3 Things that Affect the Mind

30 Jun 2017 Bangalore, India

If you keep resisting negative thoughts, and try to push them away, they will follow you like a ghost. Shake hands with your negative thoughts. Tell them, "Come here and sit with me. I will not leave you," and you will see how quickly they disappear.

When it comes to negativity, or thoughts in general, there are three things that impact the mind:

#1 Food

Specific foods have specific effects on the body and the mind, and also the quantity of food consumed. You may have noticed, when you eat little food, you feel energetic, and when you eat too much, you don’t feel energetic. You feel dull and feel like lying down. You feel a sort of inertia has overtaken you. So, food impacts the mind and this is why our scriptures advocate the practice of Mittaahara – meaning exercising balance and restraint in eating food.

#2 Company

What we hear impacts our mind. The people with whom we are affects us. If we are in good company, then it has a good impact on us. If we are in bad company, then negative feelings like anger, jealousy, and so on affect us. Good company gives a good feeling and in bad company the mind gets muddled up in complaining about another person, and negativity. All this is called bad company. So, the company you keep has an impact on your mind.

#3 Time

The effect of time is both at the level of matter as well as mind. If you buy an apple and just keep it in the basket, over time it starts to rot. When you look at any object, you can know how old it is. So, time has an impact on matter. Our body changes with time.

Time also has an impact on the mind. People seldom notice this. How you feel in the morning is different from how you feel in the afternoon and how you feel in the evening or at night – your state of mind and feelings change.

Similarly, thought patterns also get affected by time. Winter, Summer, and Spring affect the mind differently. During ancient times, people did an in-depth study on this – how different degrees of the moon have a definite impact on the mind. That’s why they use the expressions Tara-bal and Chandra-bal. The moon is in one constellation for two and a half days, then it moves to the other constellation. So, in two and half days, there are definite changes in the mood of the mind.


This brings the question, "Are we slaves of our mind?"

I say no, because there is something beyond the mind, and that is the intellect. When the intellect is strong, it overcomes the impact of these factors on the mind. When the intellect is weak, then the emotions take over the mind.

Now, what if the intellect also gets affected?
Then there is something beyond the intellect and that is the Self. This is where meditation makes a big difference. When you go deep in meditation, the consciousness becomes very subtle, and your mind becomes fresh like a flower. In such a delicate state of consciousness, all thoughts move away, emotions get settled and you experience the most tranquil, most benevolent and most beautiful inner space.

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