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One of the things I love about cruising is the amount you can learn on sea days. We cruised with Princess Cruises aboard Sea Princess and were treated to some fabulous enrichment lectures. One I particularly enjoyed was all about Habits for a Healthy Mind by Aija Bruvere, a psychological coach from Latvia.
I met Aija when she and I were on our first cruise ever. She was giving lectures during the Sydney to Dubai sea leg. In her spare time she used to play ping pong, and like us loved the formal dinners and production shows 🙂
Aija generously said I could share some of the key points of her lecture ‘Habits for a Healthy Mind’ with you Lifestylers. So without further ado, here are some of the key habits Aija suggests adopting to ensure your mind is a happy one.
Key Habits for a Healthy Mind
1. Establish good work, rest and play rituals, which include eating, sleeping, exercising and recovery time.
2. If you’re working, in an office, at a desk, anywhere – take a break every 90 minutes and focus your attention on something else. Go and make yourself a healthy juice or go for a glass of water. Taking regular breaks means that youre likely to have 40% more ability to think creatively.
Take Regular Exercise
We are built to move.
“Not exercising is like taking a depressant,” says Tal Ben-Shahar.
5. There’s research to suggest that If you exercise for just 20 minutes a day, your learning and creativity abilities and concentration will improve. 6. Low intensity daily walking as an activity is associated with better memory and our brain actually grows. 7. Aerobic exercise including walking fast or doing something else that speeds up your heart rate could prevent brain mass loss and lead to improvement in memory.
8. Mindfulness isn’t meditation but it’s all about being receptive to what you are doing in the moment. It helps you to see stressful events as less threatening and is good for you in many other ways.
9. Having something bigger in life that gives your life meaning to what you do is important.
“There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way.” Thich Nhat Hanh
Homework – Keep a Gratitude Journal
10. Receiving gratitude at work makes you work harder, but did you know that people find it hard to express gratitude to others every day? At the end of each day, write down 5 things that you are grateful for. You’ll feel better about life, have less health issues and have a more optimistic outlook.
As an active explorer of positive psychology, Aija is passionate about promoting tools for reaching peak performance and personal happiness. Aija’s expertise is backed by her BSc in Economics and Business from SSE Riga, an MSc in Social Sciences from the University of Latvia, and a Graduate Diploma in Coaching Psychology from the University of Sydney. You can find out more about Aija on her Website: Aija Bruvere
Lifestyles, do you have any tips for habits for a healthy mind as we get older?
Hi Leanne, we all lead such busy lives, it’s hard to keep in the moment isn’t it.
Hi Jodie, I’m with you on getting enough sleep 🙂
Haha Jan, and yes I read your post on Stumers Creek!
Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit
Great list. I do most of these but it’s the mindfulness I’m working on right now. Trying to live and think in the now rather than always planning ahead.
Sleep deprivation effects me in a big way. I need at least 8 or 9 hours of sleep a night.
I love hearing about these habits. Sure, I need to do better in getting my exercise, but I am pretty diligent about getting my sleep (otherwise I get cranky!)
The “Take Regular Exercise” part of this post fits in well with my “Stumers Creek” post!
Life Images by Jill
Hi Jo, I think the universe is trying to tell me something – your post is a number of things that have come my way this week on a very similar vein. I need to start listening and doing something about it, as I have let exercise, in particular, slip this last 2 months whilst I have been struggling with a hand injury. I need to pick myself up and get moving again. Your quote about lack of exercise and depression particularly runs true, as I watched me mother go down this path, and I have no intention to do the same. Thanks Jo. x
Hi Jill, I’m so glad that this post might have given you a bit of a nudge to get going again, although, “Ouch” a hand injury would slow you down for sure. I hope it’s getting better. Yes, I’m the same, feel pretty ‘down’ if I don’t exercise.
Janet Camilleri (@middleagedmama1)
I wish I could get hubster to pay more attention to #3!!!! When he’s stressed he doesn’t sleep and tried to catch up on work instead. Then he’s like a bear with a sore head ….
Oh no Janet! That doesn’t sound good. If you lived in a cold climate I would suggest Hot Chocolate before bed, but where you live that would be crazy!
Thanks for sharing Aija’s tips Jo! I need to reduce the amount of time I sit at the computer before getting up and moving around. I sit here for too long at a time. There’s other alarm bells and good reminders within this post too. I really do need to streamline my routine quite a bit to set in place some of the good habits I had established last year which seem to have fallen by the wayside! #TeamLovinLife
Hi Min, me too. Sitting at the computer for long period’s of time is my worst habit. Good luck with streamlining your routine to set some good habits again.
Hi Raych, me too. Must be the weather? Sadly … Probably not, as I think we have plans to go at the weekend 🙂
This is certainly all true Jo. I find I feel fantastic if I do all the right things by walking, some aerobic exercise, healthy eating, getting off my butt every hour from my desk, having a good night’s sleep and having some quiet time. Mindfulness is a biggie these days. I’m trying to implement this into my busy life. 🙂
Hi Kathy, I agree … mindfulness is something to be aware of and practice, as it’s all to easy to feel frustrated or just get on the ‘in the future’ bandwagon.
I’m suffering from a huge case of brain fog this week. Hoping it soon clears. Will I see you at the Sculptures by the Sea launch in the morning?