Slow mind food

(From Edition 21 of The Upleveler, our weekly smartletter)

Do you know about the 'slow food movement'?

The slow food movement stands for everything that is the opposite of 'fast food' - slower pace, consumption of local items, preserving local customs and traditions together, and eating healthier foods that have a history of suiting people from your region.

Your brain may soon need the same for the way you consume information.

What we put into our brains is a lot like what we put into our stomachs. These choices have repercussions for our health, energy, and our future.

So what could a Slow Brainfood Movement look like?

1. Less frequent info-snacking: Jumping from tweet to tweet, listicle to listicle, snap to snap?  Stop and see what you are consuming, and how you do it. Help your brain rediscover its appetite for longer, deeper engagement with knowledge and wisdom.

2. Less sugar and spice: Learn to assess the 'nutritional content' of your informational intake. Media outlets have 'figured' us out and what our brains like to consume, especially in situations where we lack the will-power to fight their temptations. Ask yourself about what you are about to take in: is this really something that will enrich me in a timeless way? Or is this just hacking my attention for someone else's benefit?

3. Pause: Most things clamouring for your attention can wait. 'Breaking News' becomes irrelevant in a matter of hours. Timeless wisdom is not urgent but important, which is why you tend to postpone consuming them. 

4. Go local together: A globalised, hyper-social world means we are sometimes more knowledgeable about Trump and Kardashian than what happens right under and around our noses. So find out what's happening around you - your locality, district, city. You may have to find out newer, less popular sources for these. Mainstream channels only optimize for mass consumption, so ironically, the answer could lie in better tapping social media channels and people.

In addition, find a way to consume information along with a diverse group, to reduce the effects of a confirmation bias bubble.

5. Take charge: What we consume is largely arrived at ' by default'. So, you have got to take charge of what you put into your mind. Learn to take a moment and re-orient. Consume mindfully! Build the right habits around information. For food, they say, go with that which would have worked for your grandparents. With brainfood, go with that which will work not just for your grandparents, but for your grandchildren as well.

For regular nutritious brainfood, subscribe to The Upleveler!