Tag Archives: mind

Healthy Mind

One of the most important things you can do to stay young is keep an active mind. Here are some things we do to keep our brains stimulated:

Music – we play music all the time. It’s an eclectic variety. We keep a list of artists and styles that we would like to explore so that we can pick them up when we have a chance. I have iTunes set up with a complicated playlist system that randomly picks songs based on some parameters like day of the week, exercise versus relaxing, keywords for the mood, how recently the song has been heard, and so on.  We might be listening to classical, Indian, punk, prog rock, new wave, experimental, African, anything at any time.

Hobbies – I love to cook and we both enjoy creating art and photography. We like to learn about new places to visit and learn about.

Skills – We try to pick up new skills both directly related and tangentially related to our careers. For example, I might learn all about High Performance Computing and Jason about Flash. At the same time, we’ll study something about medical history or linguistics.

Challenge both sides of the brain – I have slight APD (auditory processing disorder) which is a form of auditory dyslexia. Jason has slight visual dyslexia (he’s ambidextrous and has a hard time telling left from right).  We try to challenge ourselves with activities that overcome these problems. For me, trying to talk while doing something else is a huge challenge.

Physical activity – Another great thing to do is something that challenges your mind and body at the same time. I’m practicing using a hula hoop and try to mimic dance steps that I see on TV and movies.

Advertisements

My Top 10 List for Neutralizing Stress

Of course you’ve heard it over and over, but if you have any doubt that stress is detrimental to your mind and body, take a look at the Stanford “Killer Stress” video.

Stress cripples your mind, body and soul. In the words of Robert Fripp, that’s head, hands, and heart – what you think, what you do, what you feel. It can make you forgetful, fat, and cranky.

Here are some top ways that our household uses to cope:

1. Organize your life – stop procrastinating and get your shit together. I highly recommend David Allen’s book, Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity.

2. Exercise – get sweaty. It’s good for you and makes you feel better. We invested in a punching bag. It’s a great stress reliever.

3. Stop caring what everyone else thinks. This is truly the secret to happiness. Stop worrying about what other people think of you. Be yourself and go boldly. You’ll have a lot more confidence, and mental energy, if you just let it go.

4. Yoga – cliche, perhaps; but it is tried and true.

5. Listen to music while you work. Commune with nature when possible. We have a host of creatures coming to our yard.

6. Meditate to clear your mind. Practice mindfulness. Try a guided body scan.

7. Lower your carbs. Eat more fresh and organic produce.

8. Feed your mind and heart with philosophy and spiritual learning. I just finished reading Hindu for Dummies, Everything Buddhism, and am always looking for new pursuits. Inspiration can come from those who have been inspired.

9. Have sex and make love every day of your life.

10. Never, ever stop asking why. Why am I doing this? Is there a purpose? Doing everything with purpose in mind will help you feel more productive, more fulfilled and ultimately, less stressed.