I went to a conference recently and heard a variety of wonderful speakers on various topics relating to overcoming challenges and keeping our priorities in check, whether they be religious, physical, emotional, etc. One lady I listened to was speaking on the topic of keeping Heaven close, because it certainly isn’t very far away, and how one could do so. She focused a bit on things we do to drive ourselves away from the little pieces of Heaven that surround us.
In her talk she quoted a study she had read about recently stating that when we engage ourselves in To Do lists and constant menial tasks simply in continuous efforts to “get things done,” our IQ level actually drops. Now I certainly don’t have the source to verify, but her quotation to thousands of individuals was enough validation for me.
Why does this happen? For a female who can multitask numerous things at once, especially a mother juggling a trail of children on top of that, or a father with two jobs and multiple home projects needing completion….nearly everyone in some way tries to accomplish the most they can in the little time they have been blessed with. We make the To Do lists and set goals to try and squeeze in all we can in order be more efficient with our time all the while trying to take care of ourselves. It’s overwhelming! And for those who seem to be Superman or Wonder Woman, being able to accomplish so much…you would think that at least those individuals would have a higher spectrum of brain function in order to do so.
Actually, constantly doing the menial things day in and day out without another thought besides getting it done and over with, that pattern of thinking does not challenge or stimulate our mind. Consider the fact that when we do those things that require little thought, or we simply keeping worrying about our ever increasing pile of things to do, our brain cannot continue or grow or strengthen itself. Our mind needs to stay strong and well lit so that it can support us through every day. The brain’s abilities are so numerous and complex, it needs to be exercised just like a muscle. Now this doesn’t mean we have to hit the books and cram in all the info we think would be useful. We simply need to clear away the ‘noise’ and gunk that gives us that brain fog or absent mindedness that has no benefit.
Our mind is continually forming new neurons and can stay just as sharp and effective throughout our life by simply doing a few things on a consistent basis to help it. Here are a few things that I have found offer amazing help in order to help me keep a calm, clear mind so that whatever situation I’m in I can think clearly, recall memories and thoughts better, and more.
- Deep Thinking – spend just 5 minutes each day contemplating something that means something to you, or fascinates you. Don’t dwell on something that would cause any sort of worry or anxiousness, simply deep thought that can enlighten you or help you refocus on your ultimate desires.
- Read – whether its your scriptures, an engaging novel, or blogs like this one….reading enhances your thinking and imaginative senses in a completely individual way.
- Turn if OFF – I make sure to keep my phone silent and stay away from the computer once I get home for the day so that I can keep my attention on my family. Don’t keep your headphones on all day either. Do you actually remember all the songs you’ve listened to today? I often drive home without the radio blasting so that there is a moment of silence I can guarantee myself on a daily basis. Think about how much time you waste in front of the television too.
- Brain Games – there are free websites where you can play games designed by neuro-scientists for just a few minutes everyday in order to keep your brain stimulated. My favorite is Lumosity.
- Get Outside – nature is the ultimate setting for deep thinking (refer back to #1). It is SO easy to get away from all the noise of life when you’re outside. Go on a walk or hike, nap in a hammock, or just lay down on your lawn and look at the sky.
- Listen – Now I know this one may contradict with #3, but if you listen to meditation or classical music, it can reinforce the relaxation and calm needed for deep thinking. In short term instances, this statistically proven method increases your higher brain function.
These are just a few things I do every day in order to keep my mind calm and clear. I find it helps me fall asleep easier too because I can focus better and channel my mental efforts in a healthier way. Try just one thing you know would make a difference for you and share what you find works positively for yourself too.