Dr. Daniel J. Siegel, a professor at UCLA and executive director of Mindsight Institute and David Rock, executive director of NeuroLeadership Institute recently created a concept called The Healthy Mind Platter. Taking off on what makes for a healthy, balanced, plate of food, The Healthy Mind Platter has seven essential mental activities necessary for optimum mental health in daily life.
“These seven daily activities make up the full set of ‘mental nutrition’ that your brain needs to function at its best,” writes David Rock. “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.”
The seven essential mental 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, 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 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.
I think they really described clearly what our brains to function effectively! And just as we EAT daily, so does our brain need its daily servings of these seven items.
Think through your day today. How many of the seven "times" did you include in your activities?
Are you finding yourself so crowded by people that you have no "time in"?
Or are you isolating and need more connection with others?
AND playful? Is there play time in your day?
"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy." Remember that one?? We are hearing it here from the experts. Our brain need playtime to stay sharp, creative, and focused!
Resource: David Rock, “Introducing the Healthy Mind Platter,” Huffington Post, June 3, 2011.