There have been so many uplifting stories that I’ve heard as the result of the Kindness Challenge this month. It is so great to hear how the Challenge has been working in your lives! I truly hope that you have made purposeful kindness more of a habit in your life! I also hope that daily exercise is still a part of your routine as well! That is what Wholee Healthy’s challenges are aiming at… creating healthy, sustainable habits in your life!
Which brings us to another month… and another challenge! For those of you who are new to Wholee Healthy or aren’t quite sure what holistic health is all about, I invite you to follow the following links to learn more about it! The gist of holistic health is that it considers multiple facets of life and their effect on your physical health (mental/emotional health, social health, environmental health, spiritual health, and intellectual health as well). In order to balance these aspects of health and to encourage healthy living, Wholee Healthy has monthly challenges that work to improve one dimension of health each month. The idea behind the challenge being a month long is that a month is about how long it takes a person to form a new habit. You can also follow these links to check out past challenges (and do one on your own if you find them more appealing than this month’s!), or find out where my idea for challenges originated.
So, without further ado, I bring you October’s challenge: CHALLENGE YOUR MIND. Yes, you guessed it, this month we will be challenging our intellectual health. The Challenge? Learn something new or improve your mind every day for the month of October. The Goal? To make broadening your knowledge, interests, and skills a habit, or becoming a lifelong learner.
What does this have to do with physical health? Learning new things is a great way to improve your overall health. Not only will it create new brain cell growth, but it will also lift your mood, improve your sense of confidence, purpose, and enable you to face challenges in your life with more ease. If you are exposed to new learning throughout your later years, it is even found to fight Alzheimer’s and keep your brain sharp. Some of these examples are physical health effects. However, intellectual health usually affects physical health in a more indirect way through other dimensions, specifically mental/emotional health. If you improve your mental/emotional health from learning new things, you will, in turn, have a greater capacity to deal with your physical health. Success in one area of our life ripples into each dimension.
For example, my plan for this challenge is to learn to play the guitar. This will help my brain function improve, as I’ll be challenging my brain in a new way. It will also improve my mood, confidence, and stress levels when I receive a sense of accomplishment and enjoy the music I make (eventually). From these feelings of confidence, improved mood, and lowered stress levels, I will have a better attitude towards exercise and eating well. I will have more confidence in my abilities to meet goals I have set in the physical dimension (working out daily, etc). I will also have less stress, so will be able to better focus on my workouts and meal plans and have a better quality of sleep. These are just a few examples of how improving one area of life can affect others and improve your life as a whole.
What can you do for the challenge? For some of us, this seems too time consuming or unnecessary. But, I challenge you to find something that fits you… Again, I’ve made the challenge very open-ended, so you can make it your own. Start learning a language, take up a new sport, start reading again, make a point to read a news story daily, start a project in your home that you need to research, sign up for a free online course (Khan Academy, Coursure, or Edx), or start researching your family history. For the busier participants: install a fact/word of the day/this day in history app on your phone that automatically shows you new information each day, use commute time in your car to listen to podcasts or Ted talks, or get a desk calendar at work that has some of these or different facts that you can flip to each day. You can do one thing or a combination of different things. Whatever you choose to do, make it something that interests you and pushes you to expand your thinking, knowledge, or skills!
My plan? I am going to be learning how to play the guitar, as this is something I have wanted to do for years, but have never took the time. I don’t plan to spend hours on end each day on this, but have a goal to spend about 15 minutes at it each day.
I realize I won’t be able to fit it in each day, so have installed a fact of the day app on my phone. I’ll be sharing these and other facts on Facebook/Instagram daily. Your challenge could just be to read these facts and improve your knowledge base this way.
If you don’t have time, make it something quick like this if you’d like. Otherwise, dig into something that you’ve been meaning to do for awhile! How awesome to say you learned French, can play the piano, or read the Harry Potter series for the first time (if you haven’t read the whole series yet, this should immediately jump to your #1 priority by the way…).
Have fun with this challenge, make it your own, and Challenge Your Mind!
If you’d like, you can join the Facebook Challenge Your Mind Event
I’d love to hear your ideas, plans, and input for future challenges! firstname.lastname@example.org
For those of you currently doing the Kindness Challenge with me for the month of September, we have about 1 week left! Keep spreading kindness and making it a habit!
A Holistic Approach to Weight Loss: Can Weight Loss Impact Our Ultimate Goals? And my first Intellectual Health post… title still in the works!
Follow the links to follow me on Facebook and Instagram for daily motivation, YouTube for health tutorials, and, if you haven’t already, subscribe to my blog on wholeehealthy.wordpress.com to see past posts and to make sure you don’t miss a post!
Also, feel free to email me with suggestions for future challenges, post ideas, questions, or anything else you’d like to chat about: email@example.com
“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.”
― Mahatma Gandhi