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15 Ways To Grow Mentally And Physically

15 Ways To Grow Mentally And Physically

Growing mentally and growing physically are two completely different things. Growing mentally refers to a person’s psychological growth—the way we think and deal with different situations, and by what methods we develop and disseminate information. Growing up physically refers to a person’s physical growth—like increased height, strength, and health. It can also refer to the development of your brain.

“The key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life—mental, emotional, spiritual, as well as physical.”
Julius Erving

A healthy body can help your mind stay strong. When your body isn’t fit, it’s tougher to make challenging decisions.

You can find plenty of books, websites, and articles that can give you suggestions to grow mentally and physically. These tips will help you to improve both simultaneously.

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1. Enrich your mind.

Keep challenging yourself to learn new things. By doing this, you will gain more knowledge about things around you, and you will learn how to utilize things in a better way. Don’t let yourself get stuck in one place, either mentally or physically. Be proactive, curious, conscious, and informed about the world.

2. Use your brain more often by doing brain exercises.

Exercising your brain means using it more. Generally, the brain takes part in everything we do, but there are some types of activities which can specifically exercise our brains. Activities like doing puzzles, playing games like Chess or Scrabble, solving numerical problems, studying difficult topics, and challenging your dexterity, spatial reasoning, and logic. Doing these mental exercises daily can sharpen your mind, and it can be an excellent way to strengthens neural links in your brain.

3. Consume nutrients that are good for the brain.

Take in nutrients which are good for your brain. Foods that have antioxidants like vitamin C, E, B, etc. are good for the brain. Consuming almonds and apple juice is also good for sharpening the brain.

4. Learn something you want to learn.

There is strong indication that education and learning yield positive changes in the brain. If you continue to learn and experiment, your brain continues to grow, whether it is knitting, baking, or computer programming, marketing, etc. Learn something you’ve always wanted to learn, but have never found the time for because of your daily concerns. Absorb a little information slowly each day.

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5. Think critically.

When we hear, read, or work on something, it is very important that we question everything and pay attention to details. Such an approach can improve our thinking ability because it requires more brain work than mere observation.

6. Do physical exercises.

A healthy body means a healthy mind; regular exercise has a positive influence our brain function. The brain takes in nutrients from the blood, and physical exercise increases blood flow to the brain, which makes the brain healthier. Physical exercise is essential for enhancing mental power.

7. Eat healthy foods.

Spend some time to examine which kinds of foods bring you up and which foods bring down. Creating a diet plan can make you feel good, and gives you a sense of self-development. This will boost your sense of success.

8. Get better sleep and take naps.

Get as much sleep as you need, around seven or eight hours, every night. While sleeping well does not guarantee good health, it does help you to maintain many vital functions. Perhaps most importantly, sleep helps you recover from the wear and tear of daily life. Major healing functions in the body such as tissue repair, muscle and mental growth occur almost exclusively during sleep.

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9. Spend time with people.

Build a good support system with the people around you. Whether it’s your family, friends, or something else, find a group of people who are willing to support you in any circumstances. This increases flexibility and helps to provide perspective in the midst of stress and discomfort.

10. Stay away from drugs and alcohol.

Using cigarettes, alcohol, and illegal drugs damages your mental and physical health. Decreasing mental and physical stability produces “false” emotions.

11. Find a good listener.

Find someone who is eager to listen to you, who you can talk to openly and freely. This can help you in relieving stress and anger and can heal you mentally, which ultimately has an impact on your physical health.

12. Laugh more.

Laughter is the best medicine for human health. Humor increases dopamine, and it improves memory and health.

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13. Get rid of bad habits that hurt your confidence.

If you have a habit of smoking too much, drinking alcohol too much, spending too much time online, or a different habit that’s hurting your confidence, take steps to eradicate them. Study books, watch good films, play games, watch dances, and listen to songs; do the things that make you feel relaxed. Many studies suggest that watching TV and using a computer late at night is bad for your health.

14. Start your day by thinking about one good thing you can do.

Generally, it’s just a matter of deciding to do something good. Develop the habit of finding a good deed to do each day. Set aims and goals and follow through with them to attain them. By setting goals and gradually working to attain them, you will grow mentally.

15. End your day by writing down great things you have done.

At the end of each day, write down five things for which you are thankful. It looks simple, but it’s a game changer. Finishing your day on a good note will confirm that you look back on it with a sense of achievement and contentment, making it easier for you to get up and go to work the next morning

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Tayyab Babar

Tayyab is a PR/Marketing consultant. He writes about work, productivity and tech tips at Lifehack.

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Last Updated on March 25, 2020

How Do You Change a Habit (According to Psychology)

How Do You Change a Habit (According to Psychology)

Habits are hard to kill, and rightly so. They are a part and parcel of your personality traits and mold your character.

However, habits are not always something over-the-top and quirky enough to get noticed. Think of subtle habits like tapping fingers when you are nervous and humming songs while you drive. These are nothing but ingrained habits that you may not realize easily.

Just take a few minutes and think of something specific that you do all the time. You will notice how it has become a habit for you without any explicit realization. Everything you do on a daily basis starting with your morning routine, lunch preferences to exercise routines are all habits.

