We people, get so engrossed in daily routines and cycle of life that we tend to neglect our mental and physical well being!
A car, if not utilised, end up becoming decrepit, rusty and home to rodents. Similarly, if we human beings do not not exercise our mental and physical being, we eventually fall trap to inactivity leading to slow, unproductive mind and a lethargic body. The mind becomes unconstructive due to constant feeding of entertainment or things that do not require brain stimulation via thinking. Entertainment is like a medecine which relaxes the mind and body but what happens if you take too much of a medecine? You gonna of course end up sick! Thus, too much of entertainment makes the mind weak. A weak mind converts to weak thoughts thus weaker actions get concretised. This is so as we become the things we are exposed to most of the time. Now, a feeble mind also hinders our body functions. The body becomes ‘lifeless’ due to being void of exertion.
To tackle this issue, one needs to have an efficient life balance; if the body is unhealthy, the mind cannot function well amd vice versa. So, for a healthy human body to exist, both the mind and body, our greatesrt assets should be in a good working condition.
Ways are countless to keep both tools active and energetic.
The mind is a famished lion always hungry for constructive thoughts, acquirement of knowledge, skills and inner peace.
Some ways to sharpen the brain might be;
• Reading books
This one tops my list as reading is one of the BEST workout for the mind. A simple book can make you travel faraway lands, mould yourself into diverse interesting characters, experience empathy, improve your pool of vocabulary, enhance your language and relieve stress as you get absorbed in the literature.
According to a study at the Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation, mental stimulation like reading can help protect memory and thinking skills, especially with age. The authors of the study even suggest that reading every day can slow down late-life cognitive decline, keeping brains healthier and higher functioning for longer.
Here’s a link which harbours great books on a topical basis: https://jamesclear.com/best-books
• Self talk
This tends to be one of the most underestimated yet really powerful tool to stimulate the mind. Talking to oneself can actually be a problem solver technique. All those sleepless nights and thoughts swarming the mind might stop bothering you once you talk it out… to yourself. Sometimes, the brain gets jammed because we start other thought processes without having tackled the previous ones.
This is one of my most favourites! Mindfulness is the psychological process of bringing one’s attention to experiences occurring in the present moment. When we are eating a chocolate cookie or having a cappuccino, we think of: “Damn, the one I had yesterday was far better than this!” Or “I hope to relish the same the next time I come here!!” Instead of engaging the mind in the past experience or pushing it to a possible future, why don’t we simply sit back, enjoy each bite and sip and cherish this present moment of beauty?! This practice is known as mindfulness. You are in the moment. You are in completely in charge of what you are doing.
This practice sharpens up the mind to unimaginable great extents. Mindfulness can be strengthened through the practice of meditation where one sits with an upright posture (to enable flow of energy) and bring down focus to one’s breathing. This enables the mind to switch off from the noise of the world and overwhelming thoughts cropping up, allowing the meditator to focus on the inner self; on each and every breathe one inhales and exhales. Innumerable thoughts will hover in the mind but fret not! All you require to do is- do not judge your thoughts, simply observe each one of them as they come and go and return your focus to your breathing.
Meditation guide: https://zenhabits.net/meditation-guide/
In a digital world of technology and connectivity where we are reduced to a global village, it would be foolish to miss out on this extraordinary invention- The Internet! The WWW is a hatchery for just anything!
We do use it for entertainment purposes (it is important) but why not put it to a more judicious use? This fascinating thing can be utilised in so many productive ways to improve ourselves in myriad areas of life.
■ Personality development videos on public speaking, character building, psychology, to name a few.
■ DIYs to boost creativity
■ Journaling methods to slip down ideas and thoughts on paper in a bid to calm down the mind
Ways to use the Internet smartly: https://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/5-ways-to-use-the-internet-for-self-improvement/
One who feeds the brain with fun and entertainment all the time is unconsciously pushing it to a ‘sleeping mode’ where decision making ability and a solution oriented mindset gets hampered.
As far as the body, our temple is concerned, one should kee it energised and recharged.
This is most obvious way I can think of. Exercise helps to improve one’s mood, combat diseases, control weight and boost energy.
Types of exercises (amongst others) include:
– Endurance which improves one’s heart rate, breathing and overall fitness (brisk walking, jogging, dancing)
– Strength which makes your muscle stronger and simplifies everyday tasks (lifting weights, using a resistance band)
– Flexibility which gives you freedom of movement of the muscles (calf stretch, yoga)
– Balance which help prevent falls, enabling a to handle the body better (Tai-Chi, standing on one foot)
This is one of the often underrated tool to fuel up the body. Rest, in the form of a good quality sleep, a vacation to move away from a hectic work life or simply lying down to recreate one’s energies, relaxes and stimulates the body to a big degree. Try it (but do not overdo it) and your being will thank you.
Those who focus on a mental and physical well being are the ones who are able to absorb new skills, be great problem solvers, accept changes easily and stay alert.