When you pick up a heavy object, your body does hard work. When you stumble and fall, the health and strength of your body will be tested. Most of us recognize that going through life is safer and healthier when we’ve protected and strengthened our bodies and our physical health as much as is possible.

But when it comes to mental health, too many of us fail to see the similar logic. We face stressful situations, complicated problems, and other mental and emotional stress all the time. And encountering these sorts of things can test the strength of our minds.

That’s one reason that it’s so important to care for and strengthen our minds every day. If you’re ready to make a commitment to caring for your mind, then read on — we’ll tell you how to do it.

Play memory games

As we grow older, we may find that we start to forget things a little more easily. That’s natural, but you can find a lot of ways to shore up our minds and keep ourselves a little sharper as we age. And while it may sound a little childish, one of the best ways to hone your mental skills is to play simple memory games.

You can find memory games all over the place, from the shelves of toy stores to the app store on your smartphone. Grab one and have some fun. If you get addicted to the right game, you could end up strengthening your mind whenever you’re fiddling with your phone. That’s a lot healthier than using social media apps and other time-wasting and unhealthy smartphone apps.

Always be reading

We take in information in all sorts of ways. But reading offers something special. Reading keeps our brains sharp and exposes us to all kinds of points of view. From entertaining novels to groundbreaking nonfiction, and from lengthy volumes to tabloid newspapers, a ton of stuff is out there to read and learn from.

So make reading a habit. Find time to tune out and put electronics away. If you read before bed instead of looking at your phone, you’ll also get better sleep — your phone’s blue light messes with your circadian rhythm.

You’ll get even more out of reading if you deliberately choose books that push your boundaries. What can you learn today? Could you try a genre that you’re not sure you’d like? What could you read that would shake up your routine or your worldview? Books have the power to broaden our horizons, but only if we choose the right ones.

Get great sleep

Sleep is absolutely vital to maintaining a sharp and healthy mind. Sleep deprivation will make you irritable and will depress your mood. It can even lead to long-term mental health problems. You will also, of course, be sleepier and think less clearly every day.

So invest in your sleep. Make sure that you’re resting in a comfortable, cool, quiet, and dark space. Try to keep your sleep schedule regular and maintain your circadian rhythm.

Go to therapy

You wouldn’t try to care for your body without the help of medical professionals. So why would you try to keep your mind healthy without the help of mental health professionals?

Be proactive about your mental health care. Turn to a therapist. It’s easy to find a therapist online these days, thanks to sites like withtherapy.com, which helps connect clients and therapists. Your primary care provider and the insurance company may be able to help you, too. Talk therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy aren’t just for treating mental illnesses and other mental health strains. They’re great for any mind, as you’ll soon learn. Find out more about how and why you think and act, and build a stronger mind,

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