Healthy Mind Platter

I think most of us have past experiences about a food pyramid or recommendations on how a healthy and nutritious meal should look like. But how many of us have heard about the healthy mind platter*? This was completely new for me until I discovered the concept/framework a few years ago. And what a discovery! I use this on a daily basis in my life.

It helps you to optimize your brain matter and create well-being. Initially you can use it as a gap analysis, do you get enough of the seven essential mental activities in your life?

*developed by Dan Siegel and David Rock.

The essential areas are:

  1. Focus time – When we closely focus on tasks in a goal-oriented way, we take on challenges that make deep connections in the brain.
  2. Play Time – When we allow ourselves to be spontaneous or creative, playfully enjoying novel experiences, we help make new connections in the brain.
  3. Connecting Time – When we connect with other people, ideally in person, and when we take time to appreciate our connection to the natural world around us, we activate and reinforce the brain’s relational circuitry
  4. Physical Time – When we move our bodies, aerobically if medically possible, we strengthen the brain in many ways.
  5. Time In – When we quietly reflect internally, focusing on sensations, images, feelings and thoughts, we help to better integrate the brain.
  6. Down Time – When we are non-focused, without any specific goal, and let our mind wander or simply relax, we help the brain recharge.
  7. Sleep Time –
When we give the brain the rest it needs, we consolidate learning and recover from the experiences of the day.

When I introduced this framework into my life, I realized that I did not allow myself any play time. I had totally forgotten how to have fun, to be spontaneous. Everything had become way too serious. Another thing that was missing in my platter was the down time. The time with no specific goal, where I just let my brain wander and relax. For me, introducing this framework has changed my life. It is so easy yet so powerful

The magic and messiness of life

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The circle of life is the same for all of us; we are born and eventually we die. The difference is what we do with the time in between. The average age- span differs from country to country and it is not the same for men and women. In Sweden where I live, women are “given” in average 85 years and men 81 years.

To be given life is magic and should be treated with grace and gratitude. But for some reason many people take life for granted and forget how blessed they really are. I belive that we all have a purpose in life, a reason for being here. I wake up every morning and feeling blessed that I  have been given 85 years of the messy and magic life, and I am trying hard to live according to my purpose.

This is not always easy and some days this takes more effort than other. And life has seasons, just as nature does. Summer and spring are for most of us the easier life while winter and autumn normally takes a bit more effort, a bit more hard work.

If I have been given 85 years of life, then I am undoubetly going to experience many seasons. I will go through autumn, winter, spring and summer. This is natural, and we cannot change the seasons. What we can do, is to change how we react to the seasons. We do not have to give away our power to the outside events, and we can choose what meaning we are giving the event.

In March 2020 Swedish winter was coming to its end and spring was about to knock on our door.

And as we know, March 2020 had other plans for all of us and it managed to throw us back into a very cold winter. The magic and beauty of life turned into a messy and stressful time. When unexpected events occur, we need time to understand the meaning of it. We need to find our balance and time to figure out what to do next. We need to understand what we can control and what we can change. This is where we need to be, in the land of possibilities, where we have to power within our control. Because if we focus on the things we cannot control and what we cannot change then we give away our power. And this is a source of passivity and does not have positive impact of our health and wellbeing.

This gigantic change that is happening in the world now is calling for action and we have to do our part. It is now time to farm the land in order to reap a beautiful seed in the future. This too shall pass, everything is changing, so will this. And the opportuinity is given to us to be co-creaters of the world we want to live in. I am taking this task seriously and realise it was part of my purpose in my life to be a part of the necessary change.