Tuesday, June 3, 2014

un-tunnel vision

i love tunnels but i'm always working hard to prevent tunnel vision!!!

i'm not talking about the visual medical condition but of the narrowing of the mind.

i just read an excellent article about the benefits of 'increasing brain activity for an hour, through innovative thinking or by experiencing new stimuli and how it results in more energy, more creativity, more openness to new experiences and thinking'.

doesn't that sound like a great payoff for just an hour????
there are so many ways to keep your mind open.

apparently, the main trick is to be open to new experiences and to make changes in previous ways of thinking about these experiences.

here are some of the strategies that have been suggested and in italics how i've personally attempted them in order to avoid going into the tunnel:

some of them were easy peasy, some i'm still working on...
i.  stimulate your eyes:  go to a free art gallery; check out movies or shows in genres that you don't normally watch 

***my husband loves the nature channel and world war docs (i'll join him and try not to fall asleep...)

ii.  stimulate your ears:  listen to music you normally wouldn't listen to, listen to a radio station you typically wouldn't zone into

***my kids control the radio dials in the car so i'm updated with all the cool hip songs of the day

iii.  learn about different people and lifestyles:  blogs are great for this, volunteer with an organization that works with a community of people you are unfamiliar with.

***blogging has introduced me to so many lifestyles from so many parts of the world

 iv.  learn something new: join clubs based on things you have no knowledge of; learn a different language, learn how to play an instrument

*** my kids have recently joined jam masters, the youth version of toastmasters and together we're learning the art of public speaking
v. play strategy games:  they say that strategy is the poetry of the mind.   bridge, chess, checkers, are great ways to exercise your mental flexibility. do jigsaw puzzles, sudoku, mindjolt games

***my favourite is the game called 'combine'  from mindjolt.... oh, and i'm a sudoku master

vi. travel:  becoming an outsider really exposes a mind to new things.  go off the beaten path

***as a family, our number one item to budget for every year is travel.  although we love living in victoria, we really enjoy getting off the island. 

vii.  talk to someone you wouldn't normally talk to:
a bus driver, a homeless person

*** i love starting up conversations with people in front or behind me in lines (because for some reason, i always pick the line with the longest wait)

viii. push the limits of your body and push the limits of your comfort zone: try hang gliding, parasailing, surfing, skateboarding.

*** this is the one i have the most trouble with... but, in my defense, i learn a new dance routine almost every week in my step aerobic classes

ix. explore other cultures and religion;  try new food (african, ethiopian, first nations, cajun???;  attend a meditation; mosque, synagogues

***being a very bland eater, this is a big challenge for me, but i will try all flavours of bubble tea (with extra balls please)

x.  face your fears:  don't be scared of breaking anything; nothing is as hard as anyone makes it out to be

*** this one is tough, because my biggest fears are complicated: fear of loss, fear of being alone, fear of not being able to realize my dreams, fear of death....

i'm glad i have lots of options for exercising my mind and keeping it from closing.

what about you.... what do you do to keep your mind open and receptive???


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thank you for your kind words... they really do make my day !!!