At its heart, Intellectual Wellness is about a lifetime commitment to learning and mental growth. People with high Intellectual Wellness have strong concentration, recollection, and mental clarity. They are constantly seeking to learn and develop themselves mentally. They are open to exploring different ideas and perspectives, and are able to think critically and make decisions.
The key is for each of us to find what interests us and seek out new experiences in those areas. It’s also important to explore new and unknown territory, perhaps by engaging in a new hobby. New perspectives are as much a part of Intellectual Wellness as strengthening existing knowledge.
If you’re feeling a little bored, odds are you need to strengthen your Intellectual Wellness. When our minds are stimulated, we’re more likely to feel energized and satisfied with life.
Here are some simple ways to develop Intellectual Wellness:
1) Read books. Period. Discover authors who express themselves in a style that appeals to you. Study their use of words and language. This is a good way to expand vocabulary, writing skills, communicative abilities, and overall learning in general. Reading is an excellent way to learn about the ideas of other people. This is a good way to learn to think in the abstract, especially when reading about ideals and concepts.
2) Read scholarly articles and journals. Expand your base of factual knowledge. Have an informed opinion; be an authority in social discussions, as opposed to a member of the uniformed majority.
3) Develop an appreciation of art. Any and all forms qualify. This helps us develop expand our concepts and appreciation of beauty. This doesn’t mean you have to a ballet or read poetry (although there’s nothing wrong with those ideas). Try a museum or photography or painting exposition, to get your feet wet. Online doesn’t count. It’s important to take yourself to the site, and witness firsthand. The acts of planning and transporting yourself to take in something aesthetic increases the significance of the moment and deepens the emotional intellectual connection to the experience.
4) Seek out intellectually stimulating peers and colleagues. Spend time around others who offer value to the time you spend with them. Whether they offer knowledge or simply an interesting point of view, spending time with people who stimulate your mind makes life less boring.
5) Always attempt to understand differing points of view. Instead of arguing or closing your mind off, actively try to understand the roots to someone’s line of thinking- More often than not there’s a prevailing sentiment or personal experience contributing to someone’s point of view. Understanding how different people view the world makes you a more well-rounded member of society- Often placing you in position to bring understanding to others.
Throughout life, we learn continually via our experiences and insights. Developing practices towards directed Intellectual Wellness lets us take learning to the highest levels, explore the world around us, cultivate new skills and talents—and connect with our inner creativity.
Intellectual Wellness is identified by self-directed behaviors leading to continuous acquisition, development, and intuitive application/articulation of critical thinking abilities and expressive skills,which are focused on creating a happier life. Intellectual wellness is a commitment to life long learning. Just a few minutes a day, several days a week will do the job, and it won’t take long to notice the difference in your quality of life.
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-O. Salim Thornton, CWC