We live in stressful times. We stress about getting to our office on time, stress about completing an assignment, stress about doing well at the job, etc. With the increasingly competitive nature of the industry, everybody seems to be too much focused on work, ignoring their physical and mental well-being. And this habit of overindulgence is not only restricted to the workplace. With rapidly changing technology and the mammoth growth of social media, everybody seems to be glued on their screens, setting unapproachable standards of living. Thus, it becomes important to have a calm mind and a healthy functioning system in times like these. A person should thrive for not accomplishing superficial targets but improving their ‘quality of mind’.
‘Quality of Mind’ refers to having the ability to perceive the environment with clarity and come up with creative and inspiring ideas that show resilience and thought.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
People with a good quality of mind are proactive and open to changes, willing to challenge themselves, seek new opportunities, and try to live with a strong purpose in life. They can prioritize their tasks and are efficient with a good sense of time management. But most importantly, they learn to find comfort in their skin and are intimately familiar with their abilities.
It helps make your day more productive and contributes to better mental health and peace of mind. It helps us reach our optimal intelligence, which allows us to access more than 10% of our brain’s capacity, which makes us better at solving problems and making difficult decisions as we are more focused and can easily retrieve all the previous knowledge stored in our brain.
HOW TO IMPROVE THE QUALITY OF YOUR MIND?
We have all been in situations where we find ourselves endlessly stuck in a loop of overthinking and regret. We start being over-critical about ourselves, doubt our decisions, reliving every embarrassing moment we ever experienced. No matter how hard we try, we find ourselves sinking deeper. Don’t worry! We all have been there. Keeping a positive perspective about life becomes a little difficult sometimes, but if we just follow a few simple steps and try to improve the quality of our mind, the goal is achievable.
- ELIMINATE NEGATIVITY: If we strive for a positive and informative state of mind, we need to eliminate junk information from our lives and replace it with quality information. It becomes difficult, especially in the era we live in where accessing any kind of information is very easy. Still, we need to set boundaries and practice limiting ourselves from being overwhelmed with all the information. It can start with small steps that we can take, for example, avoid link-baits. No matter how enticing they seem, they add very little value to our lives. We can also limit our time on social media by installing timers on the phone. This is a beneficial trick because it can help us prevent ourselves from stalking people online (yes, we all do it!), which usually leads to unnecessary comparisons, and we start overanalyzing our lives.
- CONSUME QUALITY CONTENT: Simple switches in our daily routine can go a long way. Switching from the radio with too many advertisements and unnecessary pranks, we can listen to good quality podcasts, news channels, or audiobooks (podcasts like Chanakya Niti, Maha Bharat with Dhruv Rathi, BBC Podcast, Freakonomics on Spotify are some good suggestions). Instead of engrossing ourselves in fashion and lifestyle magazines, we can try reading books or editorials (one can start with reading books on any topic of their choice but needs to make sure that they are reading something regularly)
- SPEND MORE TIME WITH PEOPLE WHO MAKES US FEEL GOOD: It is important to meet new people and make friends as they play a very vital role in expanding our horizons and improving our perspective. When we meet people who have different backgrounds, ideas, and goals, we learn new things and new perspectives, which helps us appreciate the diversity and helps us grow. Nevertheless, it is also important to keep in mind the kind of people we choose to stay with. People who constantly criticize or complain about things or belittle our emotions can affect our state of mind in a very negative manner. Therefore, it is important to surround ourselves with people who have a positive outlook towards life and people who lift us up.
- PRODUCE ORIGINAL THOUGHTS: “Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking.” Okay, so this quote by Albert Einstein might seem contrary to the point I stated above about reading more, but this quote does not mean that we should read less. It just states that we should not be passive readers. We should constantly try to question things and give the content some thought. We criticize the article, try to add more ideas, or find a different perspective to what the reader portrays.
- TRAIN YOUR BRAIN: The brain is the most powerful organ in our body. We should avoid overloading our brains with too much information and avoid multitasking. Studies show that the frontal lobe of the brain is responsible for decision-making and judgment. Multitasking reduces the fitness of the frontal lobe by attending to different things at the same time. What is more important than senselessly cramming more and more information is learning to filter and evaluate information.
- FOCUS ON PHYSICAL HEALTH: Exercises have shown to have physical health benefits improving the oxygen level and easy absorption of nutrients. This helps in creating new cells in the brain, which helps in improving memory storage. Yoga and meditation can also be helpful. Studies show that meditation helps in improving cognitive functioning, focus, and concentration. Another study shows that mere 20 minutes of yoga can significantly improve participants’ speed and accuracy. In addition to physical exercise, we should always be mindful of what we eat. One should focus more on plant-based foods, especially green leafy vegetables, whole grains, nuts, herbs, spices, etc. Fatty fish are considered a rich source of omega 3 fatty acids, which play an essential role in building brain and nerve cells. Similarly, one should also avoid taking large amounts of sugar, processed foods, and fried foods. A high quantity of these can impair the hippocampal memory.
- DRINK ADEQUATE AMOUNTS OF COFFEE AND WATER: The brain mainly contains water. Even if there is a small sign of dehydration, it can have disastrous effects on the memory. Studies also show that an adequate amount of caffeine can improve memory and reduce the risk of diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
- START A HOBBY: We should challenge ourselves every day. The more we push our limits, the stronger we will turn out to be. Learning new skills or starting a new hobby is a fun way to let your mind explore new experiences. One can start learning a new language or a new instrument or play mind games like chess or sudoku. Hobbies are a fun way to challenge your brain without actually adding pressure to do something new and excel at it.
With a better quality of mind, you seem to have more control over your thoughts and can produce more positive thoughts. You also have more control over how strongly some ideas can affect you negatively. Your mind is not weighed down by unnecessary worries. Still, it is peaceful and joyous, which helps you a lot in increasing your productivity. The journey can be long, and it all might seem daunting at first, but no one is expecting you to change yourself in one day. Just adopt a few changes in your life, and it can go a long way in your journey of self-improvement. Do not worry too much about the results or the future. If anything, it is only going to create a hindrance towards your goal. It’s all about taking small, simple steps and being a better version of yourself every day.
by Aashna Verma