"What's on Your Mind?" is the prompt for Facebook status updates.
Recently, I've noticed that there's a lot of junk on my mind, much of it unpleasant and worrisome. We unconsciously shovel in junk all day with the news, tv shows, and even the books we read! So after serious consideration (and one of those "last straw" experiences) I'm giving up reading fiction with any form of violence in it.
Which means most of my beloved murder mysteries and thrillers. I used to love, for example, the Dick Francis mysteries because they were all about horse racing. And you know how I feel about horses. But the novel I've just finished involves bad guys abusing horses, and one disturbing mental image in particular stuck with me long after the book was done. And I thought, why would I traumatize myself like that on purpose? Don't we have enough in our real lives to worry about as it is?
Jon Kabat-Zinn suggests that we think of what information we take in the same way we think about our diets: Pay attention to what floats up unbidden in your mind from things you've read, heard on the radio, or seen on tv. Be mindful of what you shovel in during the course of a day. See what you might want to change.