How much time do you spend doing creative things and/or learning something new?
Taking care of your intellectual health is important for your health and happiness. This dimension is all about your mind and how you continue to nurture learning and creativity.
When you’re intellectually satisfied, you might feel curious about the world around you, and excited about learning new things. You may feel open to being challenged about your thoughts and beliefs. Also, you’ll probably find the time to learn skills and engage in creative activities. If you struggle in this dimension, you might feel bored and you could be quick to shut down other people’s opinions and perspectives during discussions.
The health of your mind affects the other health dimensions
- Mind → body: Try a new physical activity—like a dance class. Not only will it help you stay fit, it can also reduce the risk of dementia.
- Mind → relationships: Sign up for a creative class and you may just meet new, inspiring people.
- Mind → emotions: Creativity is associated with positive emotions and if you do something creative on a regular basis, you may feel happier.
Improving your mind’s health
Often, when you’re busy looking after other things (or people!) your own growth gets put last on the list. Try to make time for small activities that stimulate your brain and help keep you sharp and inspired. This process may require some trial and error—you may not have taken the time before to prioritize your own learning and creativity before! Three things to do to start improving the health of your mind today:
- New interests! Pick a topic you’re interested in and commit to 10 min per day to learn about it. That might mean reading, but it could also be through videos, documentaries, public lectures, podcasts, etc.
- Language! Make a habit of practicing a new or old language. Set up a language/conversation exchange with someone who speaks that language, or, try to make it a regular practice to read or watch things in that language. There are also great apps to help you, like Memrise.
- Make things! If you have kids (or nieces or nephews), set aside time to do something creative together. Maybe try a new recipe!
Your intellectual health is important, but it’s just one part of your whole health picture.
Read about all eight dimensions of health. They overlap, intertwine, and impact one another. If you’re doing well in each of these dimensions, you’ll stay healthier and happier. Also, check out Carebook’s Facebook page where we’re building a healthy, happy community. We’d love to hear your ideas and experiences about keeping your mind strong!
- Dancing can reverse the signs of aging in the brain
- What are the health benefits of being creative?
- For a Better Brain, Learn Another Language
- Kids crafts
- Rehfeld K, Müller P, Aye N, Schmicker M, Dordevic M, Kaufmann J, et al. Dancing or Fitness Sport? The Effects of Two Training Programs on Hippocampal Plasticity and Balance Abilities in Healthy Seniors. Front Hum Neurosci [Internet]. 2017 Jun 15 [cited 2019 Jan 15];11. Available from: http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fnhum.2017.00305/full
- Stuckey HL, Nobel J. The Connection Between Art, Healing, and Public Health: A Review of Current Literature. Am J Public Health. 2010 Feb;100(2):254–63.