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