NDSU Extension - Sargent County


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Healthy Mind

Healthy Mind


“We're entering an era of an epidemic of overwhelm. A time when too many people's mental well-being is being stretched through multi-tasking, fragmented attention and information overload.”  That’s what Dr. David Rock said…back in 2011.  That was nine years ago!  

At that time. David and his friend, Dr. Daniel Siegel, went to work and created the Healthy Mind Platter.  The platter was designed to show seven essential mental activities that are necessary for optimum mental health in daily life.

The doctors likened their seven daily activities to a full set of ‘mental nutrients' that are essential every day if our brains are to function at their best.  The seven essential activities are: 

  • Focus Time. When we closely focus on tasks in a goal-oriented way, taking on challenges that make deep connections in the brain.
  • Play Time. When we allow ourselves to be spontaneous or creative, playfully enjoying novel experiences, which helps make new connections in the brain.
  • Connecting Time. When we connect with other people, ideally in person, or take time to appreciate our connection to the natural world around us, richly activating the brain's relational circuitry.
  • Physical Time. When we move our bodies, aerobically if medically possible, which strengthens the brain in many ways.
  • Time In. When we quietly reflect internally, focusing on sensations, images, feelings and thoughts, helping to better integrate the brain.
  • Down Time. When we are non-focused, without any specific goal, and let our mind wander or simply relax, which helps our brain recharge.
  • Sleep Time. When we give the brain the rest it needs to consolidate learning and recover from the experiences of the day.

Think of the list as a checklist and use it to assess how you are doing in each area.  Share it with family and friends to see how they are doing, too.  If you find an area where you need to improve, make a plan to take small steps in that direction. 

Source:  https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/your-brain-work/201106/announcing-the-healthy-mind-platter

Photo Source: https://pixabay.com/photos/peace-of-mind-woman-girl-outdoors-349815/ (downloaded 12/01/20)

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