Meditation, an exercise recommended for everyone, but especially those of us with hectic, stressful lifestyles, is defined as an engagement in contemplation, especially of a spiritual or devotional nature. Meditation has been shown to relieve stress, and promote overall good health, by simply reflecting upon our day, and finding happiness within ourselves. This and other mind exercises help us to keep our mind fit, and functioning at top performance levels
Our spirituality and meditation practices are the tools we have available to keep our mind as fit as we keep our bodies. The mind is a complicated and versatile machine, but it can become overwhelmed and unable to function correctly, if we don’t take the time to keep it cared for.
Our mind has varying levels of operation, known as brainwaves. As we pass through the different stages of our day, we enter various stages of brain wave activity. The brain uses this tool as one way to allow us time to rest our busy mind, and cope with all the pieces of information we’ve received, a way to kind of “mind file” for the day.
When we don’t give adequate time for these processes, or we simply don’t get enough rest, our mind cannot maintain its state of fitness, just like our bodies aren’t capable of fitness if there is no chance to rest and replenish.
Modern alternative medicine and holistic healers believe in the power of the energy that flows through our bodies; this energy radiates from our mind as well. It is believed to be the chief form of transportation for our body’s nervous system to carry out communication.
Breathing techniques, music, aromas, and candle therapy are all ways we utilize the opportunities to reflect on our day, allowing our mind to rest and replenish itself for further use. But are these methods keeping us mentally fit? Yes, but they don’t work alone. The absorption of new information, new opportunities to learn, and creative play provide our mind the stimulus it needs in order to stay fit and functioning.
The onset of many age-related mental disorders occurs because we haven’t taken the time to keep our mind youthful, and involved in new learning. Learning new things forces our mind to form new neural pathways. We need those neural pathways for the transmission of information from the body to the mind, or with our ability to form new memories. If we don’t exercise the mind, we lose the fitness.
We must remember over the course of our daily routine, to make time to maintain mental fitness, as we strive to maintain physical fitness. The nice thing about the whole process is that, as we go about accomplishing these tasks, quite often the opportunities for preservation and care are interchangeable. We can help to quiet the mind as we take our twenty minute walk. Or we have the opportunity to build muscle strength as we meditate.
Often just the opportunity to listen to music will allow our mind the chance it needs to relax and regroup. It’s not always the most formal of occasions that we find an available chance to reflect and listen to that inner voice. It can be in the middle of the day, with the wind blowing through your hair, and the radio turned up really loud!