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Tips to Improve Mental Wellness

by Shirley Archer, JD, MA on Sep 27, 2011

Mind-Body-Spirit News

A lot of focus is placed on improving physical wellness, but mental wellness doesn’t always receive equal emphasis. To address this issue, Daniel J. Siegel, MD, clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Medicine and founder of the Mindsight Institute, and David Rock, founder of the Neuroleadership Institute, have created “The Healthy Mind Platter,” a pictorial example of activities that can help people cultivate optimum mental health. Siegel and Rock recommend these activities as “mental nutrition” that the brain needs to function at its best.

Here, under the headings used on the platter, are the seven types of activity:

Focus Time. Taking on challenges that make deep connections in the brain when closely focusing on tasks in a goal-oriented way.

Play Time. Playfully enjoying new experiences, being spontaneous or creative to help make new brain connections.

Connecting Time. Connecting with other people, ideally in person, to activate the brain’s social circuitry.

Physical Time. Moving our bodies, aerobically if possible, to strengthen the brain.

Time In. Reflecting internally and quietly, helping to better integrate the brain.

Down Time. Letting our mind wander or relax, without focus or goal, helping our brain to recharge.

Sleep Time. Giving the brain rest to recover from the day’s experiences.

For more information on the Healthy Mind Platter, go to

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About the Author

Shirley Archer, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA IDEA Author/Presenter

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, was the 2008 IDEA Fitness Instructor of the Year and is IDEA’s mind-body-spirit spokesperson. She is a certified yoga and Pilates teacher and an award-winning author base...