Many people may be familiar with mindfulness and its importance for mental health, but have you ever thought about intellectual well-being? Just as nourishing and exercising our physical body is crucial to our health, just as important is getting your brain to the gym, constantly developing and nurturing your mind.
According to the Center for Wellness and Health Promotion at Harvard University, some of the potential benefits of intellectual well-being (or intellectual well-being) include: better cognition, improved concentration and memory, and greater clarity of thought. It also generates the experience of a more stimulating life, the development of personal values and opinions and allows us to have a more open mind.
What is intellectual well-being?
Intellectual well-being is “the well-being of the mind,” says Michael Ebinger, director of the Spokane University Center for Innovation at Washington State University (WSU).
Randy McCoy, vice president of product and program for The Little Gym, a children’s fitness and enrichment center in Arizona, told Newsweek magazine: “Intellectual well-being has a lot to do with the desire and ability to expand one’s knowledge and skills through lifelong learning, productive curiosity, creativity, reflection, and exploration.”
Improving intellectual well-being requires “an act of doing or immersing” on the items mentioned above. For example, if one can be an active listener to many forms of classical music and be a student of the viola. Others may choose to paint, to write poetry, to learn new skills, to read all kinds of information sources to learn about it.
McCoy said it’s also important to understand the connection between intellectual well-being and physical activity and exercise. “The same areas of the brain responsible for cognitive thought tasks are activated and developed during physical activity and exercise, which means that when the body is in motion, the brain comes to life”said.
The brain turns into “top speed” and it’s “Ready for Action” during physical activity and stays in that higher gear for a good period of time, even after stopping the activity. This effect on the brain is not temporary. “It has a positive and lasting impact on brain function and neuroplasticity, the brain’s ability to change and adapt to experience”McCoy added.
Executive function is important for a group of essential cognitive skills that allow us to mentally multitasking which means working mentally and remembering multiple things at once while staying focused and filtering out distractions and even making creative adjustments “on the fly.”
So, keeping all of that in mind, one way to definitely improve intellectual well-being is to maintain a physically active lifestyle for “help keep the brain busy and happy”, said McCoy.
Here are some of the intellectual wellness activities:
Above all, literature. This can include classic or contemporary works and find out more about current events. According to Ebinger, one of the easiest activities to improve intellectual well-being is to read more literature. This may include reading classic or contemporary works and learning about current events. “Constant learning always happens to those who work to improve their intellectual well-being,” he said.
It is recommended to combine different elements of intellectual well-being. For example, one can be engaged in lifelong learning by reading the works of Goethe and hearing those words placed in a classical music composition. There can also be a creative side when I play a piece based on a poem or a prose work by Goethe or composers like Johannes Brahms.
go out and play
As mentioned, physical activity keeps the brain fit, McCoy said, because it will activate neurotransmitters in the brain and “wire it up and fire it up.”
Even a walk with your children can have a “A dramatic impact” on their intellectual well-being, according to McCoy. He recommends making it part of your regular family routine.
“I take nature walks almost every day. I find that when my body is moving and my mind is relaxed, my mind becomes more creative and I come up with some of my best ideas,” he said. Many recommend not to lose the playful spirit on this path.
Power naps for brain and body
“Giving your brain and body a break can actually boost your brain power”said McCoy. Taking five minutes a day to sit or lie down and practice some form of mindful meditation can “do wonders” for your body and brain.
For those who may not have five minutes to spare or who find it too long (especially children and teenagers), the same benefits can be achieved by taking as little as 30 seconds to “Sit down, relax and breathe deeply”.
Even just five breaths can provide a good nap for the brain and the body. “Breathe in positivity and happiness, breathe out ‘mess’,” he said.
go out with your friends
According to McCoy, studies have shown that spending time with friends and loved ones on a regular basis will not only increase your level of happiness, but also your lifespan.
“Socializing, talking, exchanging ideas is like healthy brain food,” the expert concluded.