Fitness of the Mind
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 dont 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 weve received, a way to kind of mind file for the day. When we dont give adequate time for these processes, or we simply dont get enough rest, our mind cannot maintain its state of fitness, just like our bodies arent 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 from of transportation for our bodys 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, allow our mind to rest and replenish itself for further use. But are these methods keeping us mentally fit? Yes, but they dont 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 havent 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 quite our mind as we take our twenty minute walk or while we workout. Personally, I like to go on a jog, music turned up, and self reflect. Often one just needs the wind through your hair, and the radio turned up really loud!