Their lack of balance shows up in many different ways. They’re short-tempered, stressed out and even depressed. They experience endless chronic pain and physical distresses of all sorts. Insomnia is a given. Their daily diets are a mess, physical activity is non-existent and their personal and professional relationships are starved for quality attention and value. They stagnate. Mostly, they just feel absent from their own lives and completely outside of their own agenda.
As we all know, the concept of balance is deeply connected to a person’s personal purpose and values. When you are able to reprioritise yourself and what matters most to you back into your life, you are able to surge forward on high doses of meaning, motivation and deeper levels of inner resourcefulness. Being congruent with your personal purpose and values is a vital first step to reclaiming your personal power and eases the task of converting your extrinsic obligations into intrinsic ones that you can truly own and champion.
Of course being mindful of ones physical health is an unconditional pre-requisite for living a richer, juicier and more balanced life. In the same way, if not more so, taking care of ones mental functioning is an absolute for a better quality of life.
We have the food pyramid as a guideline for healthy eating habits. Now Dr. David rock and Dr. Dan Siegel have created the Healthy Mind Platter as a guideline for creating good mental habits.
Leveraging their personal purpose and using this tool, I’ve seen my clients avert burnout and achieve higher levels of personal performance and interpersonal connections.
The Healthy Mind Platter guides us on seven essential daily mental activities that foster optimum mental health, which is essential for improving our levels of balance and well-being.
The seven daily elements of the platter simply are:
When we closely focus on tasks in a goal-oriented way, we take on challenges that make deep connections in the brain.
When we allow ourselves to be spontaneous or creative, playfully enjoying novel experiences, we help make new connections in the brain.
When we connect with other people, ideally in person, and when we take time to appreciate our connection to the natural world around us, we activate and reinforce the brain’s relational circuitry.
When we move our bodies, aerobically if medically possible, we strengthen the brain in many ways.
When we quietly reflect internally, focusing on sensations, images, feelings and thoughts, we help to better integrate the brain.
When we are non-focused, without any specific goal, and let our mind wander or simply relax, we help the brain recharge
When we give the brain the rest it needs, we consolidate learning and recover from the experiences of the day.
Do You have enough of each of these in your daily routine?
There is no specific recipe for a healthy mind because each of us are different and have different needs. Additionally, our individual needs change over time as well. However, when you become aware of the full spectrum of essential mental activities, you can make sure that you are heading in the right direction a bit at a time.
If you’d like to know how to make these seven great mental habits come to life for you, I’ll be sharing more about the importance of focus time next week and the cost to you of not making it a daily habit in your life.