Recently I discovered how to get Podcasts on my phone. This is a game changer, and yes, I realize I’m late in the game so I’m making up for it.
Now you will almost always find me with ear buds in or headphones on, listening and learning.
After about two weeks of listening to all my favourite podcasts, I found the ‘speed up’ button, and I’m now able to absorb at 2x the speed.
In the long run, I’m not sure if this is good for my mental health or not. Always being plugged in.
Listening to people speak at two times their normal speed. Learning from insanely intelligent people (example: Tom Chi).
If I continue to do this at the rate I’m going, I can already predict what will happen. Everyone in real life will become slow and stupid.
I don’t even mean ‘stupid’ – but next to Tom Chi, well, I definitely feel on the lower end of the intelligence spectrum.
Rewiring the Brain to Truly Listen
Here’s the thing though, right now, I don’t feel this way.
Right now, I feel like listening to real people speak is a relief. It’s making me enjoy real conversations again.
It’s not just about the slowed (normal) speech, which is clearly a relief to my brain, which for 3-6 hours a day runs on twice the speed.
Everything is more profound now.
For 3-6 hours every day, I am filling my brain with this stuff.
My brain is now wired for intelligence because that’s all I’m letting in… at two times the speed.
When I take my headphones off and just listen to my surroundings, everything is much more amazing.
Watching birds fly and then land, seeing chipmunks scamper, watching my dogs observe the birds and chipmunks…
It’s like seeing the world in high definition.
When my children come to me to talk about their day, or my daughter wants to sing a song she just made up, and my son wants to recite all the funny lines from his current favourite movie…
It’s like hearing the world in surround sound.
Rewiring the Brain and Your Mental Health
I have a greater appreciation for all of these things. I have the patience to listen and watch.
What does this have to do with mental health?
Several things are happening. First, I’m learning new things: example, meditation.
Learning how to meditate properly is certainly having a positive effect on me. I’m calm. I listen to my breathing – which is super important for someone with asthma.
Breathing is difficult, so being aware of its patterns throughout the day is key.
Maybe meditation is the soul reason for my mental growth. Maybe not. I’ll save this debate for a future post.
I’m learning a ton of new things, not just meditation. I’m constantly switching between podcast shows, plus reading new books.
That means that I’m not just learning new things, but I’m finding new distractions. I’m distracted from my thoughts.
Thus, anxiety is reduced.
I still find myself stressed from time to time, but I’m able to let my mind wander to the things I find more fascinating.
When I’m not in the worlds of books and podcasts, I’m in the now. I appreciate my family, my surroundings, and the current moment.
If I’m not thinking about the past or the future, I can certainly enjoy the present.
That’s my key to calm.
I know things will change, and my moods will change, but right now I’m calm.
Learning, distracting, appreciating.
From chaos to calm.
If you enjoy podcasts, make sure you check out the Mental Health and Me podcast!