As we get older, we like doing things a certain way. And our thinking tends to become more fixed. So how do we keep our mind young?
We can get stuck in a rut and not even realize it. Because we have done something the same way for a long time. Or because we have consistently forged a certain thought pattern.
But our habits and our thoughts might not be healthy. They might not be contributing to our overall mental health. So what can we do about it?
Here are three steps for keeping your mind young.
Always make time to learn something new. It may be awkward at first, but it will feel more natural the more you do it.
At one time in my professional career I thought I had learned everything I needed to know. And I plateaued. And I felt like I was getting prematurely old.
Now I am constantly learning new things. And I feel vibrant and excited all the time. Although it can be uncomfortable, it sure beats feeling stagnant.
There are things that we need to unlearn. Even though we have believed them for a long time, they are not healthy for us.
For a long time I thought that it was unchristian to love myself. I thought it was prideful or arrogant. But Jesus said that we should love our neighbor as ourselves (Mark 12:31). And we can’t love our neighbor as ourselves, unless we first love ourselves.
Now I am always checking what I believe against Scripture (1 Corinthians 10:5). And if what I think differs from what Scripture says, then I change my way of thinking. And I unlearn what I previously thought.
Sometimes we get out of the habit of thinking what we should. And it behooves to remember and relearn it.
Early on in my marriage I had gotten out of the habit of cherishing my wife. At that time I didn’t see her as the precious gift that God had given me. And our marriage took a turn for the worse.
Today I am constantly telling my wife how much I appreciate her and love her—and showing it in my actions. (You can even ask her if it’s true!) And after 25 years, our marriage is better than it’s ever been. All because I took the time to relearn what I needed to remember.
If you want to keep your mind young, take the time to learn new things. And unlearn the thinking that’s not healthy for you. And relearn the habits that you know you should have kept up.
As a result, your life will be more happy and fulfilling. And you will feel younger too!
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