“True enjoyment comes from activity of the mind and exercise of the body, the two are united.” Alexander Von Humboldt
It’s true to enjoy life you have to be mentally and physically fit. Both mental fitness and physical fitness are interdependent. Most of us love to see our self in the best shape hence we exercise. When we see a successful person, we get impressed with his decision making skills, we spontaneously say, “he is a man with a sound mind in a healthy body.”
For physical fitness we do yoga, go to gym and do various exercises but mental fitness does not require any special or strenuous efforts.
“The feeling of being valuable, “I am valuable” is essential to mental health and is a cornerstone of self discipline.” M Scott Peck
Adoring self, maintaining self discipline and following simple steps will benefit in keeping brain fit and stimulated. Here are some tips on mental fitness. Use these to be mentally strong
Have a good laugh
Having a good laugh is an excellent stress buster. Stress leads to fatigue, loss of appetite and sound sleep. Laughter changes your mood and disconnects you from unnecessary worries and stress and you feel mentally relieved. Join a laughter club, see comedy movies, cut jokes or read comics. This will refresh your mind.
Puzzle solving is an amazing exercise for brain. Throughout life human brain continues to grow. It is found that even an old brain can rewire itself and grow neurons or brain cells. Lack of mental stimulation leads to age related memory loss. Solving crossword or other mentally demanding puzzles stimulate brain and improves its function.
“Old minds are like old horses, you must exercise them if you wish to keep them in working order”. John Adams
Keep reminding your mind
Keep reminding your brain the things to do the next day, the important dates like birthdays or anniversaries, the important assignments or meetings.
Example: if you have to catch an early train the next day. Remind your mind before sleeping that you have to get up early morning. Remind twice or thrice. Definitely it will work. This way it will improve your memory power.
Block one of your senses
This seems to be a strange tip for mental fitness. But Duke neurobiologist Larence Kartz (who coined the word “neurobics”) gave this tip as a combination of “neuron” and “aerobics”. In his book “ Keep your Brain Alive” he suggests, “ to experience the unexpected” by trying such ploys as closing your eyes or wearing ear plugs when you eat helps to pay attention to the taste and texture of the food.
Kartz says that any novel experience created by you for brain will make it work a little harder. As exercising an atrophied muscle can make it strong again, so workout of your brain can renew its vigor.
Eat brain power enhancing food
Some foods are very helpful for brain. Like soaked almonds, nuts, blue berries, bananas, brown rice, eggs, tomatoes and other beverages like green tea get your mind in gear. The most nutritious food for brain is fish which is rich in essential fatty acids including Omega-3. Include these in balanced quantity in your food to be fit and healthy.
Do cardiovascular exercise
Do cardiovascular exercises as it improves mental health and prevent deterioration of brain cells with age. These exercises are helpful in preventing age related memory loss like Alzheimer’s disease.
Keep on learning new things
Keep yourself busy by learning new things. Age is no bar for learning. You can learn at the age of six or sixty. Don’t feel shy if you have to learn from young people. You can follow your hobbies or can join academic courses of your choice. Staying creatively alive will keep on charging your brain power.
Michael Merzenich who developed the auditory program, a driving force behind scores of neuroplastic practical inventions stresses that we must learn something new rather than simply replaying already mastered skills to keep our brain fit. According to him our brain “ is not an inanimate vessel that we fill, rather it is more like a living creature with an appetite, one can grow and change with proper nourishment and exercise.”
Mental fitness – Conclusion
It is never too late to have a happy, healthy life. The most important thing is to live an active, positive and mentally fit life. Use these mental fitness tips effectively.