an emotional response. People that are negative on purpose, I avoid and when I force to interact with them I guard my thoughts and participate in the interaction from the role of the observer.
What if you fail?
You should always strive for success, but sometimes even I have failed. Acknowledge the fact. Stop for a couple of days and start from the very beginning. Be kind to yourself because as explained, this is not an easy task, but do not give up on your desire to be better or get better.
Do not do it halfway either. If you fail on the task, do not try to continue as nothing happened. You can do this and you do not want to signal your mind wrong messages.
What challenges you might encounter as you go along?
To me, the funniest part of all of this reality creating thing is the irony of things. When you are trying to change anything within your awareness, all your limiting beliefs come out to play. Like people, events and circumstances were conspiring against you.
Although it can be perceived as that it is not really true. I had that impression at the beginning of my journey before I truly knew how to deal with the curveballs of reality. If bad stuff is showing as you are doing your mental diet, be grateful, really grateful. It means it is working.
If that happens, understand the truth. Your subconscious brings unresolved issues to the forefront of your consciousness so you can deal, resolve and close those issues. This might be the small step you need to go where you intend to go.
Mental diets can be challenging. But it is my personal experience that the reward is far greater than you would ever imagine. If nothing else, you will acquire a clear overview of your thought patterns and the things that are hindering your progress towards your desired destination.
Now, it is my personal experience that the changes you do within reflect without in completely unexpected ways. This challenge is free and it only requires a bit of time and an aware mind. I would say it is a simple way to test this reality creation nonsense that everyone talks about, wouldn’t you?