Why Bother With Intellectual Wellness?
Our mental wellness is tied to managing and caring about all the different aspects of our lives—the emotional and physical self, the spiritual, intellectual, and social self as well as our environmental, interpersonal and occupational areas. We are complex creatures and when all of these systems work in congruence to one another, the result is mental stability. But when they are incongruent, acting against one another, chaos reigns.
Though each of these areas of our mental wellness are interconnected, I thought it wise to break them apart and look at them individually.
A Healthy Brain
A healthy intellect begins with healthy thoughts and those healthy thoughts will shape healthy actions.
For instance, our thinking forms our success or failure. Someone once said, whether you think you can or you can’t, you are right. If we believe that we can succeed and apply the necessary hard work to reach our goal, we will most likely come through with flying colors. But, if we don’t believe we can make any headway toward our goal, well then we won’t even try. Instead, we’ll simply throw in the towel and accept defeat as inevitable.
Our thinking also affects our emotions which in turn, affect our actions. We don’t have to be mind readers to know when someone is angry, sad, or happy. Our body language tells it all. A scowl and stomping feet lets everyone know we are mad. A smile and skipping feet tells everyone we are lighthearted and ready for some fun. Tears and a trembling lip signals our sadness. We can’t fake what we think. Even without a word, thoughts are communicated.
Maintaining the health of our brain and intellect is not a difficult endeavor. Incorporating a few good habits any one can afford will change the way our brain functions.
Getting enough sleep is a good beginning to a healthier intellect. Prepare your brain for
rest by shutting off all screens at least an hour before you go to sleep. Begin to relax by reading something that doesn’t rile you up, such as poetry or an inspirational story. Take a hot bath scented with lavender oil or open a journal and review your day by writing about it. Don’t expect to instantly decompress the minute your head hits the pillow. Allow your brain to gradually wind down. Then, after a good night’s rest, we are much more intellectually prepared to take on the world and everything it throws at us in one day.
Eat a healthy diet. Lots of vegetables, fruits, and protein. The fewer processed foods, the better. Eat regular meals instead of grazing all day. Take a real lunch break away from your desk, computer and even the office if possible. Enjoy the taste of your food and any good company you can find. And don’t forget to hydrate with lots of water.
Exercise brings out the best in all of us. Find an activity you can sustain no matter the season. As often as possible, get outside and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. Buy a dog if you have to have an excuse to get out for a walk. Join a jogging club, a cyclist group or a gym. Do it alone or with friends and reap the benefits exercise offers to everyone.
Why bother with intellectual wellness? Maintaining the health of our brain is beneficial. We are more apt to think better thoughts about ourselves, others and the world we live in.