Just like your computer your mind gets cluttered up with unnecessary or outdated code which makes it run slower or even ruins a few pieces of software and eventually causes your computer to shut down. So it is with the mind, only there is no debugging manual for the mind.
Here are a few suggestions to debug your mind of those little bugs that make your life less than perfect.
9 Ways to debug your mind
1. Know your own mind – Know your operating system
Not knowing your own mind is like not knowing what operating system your computer uses. Unless you know the operating system you can't buy software for your computer and if you do chances are it will malfunction or not work at all. Knowing your mind is knowing what values and principles you live by. You might now know all your values and principles but you certainly know some of them. For example would you ever steal from someone, more than likely you wouldn't, so that is one of the values you live by – I shall not steal from someone else. What about honesty? what about being authentic? What about having compassion for others? What about working hard? These are all values and principles you live your life by. By looking at and developing each value and principle you can start to strengthen each one.
2. Work on your beliefs – Learn the software
Are some of your beliefs outdated? Your beliefs about yourself and the world around you are constantly being updated but you can speed the process up and enjoy a fuller, richer life by knowing what your beliefs are and strengthening them to move you forward. Your beliefs are like the software you have on your computer, you know they are there but you might have not made the best use of them. For example I have photoshop on my computer but I really only use it for cropping, and touching up photos, when there is so much more I could do with photoshop if I only took the time to learn more about it. So it is with beliefs – I believe I am a decent writer but I have never pushed myself to put my writing out there and work on it more and begin to polish it and find my own voice. There are also some beliefs that no longer serve me well so I should drop them. For example I am now quite a confident person but beliefs from my past try and muscle their way in to my current belief, it's now time to let go of the old belief and live the new belief.
3. Dropping past memories – Deleting old files
Memories you have which can be harmful to your well being are best dropped altogether. Easy to say, harder to do. Some people spend a lifetime in therapy trying to understand why something happened from their childhood, why? Acknowledge that something bad has happened to you and whilst you might never be able to delete the memory you can choose when to access the memory. It's like having old files on your computer, that will never do you or the computer any good but you choose to go into the folder and open the files up every day. It's time for the delete button. If the memories are still raw, then that is a different story but if the memories are years old then it's time to hit DELETE.
4. Take time for yourself – Shutdown your emails, skype, and chat software
Our lives have become so busy with 1001 things to do for our kids, our families, our partners, our work, and friends. Sometimes you just have to shut the world out for a bit and take time for yourself and do something you enjoy. It's like every time you go on the computer and there are people sending you emails, sending you tweets, wanting to googletalk or talk to you on skype. Shut everything down and take time for yourself. Take a day off work, don't tell anybody, send the kids to school and spend the day reading, browsing shops, walking, in an art gallery, anything just to be yourself. The time we spend alone is time recharging our batteries.
5. Learn new habits – Upgrade your software
Our habits can also become outdated and if we do the same as we have always done we will always get the same results. Just like your computer if you use the same software without upgrading it you will be missing out on the true potential of the software. Your habits need to be constantly upgraded and new ones introduced over time. If your habit is to exercise only after you have noticed you are piling on the pounds and then stop exercising, then it's time to look at this habit and rework it so it suits you better and saves you the anguish and pain of piling on the pounds.
6. Keep your mind active – Learn new software
Our minds can become dull with the drudgery of life and going over the same things day in day out. We become bored and settle for a less than perfect life. If we constantly learn new things about our world and the people in it the world and life will not seem dull. Imagine if you were to keep using the WordPress software which came out all those years ago, your blogs or websites wouldn't be all that exciting, now there is so much more WordPress can do and the current version on 2.8.4 is so much more powerful. Our minds need to keep active and constantly learning new information in order to keep on working in later life.
7. Dropping the deadwood – Delete user permissions
As hard as it sounds there are some people in our lives who do not belong in our lives anymore, you've moved on perhaps they have to, but you still keep in touch for some reason, it could be pity, it could be guilt or misplaced loyalty. Whatever it is, if there are people in your life who drag you down, are negative, are not as committed as you, it's time to say goodbye to them. Change the user permissions on the computer and lock them out. They will move on and you will move on, it's called life and you will both feel better for it.
8. Recharge your mind – Putting your computer on sleep mode
We are living in an age of information overload and as we learn to adapt and evolve to this we have to find a way to recharge our minds. One of the best ways of doings this, I find, is some form of meditation. 20 – 40 minutes per day will do wonders for your energy, productivity and creativity. When I have mentioned this in the past some people object stating that they cannot get 40 minutes to spend on meditating. The 40 minutes spent on meditating will free up at least 1 hour of your time during the day by recharging your mind and being able to think more clearer, more more productive and have more energy. So if you look at it from the point of view that you are saving at least 20 minutes per day instead of losing 40 minutes per day this might change your mind about meditation.
9. Developing thinking skills – What language is your computer using?
Your computer software is only as good as the language it is written in. Imagine if all software was still written in an old computer language how far would computing have evolved – not very far at all. As computer languages have evolved programmers have written software with the ability to predict what may happen and 'if' something happens what to do about it. Our thinking skills are vital to be able to communicate with each other to get our thoughts across to someone else. whilst we were not taught thinking skills formally, we have developed thinking strategies over the course of our lives. It's important to look at thinking as a skill in order to develop it. Using cognitive brain enhancing programs are one way to develop thinking skills as is reading more on the topic, which is way to big to go into in a post this size. Another thing I would recommend is reading about philosophical issues, I think this is a great exercise to develop thinking skills and can lead you to places in your mind you didn't know existed.