Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Doctors Daniel Siegel and David Rock have identified seven essential daily mental activities necessary for optimum mental health in daily life:
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, richly activating the brain's social circuitry.
Physical Time. When we move our bodies, aerobically if 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 the brain recharge.
Sleep Time. When we give the brain the rest it needs to consolidate learning and recover from the experiences of the day
These seven activities make up the full set of 'mental nutrients' that your brain needs to function at it's best. By engaging regularly in each of these servings, you enable your brain to coordinate and balance its activities, which strengthens your brain's internal connections and your connections with other people.
Of course, the real question is what is the minimum daily requirement for each, which will vary with the individual.