Be Mentally Fit as Well.

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An idle mind is a devil’s workshop.

 

Idle mind

We’re all familiar with this saying. And it is quoted to us in the most un-poetic of ways when we are watching television or simply taking a nap. Sometimes while doing absolutely nothing at all. And this is how true and meaningful words get lost in translation, further hated by people who are actually idle, having nothing short of devilish thoughts in their minds.

Speaking of idle minds, do you know how a mind becomes idle and inactive? How to keep it going so that it doesn’t degenerate before we do?

The mind is the most beautiful entity of a living being. It is confusing, sometimes, I agree and twisted, even, but I also believe that it is the second best companion to man after books. And like a true friend, it irritates us, plays tricks on us, makes wrong decisions, gives wrong advice, tries to cover up lies.. But at the end of the day, it doesn’t abandon us. Nor does it ask for anything else in return. It controls us, definitely, but what if it started demanding impossible tasks as well? What would have happened then? Would we have been able to stop ourselves from succumbing to the pressure?

Unfortunately with age and often due to our carelessness, we start losing control of the mind and most other elements of our daily lives which are usually within the range of our control. These are signs of significantly more serious things about to happen. It can start off with simple forgetfulness and eventually end up with Alzheimer’s Disease. It’s like a germinating seed. The seeds are there, buried underneath, till the favorable environment and its elements nourishes it to its fruition. By the time we realize the sourness of the fruit, it’s too late to get rid of the roots that have penetrated far into the fertile soil. After all, cough and cold and fever is an indication of the body falling sick, therefore the mind too must have its own mechanism of withering away. It’s only natural. And logical.

My father always says that a strong body automatically leads to a stronger mind. I never really believed him but when I read biology, I found that there are certain chemical reactions taking place in our body on encountering stress or some foreign matter. If these chemicals aren’t released on time and in the proper amounts, obviously our body will be unable to sustain the fight against the invaders. And I realized that, only a healthy body can work efficiently and function properly, meaning, a healthy body IS the key to a healthy mind. To a very large extent, that is. The mind and the body work simultaneously after all and if not together, one prepares the basic defense for greater protection.

healthy mind

That was all about the importance of physical activity and exercises. What about mental exercises? These last two words may have instantly brought to mind images of rats and other helpless pets with wires from their heads, connected to a computer that shows graphs on the screen. Scared? Shivering in your shoes? Fear not. Exercising your mind is easier to achieve than perfectly buttering a bread on both sides.

Did you know that reading literary works(not necessarily popular fiction) cultivates a skill known as “theory of mind”. It’s described as the ability to “read” the minds of others. Well, technically, it’s the sort of assumptions and “theories” we make about other people’s behavior and mental workings. We all love doing this. Trying to be Freud is a favorite pastime of mine and lots of other people as well. So, if you wanna hone your skills and sharpen your mind a little, why not try your hand at reading? And by reading, I mean truckloads of them!

books

Does it ever occur to you how some people seem to know the exact word at the right moment? Kinda like a dictionary? Well, reading definitely has some contribution to it. The other reason is- Crosswords and Puzzles. Yes, you read that right. According to several researches, activities such as Sudoku, crosswords and puzzles enhance the brain’s circuitry, improving the communication between brain cells involved in memory and thinking. Did you know that solving puzzles can actually delay dementia and Alzheimer’s? Now that’s a two-way effect! Fun and healthy as well.

mind

Now, we all love to gossip. It’s addictive and fun. I agree that it’s a kind of release and unloading without the fear of being judged, but what happens when we ARE judged? There comes a time when we realize that we are being talked about in the same vein as  we talk about others. And that’s the time when sadness, anxiety and depression descend upon us like vultures swooping on a long-dying animal. So, should we stop gossiping? In a way, yes. Talking is good. Very good. In fact it’s a necessity. But how much is too much? It’s necessary to save our minds from the menaces we indulge in. So what’s the solution? Talk less? No. Talk about positives. Stop comparing about negative points and how you are better than the ones being talked about. Gossiping doesn’t really work wonders for your mind and continuously talking about other people is hardly a way to spend time.

gossip

Childhood is the seed-bed of all sorts of ambitions. Very few of them are fulfilled. I remember I always wanted to teach children and wanted to become a teacher. Higher ambition involved considering the post of a Lecturer as well. If you’re still equally passionate about learning and teaching, try giving tuition to others. It would not only act as a time-pass(thus getting rid of the devilish thoughts), but also keep your knowledge and learning in grasp. Often we don’t recall basic information learned during childhood. An effective way of retaining whatever you learned is by teaching them to others. That way, you enlighten others and yourself as well. Teaching opens up many areas of discussions, thus helping the intellect as well.

learning

Another important method of staying mentally fit is meditation. It calms you. Immerses you in a ball of peace and calmness. Though initially, while meditating we might feel distracted, in the long run, it actually helps us to focus on the information being tried to recall and stops unnecessary distractions.

meditation

Many of us stay up late and and watch television or simply play with our gadgets. It’s such a nice pastime. But did you know that looking at TV and phone screens before sleeping hampers your sleep and is the reason for you waking up late? The light emitted from the screens suppresses a hormone called Melatonin. This hormone is supposed to tell the brain that it’s time to sleep. Screen light before sleeping suppresses this hormone and often gives the illusion of daylight, thus keeping you awake. And I guess we all know the effects of poor or no sleep at all. Dark circles, drowsiness, headaches, sloth, inability to remember… Still wanna browse before sleeping?

sleep

Now that you’ve read all about mental health, it’s time to put them into physical action.

Happy Fitness!

Believer. Reader. Brooder.