Is it possible to live well if you are not challenging your mind? If you’re not sharpening the saw (your brain) it can become dull. With increases in debilitating diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s it’s more important than ever to exercise, not only your body, but your mind.
If you’re not challenging your mind, you may be having problems navigating the simple things. Combine that with a lack of physical activity and a poor diet and you may be setting the stage for disease.
How is your memory? Are you able to come up with a game plan or solution for most of the challenges that come your way? When you’re faced with daily problems and major life challenges, what is your first reaction? Do you panic or become frustrated? Or do you try thinking through though problems? Maybe you are somewhere in between.
Here are some activities that will help challenge your mind:
Learning Something New
Music and Art
Stimulate Your Senses
Learning a New Language
Do Math in Your Head
reading, learning, music, art, writing, playing memory games, learning a new language, avoiding the calculator when doing simple math problems, keep up with the news, working crossword/brain teaser type puzzles and hobbies.
When you challenge your mind, you are better able to navigate life’s challenges. Instead of feeling overwhelmed, you become more confident. You’re armed with the resources and mental agility, to make it through the hard times. There are many aspects to keeping your mind fit.
What’s Food Got to Do With It?
Eating the right foods helps your brain to work well, enabling you to be your best. How is your diet? Are you eating healthy, with plenty water and fruits and veggies? Are you eating antioxidant foods that help to rid your body of free radicals that can have a negative impact on the brain? When you eat out, you’re limiting your diet to unhealthy fats, additives and chemicals that can have a negative effect on your overall health. In addition to that, a poor diet leaves most of us with a tired and sluggish feeling that limits your ability to do handle stress.
What are your feeding your mind? Your thought life can move you forward or take you a few steps back. We use the term garbage in, garbage out to describe the foods we eat and how our diet relates to our well being. But the phrase can also be used to describe our thoughts and actions. It’s easier sometimes to complain or vent when things don’t go well. It helps us get things off our chest, and that helps us feel better in the short run. But feeding your mind a constant diet of negative thoughts can make any bad situation even worse.
Weeds grow naturally, without effort from outside forces. They can make your garden or lawn look shoddy and they create an environment that is great for pests. Before long they will actually take over the soil, robbing you of a great looking lawn or garden. It takes a lot of effort to get rid of them.
The same goes for your mind. Weeds can invade your mind in the form of negative thoughts. If you don’t challenge your mind with something positive or take action to weed out the negative thoughts, they will take over. Before long, you won’t recognize yourself. You will become the person that everyone avoids.
If you’re someone who uses negative words to describe yourself and your environment, consider the power of words and begin to use more positive thoughts and words to describe these situations.
Take stock in your daily activities and determine the percentage of the day you spend on things that are adding to your life and things that are holding you back. If your self talk and thoughts are negative, try to adopt a sense of gratitude. Make an effort to become content with what you have, where you’re at right now, until you can do better. Think of ways to talk about it in the most positive way possible. Participating in mentally stimulating activities, especially activities that involve other people, may be good for the brain and your overall well-being.
The Power of Words and Thoughts
It’s pretty amazing how words and thoughts can influence our lives, working in the background to make thing better or worse. Our thoughts become words, words become actions, actions become habits, habits shape your character, your character becomes you! Read Harness the Power of Habits and Self Discipline to Achieve Success for more information on how changing your habits can change your life.
Take a look at these books to learn more about the power of words and how they affect your ability to move ahead:
If you’re not already involved in some of the activities above, start working today to have a mind that’s mentally fit. Incorporate a few things a week to challenge your mind and make it stronger.
Work to have the energy and stamina necessary to face life’s challenges without losing your vitality and inner strength. Without a sharp mind, it’s harder to solve problems and overcome obstacles. If you need help, reach out to find the resources needed to live a positive, happy, healthy life.