For some time now, I have been astonished with the deluge of information coming from every source imaginable. My social networks seem to be buzzing with the latest architectural craze, the cutest cat videos to the top 50 of the world’s most spectacular destinations and so much more.
All is good and fun and I enjoying clicking through as much as the next person—but I realized that I was filling my brain with lots of (mostly useless) information, and I wasn’t really stretching my brain much.
I stretch my body with yoga and Pilates, but what was I doing to stretch my mind?
This past January I set out to create a plan to help stretch my mind. Now that I have been active with it for the past 5 months I wanted to share my findings. These are some of the tools I’ve applied:
I have a hard time quieting my active mind. My thoughts tend to jump from branch to branch like an active monkey. Meditating does not come easy to me, but I am finding immense value in it. By working on quieting my mind, I am finding a certain calmness and peace towards solving complex issues. Sometimes I even meditate on that issue and the focus and clarity has done wonders for me.
Learn something new everyday:
Each day I set aside 15 minutes to learn something new. In our line of business it’s important to keep up with the market trends, so I block 15 minutes each day to read up on the latest SEO trends, or newest development platforms, or read design-related articles. By the end of the week, I’ve gained some valuable preliminary information, and then I can decide whether to continue the same topic into the next week and delve deeper, or if its time to select a new topic.
I love to dance, yet I am not a very good dancer. It doesn’t stop me though from trying it on a several times a week. I find trying to remember the various dance steps and choreography, is actually helping me both mentally and physically. Although you’ll never find me on Dancing with the Stars, I do get immense satisfaction with how my mind gets expanded while my body is getting a workout.
I started with the Day One App. Truth be told, I am not writing everyday, its more like 3 or so times a week. I write a recap of the past few days, I write three gratitudes, and then via the app I can attach an image that sums up my thoughts and feelings. I am still working towards doing this daily, however I am happy with the amount I have been doing thus far.
Once I perfect the above and can commit to daily journaling, I will add learning a new language to my mind stretching routine. Using the Duolingo app to work on my very poor command of the Spanish and try to improve by practicing and expanding my vocabulary will be an exciting new challenge that I am looking to undertake in the latter part of this year.
Do you have any tips to share as to how do you stretch your mind?
Katty Douraghy - President at Artisan Creative