Welcome back to Wellness Wednesday! This week, let’s talk about Intellectual Wellness.
First of all, let’s look at some definitions for Intellectual Wellness. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (whose wellness wheel is used above) defines it as “recognizing creative abilities and finding ways to expand knowledge and skills.” Stanford Health Care adds that “an intellectually well person uses the resources available to expand one’s knowledge in improved skills along with expanding potential for sharing with others.”
The key component of Intellectual Wellness seems to be a continuing desire to and effort toward expanding our creative abilities, knowledge and skills. As I mentioned in my post Never Stop Learning, it’s vitally important that we continue to learn throughout our lives.
For those of us who deal with fibromyalgia fog, it can become even more important to keep learning new things, fostering our creativity, and sharing what we’ve learned with others. Some days, it’s difficult to even form coherent thoughts, much less share them with others, but if we’re not proactive in keeping our brains forming new connections and maintaining our brain health, we run the risk of even more cognitive problems.
How would you rate your Intellectual Wellness? If you’d like to have an objective measure, Stanford Health has an online assessment to help you determine how healthy you are in this dimension of wellness. If you’re interested, you can take the quiz here. Once you finish the quiz and get your results, there’s an option to test other dimensions of wellness as well.
What can we do if we’re not where we’d like to be in the intellectual dimension of wellness? Here are a few suggestions:
Ways To Improve Intellectual Wellness
- Read – Reading is a wonderful way to expand your horizons, learn something new, or engage your brain in problem-solving (you know, as in trying to figure out who killed the victim in a crime novel, etc.)
- Get Creative – Learn a new hobby, engage in creative activities you already enjoy, journal, blog, learn to play an instrument….. The possibilities are endless!
- Explore – Interact with the world around you. Get involved in your community, spend time in nature, volunteer, etc.
- Do the opposite of what you would normally do – Use your non-dominant hand, look at something from a point of view opposite yours, or switch up the order of steps in your routine (Switching up your routine might not be recommended if you are having cognitive difficulties, as you don’t want to leave out anything important by accident.)
- Learn a new language.
- Try new games such as board games, puzzles, etc.
- Feed your brain with a healthy diet.
- Exercise to improve brain health.
Taking care of the intellectual dimension of our wellness can enable us to have a more vital, engaged life by keeping us learning and creating throughout our lives.
What type of activities do you engage in that contribute to your Intellectual Wellness? Please share!