December 17, 2018

Eight Steps to Intellectual Wellness

by Shirley Strembitsky | Wellness Committee

We spend a great deal of time thinking about our overall well-being. Everything, even what we don’t do, affects our health.

Physical, spiritual, emotional, social, and economic aspects of our lifestyle are components of wellness, as well as another important one: intellectual wellness.

One study done at Illinois State University suggests eight simple actions that anyone can do to increase intellectual wellness.

1. Read for Fun

Who has time to read? Do you read the newspaper? Rather than rush it, why not put it aside and pick a time to be able to sit down with it, put your feet up, and relax. Reading something you enjoy can improve your intellect by stretching your mind to think about things you normally would not think about.

2. Improve Your Study Skills

Learning about the way that the brain processes information can be a vital tool to attaining success.

3. Learn a New Language

In preparation for a trip to a foreign country, study the language in which you will be immersed. Even just learning salutations and some keywords may prove to be very useful. Give it a try.

Learning a foreign language can be beneficial to intellectual health and can even improve one’s employment prospects. By learning different ways to communicate, the mind expands, which not only helps being receptive to new knowledge but also broadens information already learned.

4. Debate!

Try debating. It sounds tricky, but that’s the point. The next time you are in conversation, try choosing the opposite point of view from the one that you actually hold on the topic. Focusing attention on information that is different from your beliefs can improve intellectual wellness.

5. Play a Game Alone, or with Someone Else

Board games and cards are popular leisure activities. The next time you have some free time, pick up a deck of cards or a board game — or search the computer for games that you can learn and try out. Because games are so varied, with each requiring its own set of skills, games also help with intellectual wellness. It makes no difference whether you play alone or play with others. As long as your mind is thinking, it is improving. However, remember you enhance your social wellness when you interact with others and share words and laughter.

6. Make Music

Music has a powerful impact on our minds. Playing a musical instrument can improve intellectual wellness by creating sounds, patterns, and emotions.

Since the voice is also a musical instrument, singing can also stimulate intellectual wellness. Singing increases listening skills as voices blend. It enhances breathing and increases lung capacity. Our intellect is challenged to memorize the words and feel the rhythm. There is definitely an air of fun when singing in a chorus and this enjoyment has an impact on our intellectual wellness. Most communities have choruses and choirs that are happy to have new members.

7. Try Writing

Take time to write down your thoughts. Journalling can frequently help those who struggle with expressing thoughts, and can assist in trying to make sense of what we feel inside. Being able to identify feelings and understand yourself and your actions increases intellectual wellness by exposing your mind to deeper thinking. Keeping a gratitude journal is a positive way of increasing awareness of the good things that happen in our lives and, in moments of despondency, can revive one’s spirits.

8. Brain Games

Many of us like to do crossword, sudoku, or word-find puzzles. Working through such puzzles uses a great amount of brain power. Building boxed jigsaw puzzles adds a tactile aspect, another positive direction for intellectual wellness.

Puzzles are available on phones and tablets, but remember the caution of not using these devices at bedtime since light emitted from them can disrupt sleep patterns. And, of course, a good, sound sleep is also very important for intellectual wellness!

For more posts like these, visit the Intellectual Wellness page.