The quality, not the longevity, of one's life is what is important. ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.


Some people speak of that animating, unseen part of each of us as the soul. I like to think of it as the Mind. Whatever you call it, solving what the mystery about it is can be one of life's greatest, most fun, most enjoyable and most rewarding experiences. You'll want it to always be healthy and one way to do that is to exercise your brain.


When the soul or the mind "leaves," the body can no longer move, so we might think of that invisible part of us as the animating factor. If it is the mind (as I like to think about it), we're in for good news, because the mind can animate and think, and by governing it's thinking, can therefore govern the life experiences that get created with this very thinking.


Some people think that cognition ought to be enhanced to keep you from experiencing mental problems, which are generally thought of as "in the brain." I speak here of memory loss, dementia, bi-polar problems, Alzheimers, a sense of aging, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and poor performance in school, to name but a few.


The mind needs to be exercised, just as the body does, and exercises are beneficial in reducing the experience of some of these brain-related problems. Solving puzzles, brainteasers, discussing opposing ideas, creative painting or sculpting are just a few ways to engage the mind and keep it youthful and healthy.


There are those who think it isn't necessary to become "old" and that any sense of decay or death is an admission that we are impermanent beings. If you like to think, as you gain a few years in this life experience, that you are well, youthful, and mature, you can alleviate some of the signs of deterioration.


Alcohol is concentrated, so drinking a quantity of alcohol as you might drink the same quantity of water or sodas is too much for the mind to absorb, let alone the body. Some people drink so they don't have to face their emotional pain; the more they drink, the less obvious the pain is. This affects the mind's ability to think rationally and does not contribute to wellness.


What Are Some Ways to Exercise Your Brain?


Moving your body in ways currently unknown to you would be helpful to keep your mind young and well. Learn dancing, try hiking, march in a band with your newly learned instrument. All these will make your mind connections stronger.


Stay active through volunteering or through social clubs. Meet new friends, and instead of saying "I'm horrible at remembering names," work hard to remember them. This is a great way to strengthen your mind's ability. Folks who can interface with others can improve their general mental performance.


Do things differently. Learn a new way to tie your shoes. Brush your hair with the hand you seldom use. Eat a meal with your fork in the other hand. Diversify your routines and your mind will have to work harder (and get stronger) because of it.


Research what foods are thought of to improve your mind's functionality. I'll name just a few here so I don't cheat you of the experience: tomatoes, egg yolks, berries, fish, avocados are just a few. You might even take a course in nutrition at your local college.


Incorporating some of these ways to exercise your brain into your daily activities will go far in keeping your mind as healthy as your body.

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