Habits mostly form from life experiences and certain observed behaviors, not all of them are healthy. Habitual smoking can be dangerous to your health. Similarly, a habit could also make you lose out on enjoying something to its best – like how some people just cannot stop swaying their bodies when delivering a speech.

Thus, there could be a few habits that you would want to change about yourself. But changing habits is not as easy as it seems.

In this article, you will learn why it isn’t easy to build new habits, and how to change habits.

What Makes It Hard To Change A Habit?

To want to change a particular habit means to change something very fundamental about your behavior.[1] Hence, it’s necessary to understand how habits actually form and why they are so difficult to actually get out of.

The Biology

Habits form in a place what we call the subconscious mind in our brain.[2]

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Our brains have two modes of operation. The first one is an automatic pilot kind of system that is fast and works on reflexes often. It is what we call the subconscious part. This is the part that is associated with everything that comes naturally to you.

The second mode is the conscious mode where every action and decision is well thought out and follows a controlled way of thinking.

A fine example to distinguish both would be to consider yourself learning to drive or play an instrument. For the first time you try learning, you think before every movement you make. But once you have got the hang of it, you might drive without applying much thought into it.

Both systems work together in our brains at all times. When a habit is formed, it moves from the conscious part to the subconscious making it difficult to control.

So, the key idea in deconstructing a habit is to go from the subconscious to the conscious.

Another thing you have to understand about habits is that they can be conscious or hidden.

Conscious habits are those that require active input from your side. For instance, if you stop setting your alarm in the morning, you will stop waking up at the same time.

Hidden habits, on the other hand, are habits that we do without realizing. These make up the majority of our habits and we wouldn’t even know them until someone pointed them out. So the first difficulty in breaking these habits is to actually identify them. As they are internalized, they need a lot of attention to detail for self-identification. That’s not all.

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Habits can be physical, social, and mental, energy-based and even be particular to productivity. Understanding them is necessary to know why they are difficult to break and what can be done about them.

The Psychology

Habits get engraved into our memories depending on the way we think, feel and act over a particular period of time. The procedural part of memory deals with habit formation and studies have observed that various types of conditioning of behavior could affect your habit formations.

Classical conditioning or pavlovian conditioning is when you start associating a memory with reality.[3] A dog that associates ringing bell to food will start salivating. The same external stimuli such as the sound of church bells can make a person want to pray.

Operant conditioning is when experience and the feelings associated with it form a habit.[4] By encouraging or discouraging an act, individuals could either make it a habit or stop doing it.

Observational learning is another way habits could take form. A child may start walking the same way their parent does.

What Can You Do To Change a Habit?

Sure, habits are hard to control but it is not impossible. With a few tips and hard-driven dedication, you can surely get over your nasty habits.

Here are some ways that make use of psychological findings to help you:

1. Identify Your Habits

As mentioned earlier, habits can be quite subtle and hidden from your view. You have to bring your subconscious habits to an aware state of mind. You could do it by self-observation or by asking your friends or family to point out the habit for your sake.

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2. Find out the Impact of Your Habit

Every habit produces an effect – either physical or mental. Find out what exactly it is doing to you. Does it help you relieve stress or does it give you some pain relief?

It could be anything simple. Sometimes biting your nails could be calming your nerves. Understanding the effect of a habit is necessary to control it.

3. Apply Logic

You don’t need to be force-fed with wisdom and advice to know what an unhealthy habit could do to you.

Late-night binge-watching just before an important presentation is not going to help you. Take a moment and apply your own wisdom and logic to control your seemingly nastily habits.

4. Choose an Alternative

As I said, every habit induces some feeling. So, it could be quite difficult to get over it unless you find something else that can replace it. It can be a simple non-harming new habit that you can cultivate to get over a bad habit.

Say you have the habit of banging your head hard when you are angry. That’s going to be bad for you. Instead, the next time you are angry, just take a deep breath and count to 10. Or maybe start imagining yourself on a luxury yacht. Just think of something that will work for you.

5. Remove Triggers

Get rid of items and situations that can trigger your bad habit.

Stay away from smoke breaks if you are trying to quit it. Remove all those candy bars from the fridge if you want to control your sweet cravings.

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6. Visualize Change

Our brains can be trained to forget a habit if we start visualizing the change. Serious visualization is retained and helps as a motivator in breaking the habit loop.

For instance, to replace your habit of waking up late, visualize yourself waking up early and enjoying the early morning jog every day. By continuing this, you would naturally feel better to wake up early and do your new hobby.

7. Avoid Negative Talks and Thinking

Just as how our brain is trained to accept a change in habit, continuous negative talk and thinking could hamper your efforts put into breaking a habit.

Believe you can get out of it and assert yourself the same.

Final Thoughts

Changing habits isn’t easy, so do not expect an overnight change!

Habits took a long time to form. It could take a while to completely break out of it. You will have to accept that sometimes you may falter in your efforts. Don’t let negativity seep in when it seems hard. Keep going at it slowly and steadily.

More About Changing Habits

Featured photo credit: Mel via unsplash.com

Reference

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