We talk a lot about things to organize here on the blog, but recently, I haven’t been “feeling” all that organized. And when I say that, I mean that my BRAIN hasn’t been feeling all that organized. Call it pregnancy brain if you want…all I know is that I can’t think as clearly as I used to, I can’t process like I’m normally able to, and all my multitasking skills have completely gone out the window! It pretty much stinks – and I really hope I regain some of my brain once the babies come!
So when Doug from The Kitchen Professor asked me about publishing an article on organizing your mind, well, first of all I wondered if he could just organize mine for me! HA! When I figured he couldn’t, I decided the article was the next best thing. Let’s see if he can help…
Healthy habits lead to a healthy mind and if we don’t keep our minds in a good working order the effects can not only be physiological but they can lead to physical problems too.
There are four key areas that you need to address to keep your mind healthy and strong so you can improve not only your own life but the lives of your friends, your family and all those around you. Physical health and exercise, diet and nutrition, cognitive activity and social engagement.
Many experts say that mental health can not only be helped by good nutrition and regular exercise but by social engagement and this can help avoid a cognitive decline.
Learning an Instrument
Every time a musician picks up their instrument there are millions of connections being made between the synapses in the brain. While on the outside they may look calm and collected on the inside there are fireworks going off.
The practiced and precise movements required to not only read the music but to produce a pleasant sound are ones that come easier to some than to others but everyone can try and have some fun with a few friends or just by yourself.
This needs to be done in such a way that others can not only enjoy the vibrations but to join in and contribute to the overall sound. You can learn any instrument, like the piano, ukulele, or guitar, to get the benefits. One of the cheapest and easiest ways to learn guitar is through online classes.
Neuro scientists in the last few decades have made tremendous breakthroughs in understanding this process by analysing the brain whilst doing this in real time with the use of functional magnetic resonance imagers (FMRIs) and positron emission tomographs (PETs). Reading, playing music and doing math problems use similar parts of the brain and help to give your mind a good workout and help to give it a rest from the problems in life that can get you down.
Leonardo Da Vinci was far ahead of his time in many ways and his method of taking free-flowing notes that filled countless journals with ideas and thoughts were the precursor of today’s mind mapping ideas.
As a way to review notes or to brainstorm and keep a track of ideas and pursue the best ones jotting down everything as and when it comes to mind is a way of insuring great ideas do not get lost. Not every idea is going to be a winner and it can be funny to look back on some of the stranger ones but one of the seeds cast may just grow into a mighty oak.
Getting Enough Sleep
It is not just the quantity of sleep that you get but the quality. Sleeping with lights on, while stressed or after alcohol consumption will not let you reach the deeper stages of the sleeping cycle which you need to calm and refresh your mind.
Worrying about all the clutter and distractions in today’s fast paced world can leave us drained and unhappy. If we are not fresh and happy it is very difficult to try to get the things that we need to do done so that we do not start a downward spiral that can lead to serious mental health issues.
Some people need more sleep than others but everyone can benefit from a little nap or siesta just try not to over do it. Half an hour is best, if you go too far past that you will approach a deeper sleep and when you wake from that second stage you can feel groggy and will be less productive.
Re-Organize Your To-Do List
To-do lists are of undeniable benefit to try to clear your mind and help you to concentrate on the tasks that are of most importance but some spend more time making the lists than actually completing the things themselves.
Keep it quick and to the point, these are reminders and not the goal itself. You don’t multitask as much as you actually just change tasks and finishing one thing well is better than nearly completing many things.
De-Stress Your Day
Having a routine can be a great help in de-stressing your mind so you don’t end up in an early grave. Stress can take it’s toll on your body as well as your mind and if you end up spending money at the doctor’s office that in turn can lead to problems at work it can turn into a vicious cycle. Take a bath turn off the television or simply try counting to ten a few times.
If you look after your mind and pay attention to what is important not only will you be healthier and happier but those you care for will reap the benefits too.
Thanks so much for this post, Doug! I play the piano, but it’s been a LONG time since I’ve sat down on that bench. Maybe I need to get back into that, right?! And I love the mind-mapping idea – I haven’t dabbled in that at all as of yet!
What do you think the best solution is for YOUR cluttered brain?
Due to the amount of comments from all of my wonderful readers, it is not always possible for me to respond to each one. However, I absolutely do read them all, and if you’d like to address something specific, or have a question for me, please don’t hesitate to email me at Kristen@theroadtodomestication.com. I will respond to your email as soon as possible! Thank you for visiting the blog!