Easy ways to rest and test your mind

Just like you can tell when your body has experienced a good workout, your mind usually exhibits symptoms when it needs a break. There are surefire signs to look out for when your brain is running on overdrive. From headaches and visible stress to emotional changes and memory loss, it is important to acknowledge your mental status. There are times when your mind needs rest and times when your brain can use a  “pop quiz” to maintain mental sharpness.

The great news is that these little breaks can be achieved at home, with others, and even online. Check out the following resources the next time you need to rest or test your mind:

Rest

  • Meditation– Meditating after a long day is a great way to increase stamina, improve mental health and experience other wellness benefits.
  • Self compassion- Cut yourself some slack! Write down inspirational phrases and words encouraging yourself to get through the day. Practicing this sense of self-understanding is important to maintain good self esteem and peace of mind.
  • Journal your thoughts- Writing down your feelings at the day’s end, or your dreams before the day begins, can be a therapeutic means of relief. It helps eliminate clutter in the mind and lets you leave unneeded thoughts behind.

Test 

  • Puzzles- Having a puzzle set up at home or at work (friendly competition among co-workers) helps you step away from stressful, busy situations and challenges your mind. Traditional puzzles and scrabble boards are usually best, especially in the office.
  • Brainteasers- Searching out a good riddle or mental challenge online makes you think in a unique way that is different from daily, monotonous tasks. Challenging yourself to a trivia puzzle can sometimes do the trick too.
  • Lumosity– Lumosity’s specialized system observes your brain’s patterns and provides games and puzzles to improve your cognitive ability. One five-round game cycle is free daily!

The key to mental rest is just giving your brain a break. As long as the activity is something calming or shows a variable difference to repetitive daily tasks, it can provide the break your mind needs.

Photo credit: Jared Tarbell

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