While taking care of everyone and everything else, do we put our needs aside? It’s easy not to pay attention to what we eat or how we stimulate our brains, which is a necessity that’s usually always minimized. The question is how to stay mentally fit?
Our bodies require exercise to stay fit and youthful, our brains also need a good daily workout to ensure that our brain cells remain healthy and vibrant well into our golden years. Feeling proactive about your health and taking things into your own hands can mean the difference between aging gracefully and wither away.
Staying mentally healthy enables us to remain attentive, efficiently manage our relationships, and deal with challenges and stress. It also helps you connect with who you are as a person and allow you to take pride in yourself and your abilities.
Read on for 4 ideas on how to keep your mind stimulated:
1. Search for knowledge
Numerous studies show the relationship between the amount of knowledge you surround yourself with and the wellness of your cognitive functions.
Nowadays, information can be retrieved with the touch of a button, allowing you to immerse yourself in an ocean of books, podcasts, articles, and even mentally stimulating games, such as jigsaw puzzles, Sudoku, crossword puzzles, word searches, and a wide range of others.
When you learn something new or engage in any mental activity, you build new neural pathways in the brain, and the more connections each of our neurons have with other neurons, the more conscious it is.
2. Form healthy habits
Even the task of writing down your goals helps you stay mentally fit. It gives you something to plan and anticipate. It also keeps you engaged in something that boosts your brain cells while giving your emotions an outlet.
Schedule something new to try every month, like a new hobby or new exercise routine.
Challenge yourself to read a different book or eat at a new restaurant now and then.
These tasks keep your mind on alert, mainly because you’re engaging in the process of learning, and, also, because you’re stepping out of your comfort zone. All these factors help boost concentration levels, as well as your confidence in your abilities to try new things and meet new people.
3. Exercise, preferably outdoors
Regular exercise releases ‘feel good hormones’ into your bloodstream, boosting your mood, and elevating memory and concentration levels.
Mixing up workout styles or trying out a new jogging route helps form new patterns in your brain, which mean more neural pathways, and less cognitive decline. To make the most of exercising, try taking your workout to the nearest park where you can connect more with nature, breathe in some fresh air, and get a healthy dose of vitamin-D.
Vitamin-D is known for its ability to prevent depression. Plus, any physical activity helps eliminate brain fog, boost energy levels, and alleviate stress.
4. Manage stress
We all deal with stress and anxiety daily. But when cortisol (the stress hormone) levels are left unchecked, they start messing with your overall wellbeing. That’s why it’s smart to invest a few minutes each day in releasing that negative tension built up by stress. You can do this through meditating, practicing mindfulness, yoga, or prayer.
Therapy may be a way to stay mentally fit by expressing your emotions in a constructive, nonjudgmental environment that allows you to set time aside for your needs. Whichever medium you prefer, the aim is to improve your state of mind while gaining a sense of serenity and control over your emotions and mental happiness.