The Healthy Mind Platter-Part 1. Neuroscience research confirms the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda.
Historically both Indian’s Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine have pointed to the importance of observing the natural cycles of the day with its rhythms of stillness and activity from sunrise to sunset and throughout night time–these ideas are now backed by science.
Using neuroscience research Doctor Daniel J. Siegel (Executive Director of the Mindsight Institute and Clinical Professor at the UCLA School of Medicine) and Doctor David Rock (Executive Director of the NeuroLeadership Institute) have helped to establish what daily activities are essential for both your brain and relationships to function at their optimum-The Healthy Mind Platter.
The Healthy Mind Platter has seven daily essential mental activities necessary for optimum mental health. Some being more active goal orientated others more restful and restorative. Some are more social and playful and others more contemplative; much as Ayurveda has suggested.
The seven essential mental activities are:-
Focus Time-When we closely focus on tasks in a goal-oriented way, we take on challenges that make deep connections in the brain.
Play Time-When we allow ourselves to be spontaneous or creative, playfully enjoying novel experiences, we help make new connections in the brain.
Connecting Time-When we connect with other people, ideally in person, and when we take time to appreciate our connection to the natural world around us, we activate and reinforce the brain’s relational circuitry.
Physical Time-When we move our bodies, aerobically if medically possible, we strengthen the brain in many ways.
Time In-When we quietly reflect internally, focusing on sensations, images, feelings and thoughts, we help to better integrate the brain.
Down Time-When we are non-focused, without any specific goal, and let our mind wander or simply relax, we help the brain recharge.
Sleep Time-When we give the brain the rest it needs, we consolidate learning and recover from the experiences of the day.
Awareness and appreciation of each seven elements of the Healthy Mind Platter is the first essential step in applying this research into your daily life. Next, Siegel and Rock suggest mapping out your average day and seeing what amounts of time you spend in each of the essential mental activities. Why not give it a try?