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4 activities to nourish and refresh your brain

Woman reading a book while sitting against a tree in a field.

(Photo: Flickr/Jessica Cross)

4 activities to nourish and refresh your brain

By Dr. Jennifer Hanes on February 26, 2013

In this age of information, we have become so inundated with material it can be difficult to find quality in the quantity. Our minds are even more sensitive to how they are fed than our bodies. When our mind and soul are under stress and a barrage of negativity, the physical body in turn holds onto the calories and fat in preparation for what it senses as a coming famine.

So if you feel you are ready to elevate your body, mind and life to the next level, change what you feed your brain. Take the challenge and see if you also experience more joy, creativity and peace in just three days.

Turn off the news. The news cycle is now non-stop, so television and websites present a rehashing of terrible stories without solutions, making us feel vulnerable and unsafe. Many times those reporting the news do not even understand the history behind it, leaving the heavy headline to hang in the air. If you want to start appreciating world events, then pick up a history book. "The 5,000 Year Leap" is a wonderful place to start.

Limit social media time. Social media can be a great way to connect with others and be inspired. It can also be a rabbit hole taking you deep underground engaging in needless disagreements or surfing away your time. For just three days, limit your time to 30 minutes or less each day.

Find inspiring entertainment. Audiobooks are a great way to perform tasks while absorbing beauty into your brain. Try inspirational leaders like Dr. Christiane Northrup, Dr. Deepak Chopra, Marrianne Williamson, Joel Osteen and Wayne Dyer. These authors have a consistent theme of using information to lift you up and put your life on a healing path. Their spiritual philosophies are different from one another, making it a great collection of healers to help elevate your life. There are audio and video clips on their websites in addition to books and audiobooks.

Read only excellent literature. I once read that "To Kill a Mockingbird" was edited for three years before its final publication. That tincture of time makes the classics great, compared to our now books-on-demand culture. If you are new to the classics, try Hemingway, Salinger, or the poetry of Whitman. The language is so beautiful; often a paragraph or two can be savored for an entire day.

It is the human condition to strive for more and continually grow. Unfortunately, many of us are surrounded by complaints, gossip, and depressing news. Allow the thought leaders of our time and from generations past be your inspiration, if only for a few days, and note how your life improves.

Words of caution: This is not about listening to self-help books to make yourself feel inadequate. This is not about making dramatic changes to your life. The purpose of this three-day elevation is to note how powerful our thoughts are. They become our words and actions. It is easy to become oblivious to the negative tapes that constantly berate us in our minds. Open yourself to positive influence and turn down the volume on the negative thoughts. You will find your life becomes easier and more fulfilling. You have only beauty to gain.

I would love your comments and suggestions for movies, television, books, and music you find uplifting and inspirational.

Reprinted, with permission, from Dr. Hanes' website.