When people think of their health and wellness, all too often, the mental aspect of life gets de-prioritized. In fact, some may not even consider their mind as an important part of their health. Here at Living Every Minute, we celebrate mental wellness’ root cause status, as it is the main factor in making the decision to take care of your health in the first place.
The best way to keep your mind sharp and active is to learn every day. This isn’t a passive exercise, you have to be intentional about it. When we are young, we go to school, where we are given homework and quizzed on our ever-growing knowledge. This reinforcement of consistent learning creates new synapses for our brains. Neural pathways are being established at an exponential rate, because the structure of society has engineered it that way.
Then we graduate, and are left to our own devices. Without the structure of programmed learning, we are left with the choice of self driven personal eduction or the slow atrophy of an apathetic existence. Read that last sentence again, have you seen this happen in the lives of the people around you? Has it ever happened to you? There’s a better way.
We must be mindful as we grow older, and our proximity to education decreases, to seek out learning in new ways. This is key in keeping our minds sharp. In a world without externally derived structure, patterns and processes the ultimate mental freedom is in the creation of your own.
Here are some of the things we do to strengthen our minds on a daily basis:
1. Commit to reading at least ten pages a day in a book that enhances your knowledge.
2. Memorize things. When we stop exercising our memory, it loses its ability to aid us in our day-today lives. Take some time to memorize poems, quotes, numbers, etc.
3. Listen to audiobooks, podcasts, or lectures on a variety of subjects. Choose a topic that you can learn something from, that challenges your way of thinking.
4. Try a new hobby. Do something outside of your comfort zone. Likes and dislikes change over time. Tastes change. It is important that we challenge ourselves to try new things. The experience we gain from new opportunities is where the biggest breakthroughs in learning present themselves.
In order to sustain a healthy mind, you must take control of your emotions. Depending on your situation, this may seem easier said than done. But remember: your mind, your rules. Mental and emotional focus are cognitive behavioral strengths that can be mastered over time. Your emotions, or rather how your let them affect you, are a direct reflection of your overall mental health.
Learning how to take your emotions and turn them into something that serves you will change your life.
So do some self-reflecting and write down what emotions are controlling your mind. How are they impacting your relationships, health, business, etc.? Are those impacts good, bad, or neutral? How can you change the negative emotions into positive ones? For example, if you feel that you have not been focusing enough time on your relationships with your kids, that could create feelings of sadness, frustration, and distraction. But instead of letting yourself sit around and be sad about this revelation, you can be thankful for your self-awareness and focus on how to change that reality. Once you take control of your emotions, you can use them to help make your life more fulfilling, rather than let them hold you back.
The secret to intentional living, is thinking long enough to have intentions in the first place. It all starts with what’s in that head of yours. Healthy mind: happy life.
Living Every Minute