How would your life change if you were restricted to eating only lettuce, rice, and grapes?
Not only would your health and nutrition suffer, but your quality of life would take a hit as well.
Well just like our bodies need variety in order to be healthy, our minds need variety in order to be healthy.
According to Dr. Daniel Siegel, clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine, there are seven ways we should be spending time each day in order to promote well-being, inner growth, and a healthy mind.
1. Sleep Time
A good night’s sleep is when your brain recovers and recharges. Make sure your bedroom is dark and quiet so that your brain can get the uninterrupted rest it needs.
2. Focus Time
Focus on a task to which there is an end goal. This can include completing a work assignment, writing a cover letter for a job you want, or finishing a project around the house. Keep in mind, the more meaningful the goal is to you, the more connections it will make in the brain.
3. Play Time
Play time is time spent spontaneously. This includes laughing, being creative, and acting playful. Siegal also emphasizes the importance of engaging in novel activities. This is when we can truly be spontaneous.
4. Connecting Time
Feeling a connection to other people or to the natural world is when, according to Siegel, we activate and reinforce the brain’s relational circuitry. In-person connections are what Siegel suggests. Have a meaningful conversation with a loved one, take a walk simply to enjoy nature, or give a hug to someone who needs it.
5. Physical Time
Any form of exercise is beneficial, but Seigel suggests aerobic exercise is best for the brain.
Go for a run or a bike ride. Remember aerobic means “requiring oxygen” so be sure to push yourself!
6. Time In
Take time to reflect INternally. This can include meditation, prayer, or just sitting in silence and focusing on your thoughts and emotions.
7. Down Time
If sleep time is when your brain recharges, down-time is putting your brain in airplane mode. It’s non-focused time when your mind can simply wonder and relax. Oprah takes 10 minutes of down time in between each of her daily activities. It’s time to just sit back, be in the moment, and say “ahhhhh.”