Content Diet For Your Brain

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When we think of diets and what we put inside our bodies, the default reaction is to consider food diets and what we eat. But as science continues to unravel the connection between our gut and brain, there is ever more reason to think about what we feed our brains. And what we feed our brains is everything we see, read, watch and listen.

No News For Eight Years

I intuitively reacted many years ago when I stopped listening to and reading news of any form. It felt strange at first because this is something I had always done. But the more podcasts I listened to with intelligent people debating interesting topics, the more I realise I did not need negative news repeated into my brain every 15 minutes which happens on radio bulletins.

I would come home from work and immediately put on a rolling news channel such as Sky or BBC. It slowly sunk into me that news is only negative information. There are never any positive reports of happy stories. It was always about war, famine, disease and distress. So I made the conscious decision to remove all news from my brain, which had an astonishing effect.

More Brain Space For Positivity

Taking this negative information away from my brain gave me more space to learn from scientists and educators about any topic I chose to absorb. 

I was one of the early adopters of podcasts as can be seen from my podcast reviews. And as more educators entered the podcast space, more information opened up to be learned and amazed at.

Spirulina For Your Soul, Not Fast Food For Your Amygdala

This wonderful phrase comes from Chris Williamson which I first heard him say on his Modern Wisdom podcast no. 695 with Codie Sanchez.

He said, if the cells of your body are made up of the food you put in your mouth, then your brain is made up of the things you watch and listen.

Feed Your Brain With Spirulina

Being of a certain vintage, I stayed away from most social media apart from Facebook which I used occasionally to scroll. In recent years, the algorithms in Facebook have actually improved to feed me information I want to see. 

But I am very aware of what I put into my brain. Whereas maybe others are not so cautious allowing algorithms to feed ever more negativity and disaster scenarios of news into the brain. 

Therefore you should think very carefully about your social media use, as well as TV and radio. Remember, if there is a big news story, you will hear about it. And it doesn’t matter if you hear about it an hour or more after everyone else. You will always hear about the big news stories. And if you watch news channels, you will notice these news stories just repeat themselves over and over again.

Where To Learn About News

It is a fact that every businessman needs to know what is happening in the world. Not listening to the news does not make me ignorant about the news, because I choose where to get my news from.

I do not listen to soundclips or quick video messages. I get my news listening to people discuss and debate the happenings in the world in long format discussions. These are independent thinkers who have the capacity to not be used or swayed by outside forces. 

This is how you learn the important details of particular stories. Think about it logically. How can a war between two countries be summed up in a 30 second report? There are thousands of years of history to understand the depths of such conflicts. And this can only be understood through long format discussions with educated people who have a deep understanding of the topic at hand.

Evolutionary Brain Wiring

The problem is, human brains are wired to focus on negative news.

When we were living in our tribes, a potential attack from another tribe, or the possibility of packs of sabre toothed tigers in the area was much more important information than a new patch of berries which had been found in the distance.

The attacks from either humans or animals were real existential threats to the lives of everybody in the tribe. So that is what our brains naturally head towards.

Conclusion: Control Your Brain Diet

This means you have to intentionally turn your brain away from negative rolling news, and focus towards intellectual and educational positivity, of which there is so much about.

To test this, I recently joined Instagram which I had stayed away from until now for reasons explained above. But I wondered if I could make my Instagram feed a force for good and positivity, by only following people who have interesting and positive topics to share.

The good news is that it is 100% possible to make this happen. My Instagram algorithms only introduce me to other positive educational people aligning with the ones I have already discovered.

Resources

There are many wonderful independent reporters and educators out there. I follow just a few which I will mention here. If you want to find more, I would suggest listening to some of these people, and find others who they respect also for their independent reporting and thinking:

Triggernometry: Comedians Konstantin Kisin and Francis Foster create honest conversations with fascinating people, often discussing the big news stories of the time.

What Most People Think: Comedian Geoff Norcott talks about the news topics of the week from a very centrist position of what the majority of people are thinking, but cannot be bothered to say due to the overwhelming noise being shouted from the fringes

Joe Rogan Experience: Arguably the leader of the free speech revolution with long format conversations with intellects on a multitude of subjects from all areas of the information spectrum.

Lex Friedman: A pioneer for true love, having long form conversations similar to Joe Rogan, with a slant towards AI and the world of supercomputing.

Jordan Harbinger: Another free thinker who interviews people from many aspects of life in slightly shorter episodes of an hour or so. Jordan is guaranteed to find some fascinating and interesting people on topics you would have never thought of interest, but pull you in with their depth of knowledge.

Modern Wisdom: Chris Williamson interviews great thinkers on this planet, many of whom I list below and follow on Instagram:

David Goggins

Dr. Jordan Peterson

Sam Harris

Dr. Andrew Huberman

Ryan Holiday

Steven Pinker

Douglas Murray

Dr. David Sinclair

Mark Manson 

And so many many more.

Don’t forget there are many good people out there trying to do good things. Don’t listen to the narrative of what the mainstream media want you to hear. Go out there and think for yourself. Find the people who are sharing the message from all sides, and get your brain fed with spirulina for your soul to make you more knowledgeable and resilient than ever.

Live long, live smart, live strong!

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