The Healthy Mind Platter

Recently, the USA Department of Agriculture (USDA)  replaced its long-held food pyramid with a "choose my plate" pictorial expression of a plate of food groups to demonstrate what a daily diet ideally would consist of to assist people to reach and maintain optimal physical health. Dr Dan Segal and his mate Dan Rock got to thinking.... What would be the equivalent of a recommended daily diet for a healthy mind?  They came us with the concept of The Health Mind Platter.

Segal and Rock argue that seven daily essential mental activities (not necessarily required in equal proportions) are required in order to optimise brain matter and create well-being. In their own words, they describe each as follows ...

Focus Time
When we closely focus on tasks in a goal-oriented way, we take on challenges that make deep connections in the brain.

Play Time
When we allow ourselves to be spontaneous or creative, playfully enjoying novel experiences, we help make new connections in the brain.

Connecting Time
When we connect with other people, ideally in person, and when we take time to appreciate our connection to the natural world around us, we activate and reinforce the brain's relational circuitry.

Physical Time 
When we move our bodies, especially aerobically, we strengthen the brain in many ways.

Time In
When we quietly reflect internally, focusing on sensations, images, feelings and thoughts, we help to better integrate the brain.

Down Time
When we are non-focused, without any specific goal, and let our mind wander or simply relax, we help the brain recharge.

Sleep Time
When we give the brain the rest it needs, we consolidate learning and recover from the experiences of the day.

It seems for a normal healthy person, this balance is not difficult to achieve.  How do you compare?

A knife-free guide to anti-ageing

beauty is skin deep - especially when you have to stay in the work place much longer than you planned to 

Ask anyone if they've had cosmetic surgery, or even if they've contemplated a nip or tuck, and you will rarely get a truthful response. Hence the popularity of plastic-fantastic surgery in Australia is difficult to gauge.

However, according to figures from the Cosmetic Physicians Society of Australia, some $300 million is spent annually on anti-ageing options, with the boom categories being the minimally invasive cosmetic procedures: Botox injections, laser therapy, microdermabrasion and the like.