Friday, June 18, 2010

Self Care Primer: Intellectual Self Care

“All of the top achievers I know are life-long learners... Looking for new skills, insights, and ideas. If they're not learning, they're not growing... not moving toward excellence.” – Denis Waitley

Mental (or intellectual) Self Care is all about getting energized by intellectually stimulating activities.

It may seem quite obvious that using your brain is good for you. It is something that you practice on some level every minute of every day. Like now, for instance, as you read this blog- you’re using brainpower to gather information, process it and to decide whether or not it is useful to you… (Or just fluff – LOL!).

Mental Self Care, however, requires a little more effort than what we naturally expend as we go about our daily lives. It is more than just the unconscious drone of our brains as we intake, sift, & react over to all we encounter in the course of our day. That is what we refer to as “just going through the motions”. Fortunately, most of us seek more out of life than being like a machine, and this is where mental self care comes in.

People, who practice good intellectual self care, generally do the following things:

• Seek knowledge. They explore subjects that interest them in depth.

• Seek a wide variety of learning experiences. They read, write, attend classes, discuss, debate and explore topics from multiple angles.

• They are observant of what is around them, mindfully employing all of their senses

• They listen.

• They find ways to apply what they learn

• They stay current with what is happening in the world an in their communities.

• They seek new experiences (e.g. travel, theater, arts)

The most important benefit of healthy intellectual self care is that it not only expands our minds, but it also grows our options. It makes us more capable, more creative, and it also increases our uniqueness as individuals. No two people know exactly the same things! What you know shapes who you are.

Exercise: What interests you? What are you currently exploring? Carve out time each day to read, or to explore something that interests you. Use all of your senses. Challenge yourself to take occasionally take an opposing viewpoint.

1 comment:

Rad Runner said...

GREAT post.. I am currently battling the idea of growing work wise, what do I want to do? I have always one step ahead of my "normal" age group.. "Mature"

I love running, I want to travel, see different things, running is giving me this opportunity and I am so insanely lucky to have a full family husband and parents who cheer me all the way to the FINISH line :)