Careful thinking and remembering have always come easy for me; so I’ve always taken my clear mind and good memory for granted. In fact, I pride myself on thinking and speaking in a clear, concise, and cogent manner. Yet as I have gotten older I am increasingly aware of the need to work at preserving and enhancing my God-given cognitive faculties.
Several years ago I suffered a near-fatal bacterial infection that compromised my lungs and brain. By God’s grace I fully recovered, but that illness helped me appreciate anew the importance of my brain-mind relationship (Christians have historically affirmed that man is a union of body and soul).
With God’s help, I am attempting to incorporate the five points mentioned below into my life (leave it to a Calvinist to have “five points”). I hope these strategies for brain-mind enhancement encourage you to consider how to care for and maintain your own intellectual strength.
I = Intellect (engage in stimulating intellectual activity such as challenging reading, language skills, etc.)
D = Drugs (realize that drugs—both legal and, of course, illegal—and alcohol can impair thinking)
E = Exercise (rigorous physical activity contributes to a healthy heart and brain)
A = Appetite (a balanced diet also maintains a healthy heart and brain)
S = Sleep (adequate sleep refreshes and clears the mind)
Ideas change the world and, metaphorically speaking, these IDEAS can change one’s intellectual life. For a more in-depth treatment of these five points, see this previous Reflections post: https://reflectionsbyken.wordpress.com/2010/07/06/logic-101-part-4-of-12/.