I have always been fascinated by the topic of mental saturation. It’s the idea that you can manipulate your own thoughts, perceptions of the world, habits, and inclinations simply by choosing what you consistently expose your mind to.
A friend of mine once complained to me about nightmares she was having. We got talking about the content of her nightmares, and the possible contributors to her nighttime anxiety manifested in the world of her dreams. It didn’t take long for us to stumble into conversation about her love of horror movies.
As I write these words, Superman is staring at me. The original Superman movies were fairly cheesy, but a friend of mine gave me a Superman poster along with a single clip from an old movie reel from the film. I hung it in my office as inspiration to pursue goodness and to do my best at heroically serving others. I swore off horror films long ago.
My friend and I talked about my decision not to watch horror movies. To her, horror films represent the highest form of art. She loves the idea of striving for the most creative and dark forms of gruesome torture. However, as we got talking about the way she routinely saturates her mind with thoughts of malevolence and death, she couldn’t help but agree that she may predispose herself to more vivid nightmares than would be typical for someone who grew up on a farm two hundred years ago.
The fact is, these days we have far more choices about what we will expose our minds to. The world has changed. If you do not consciously adjust the stream of information entering your mind, you put yourself at risk. There is an endless stream of videos, magazines, websites, books, movies, and other mediums that allow me to focus in on any narrow subject I wish.
Two hundred years ago, you didn’t hear about every violent crime that happened. News that traveled across the country was limited to the most crucial bits of information. I, on the other hand, get automatic exposure to statements like, “A woman is violently beaten and raped on the south side of Chicago, plus find out why mold may be deadlier than you think! Stay tuned for all this and more tonight at ten.” It was the ten seconds I accidentally recorded following a television show I like to record at 9 PM.
The news media consistently focuses in on dramatic news. Since dramatic news is generally more negative than all of the positive news they could report, the negative stuff ends up saturating the news channels.
We don’t need to watch horror movies to fill your mind with thoughts of violence and malevolence. In fact, these days you have to make a conscious effort if you choose to saturate your mind with thoughts of hope and inspiration.
It is my personal belief that there is a great value in purposefully cultivating joyful thoughts and emotions in yourself and others. I believe in purposefully adopting hope in the face of hardship. I believe in the pursuit of goodness in all of its forms. I do not believe in bowing to cynicism in the name of “being realistic.” My belief is that we are creators because we have free will and choice, and our responsibility to choose what we create starts in the mind. What kind of habits and inclinations do you want to cultivate in the garden of your mind?
Any of you who have studied my materials, or followed my blog for long, know that joy and positive energy are factors that strongly attract high-quality men into your life. So the goal of pursuing joy through mental saturation is particularly relevant to those seeking better romantic relationship outcomes.
Today I will leave you with just one tip for taking charge of the things that saturate your mind. Make a list of several things you really enjoy in this life. Now take that list and look for ways to tune the various channels of information that flow into your life.
For example, you could drop your magazine subscription to “People,” with its constant stream of good-looking people and gossip, and switch it over to some kind of travel magazine that saturates your mind with pictures of beautiful places that lower your blood pressure just by looking at them. If you really love gossip magazines about celebrities, I’m not trying to control your choices there. It’s just an example to show you how to put the concept into action.
There are literally hundreds of methods for making small changes to your environment and routines that lead to a mental saturation of the sort that you would choose, if you had purposefully engineered your life with this concept in mind from the start. Share your own ideas for positive mental saturation for others to borrow. Leave your ideas in the comments section below.