What is the Mental Dimension?
It is the dimension of our lives that deals with the intellectual side of our lives. Today, the ability to learn new things and use these new concepts to survive has become paramount. Learning new things on a computer, a mobile phone, or a tablet. Learning new skills like programming, a language, or public speaking are all available now with a few mouse clicks or tapping on our phone or tablet.
How do we keep our mental dimension strong? Here are a few ways:
- Read daily
- Meditate Daily
- Sleep at least 7-8 hours per day
- Write daily
Reading is one area that all of us could do more of. Luckily there are apps like Kindle, Nook, Google Books, and Scribd. All of these are a quick download. You have to buy books or find free ones, but these are all fully accessible on your mobile, tablet, or computer. I enjoy reading broadly. This is one thing that Steven Covey recommends in his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Reading broadly means we read about things that normally do not capture our attention. For example, I used to just read action, science fiction, and history books. Now I try to engage in love stories, poetry, mystery novels, non-fiction (everything) and a whole lot more. The key is to keep the intellect striving for new things, broad-minded topics, and concepts.
Meditation is the other area that will strengthen the mental dimension. Meditation has a whole bunch of benefits, one being a calming effect. Speaking of calming, you can get an app called Calm that will provide you with daily meditations, weekly meditations (each day for 7 days), and much more content. I’ve also tried Headspace but didn’t like their interface as much.
Meditation will also teach you how to focus. Focus is critical and a lot harder than you think. When you first begin meditating you’ll discover that your mind will wander quite a bit. Some who follow Zen Buddhism label the mind a “monkey”. So true. Anyways, the practice of meditation will help you calm this Monkey through various techniques, which is really beneficial. Just a few minutes of quiet each day can really prime you the rest of the day. That being said, mornings are not the only time to do this. You can meditate in the morning, lunch time, or even the evening before you head to bed. The key, just like exercising in the Physical Dimension posting, is consistency. It is much easier to establish a habit if you are doing the same things at the same time each day.
Sleeping is such a wonderful thing. It replenishes us, repairs us, resets the brain and allows it to collect, store, and assess all the inputs it received during the day. It also can be a time of high adventure when we wake up in one of our dream worlds. Sleep is really important for your mental health. The deep REM sleep that most doctors talk about is only achieved a few times throughout the evening. This is the key part of your sleep time when the brain receives the most benefit.
If you have difficulty sleeping, you may want to try a few things I’ve found across the web:
- Turn off and put down your electronic devices. These devices put out a lot of light and are really stimulating for the brain. Stay on these things too close to bedtime and you’ll have a hard time shutting down.
- Avoid Caffeine, Sugar, and Alcohol, after dinner. These are all highly stimulating and will reduce the quality of your sleep.
- Take a hot shower or bath.
- Read a chapter in your favorite book.
- Meditate or contemplate.
- Listen to relaxing music (ambient is one genre that is terrific for this).
Writing is the last topic I’ll cover, but frankly, if you’re reading this you are already writing for your own blog and understand the benefits of writing. Writing allows us to refine our thinking and refine the way we bring out that writing to the page. I always try to write things out on paper first, but today, I’m being lazy. The writing is going on the word document and will be pasted into my blog today.
There’s a reason I like to write by hand, however. I have two journals I keep up with twice a day. The first is my 5-minute journal, which is a gratitude journal. The second is my productivity journal, which is nothing more than a focused planner. Both are hardcover books and are written in by hand. You can investigate these journals for yourself at https://www.intelligentchange.com/
Writing by hand allows you to connect the physical with the mental. Writing by hand uses more muscles, tendons, and nerves than clacking away on a keyboard. This neuro-muscular connection actually impresses your writing into your mind more effectively. So, I write by hand in one of my 90 cent journals. I normally by 10 at a time and these last me a couple of months.
One area I don’t want to forget is learning. What do you want to know? What do you want to learn? Are there any areas you’d like to tackle that you feel weak in that could benefit your life tremendously? Want to learn how to cook? Want to learn to do accounting? Want to learn about a foreign country? Want to learn how to speed read? The possibilities are endless.
One website I’d recommend if you have 15 dollars to spare each month is Great Courses +. Here is their website: https://www.thegreatcoursesplus.com/home This service is also available for iPhone and Android devices. Currently, I’m taking a course on Game Theory. Why not right? Anyways, whatever you want to learn, you have the ability to learn more and find more information than at any other time in our history. Take advantage of it. Learning is the final linchpin of the Mental Dimension. Learning is the exercise our brains need to stay pliable and expand. Try to learn something new each day, regardless of how small that little bit of information is. The little things we do each day build up to really big things.
Until next time…