fuel your wellbeing mind

Fuel Your Wellbeing Part 2: Mind

Fuel your mind
  • Mental stimulation along with mental rest are incredibly important in our overall wellbeing. We hear so much about mental health nowadays, so how do we keep our mind fuelled and rested. We need to engage with some form of mental stimulation outside of work each day. Small challenges that engage our brains. Think about doing a new online course, mental gymnastics like puzzles, crosswords and quizzes, engaging your motor skills and creativity with activities like painting, pottery, gardening, cooking, learning to play a musical instrument or even playing card games.
scrabble
  • Breathe – take a breath. Inhale and exhale big. Hold that out breath and repeat up to 10 times. Allow the breathe to create a little quiet in your mind. Take the breathe as moment to become aware. To create a little space in your mind so you can hear and feel what your body is trying to tell you. To allow your mind to rest for a moment. Use that space to make choices that are aligned your purpose ( see soul below). 
breathe
  • Social connections play a powerful role in keeping you mentally fuelled up. People who get together with friends and family, volunteer or partake in group events have a more robust grey matter than others. Try to avoid social isolation where possible.
social connections
  • Take Micro-breaks  – the brain thrives on short breaks  – just 5 minutes can be sufficient as an energy management strategy. Stretch, go in to nature, pet the dog, snack, meditate, jump, walk, stretch. Just take them…. Little and often. 
  • Positivity – the brain likes positivity. Neuroscientists have found that positivity keeps your telemores ( protective tips the end of your chromosomes) lenghtened. Shortened telemores due to continued pessimism and worry are linked to making us more prone to declining health. Positive and cheerful people are less likely to have memory decline as they age. 
positive thinking
  • Nature. A new study in Scientific Reports finds that your brain loves spending time in nature. A minimum of  2 hours per week. A full 120 minutes, either all in a block or spread out everyweek in nature, at a park, in the woodlands, at the beaches. The study shows that participants  who do this had better health and higher psycholoical wellbeing than those who did not spend anytime in nature. Water, sky, sun, grass, trees. These are beautiful things. Let’s go. 
nature
  • Routine and focus. Our mind likes it when we have some order and schedule to our days. Also the brain likes to focus on one list at a time. Make lists, no more than 3 items on your to do list and tick them off each day to get your dopamine hit.  your brain releases a load of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that is responsible for generating feelings of accomplishment, satisfaction and happiness. This release of dopamine not only makes you feel good but also motivates you to continue completing tasks and extend that pleasant feeling.
routine
  • Take ownership of your thoughts and sit with them. Our thoughts, feelings and actions are all linked so when you begin to feel an emotion, sit with it for a few moments and explore it with a gentle curiosity. Then ask yourself “What (Situation) is happening, how do I feel (emotion), and I think (thought).”

  • Novelty –  the brain learns from novelty . New situations force the brain to move towards survival mode and work in an adaptive learning process. This is good for the brain keeping it engaged and active. Go someplace new. Change your routine. Take a different route to work. Try a new food. Travel. Learn something new.

  • Fun – Oooohhh and finally remember. We all know fun, laugher and joy are good for the soul but they are good for the mind too. Play a game, picnic, hike, dance, trampoline, try a new activity, go on a rollercoaster, hang out with other fun people, go to a comedy gig, a culture night, a sports game or a museum. Whatever is fun for you…. do it and build it in to your routine.
fun

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