Photo: Elena Sharapova
I do not pretend that the habits, resolutions and routines mentioned in this post will drastically change your life and your personality. The following 6 things are designed to improve the quality of your spiritual life and contribute to a more faithful educational development, in particular, the speed and depth of learning new knowledge. Of course, we are not talking about exact or natural sciences, although everyone can find recipes for themselves in these areas — I concentrate more on culture and art.
yoga and/or meditation
It is said a lot about the benefits of meditation for mental health, so I will not bother you with this topic. I will only note from my experience that yoga in some way can replace meditation, but not completely. The combination of daily yoga and meditation is the secret of peace and spiritual harmony.
I practice yoga every day at 8 am (there are some skips on the weekends) for a year, and every time after a class I notice how the head is literally cleared of obsessive and unnecessary thoughts, focuses on important matters. I also started meditating from this year whenever possible: half-hour of non-movement is not available every day. Unfortunately. For a person who writes many different texts in different languages every day practice is a vital necessity.
I perceive sports and youga seperately, because yoga and sport are completely different things (yoga is not the same as fitness!). By the beginning of 2019, hundreds of scientific articles have been released around the world confirming that physical activity enhances the cognitive abilities of the brain. In addition, it has a positive effect on health and external beauty (good shape of the body, etc.). Have you decided to go to the gym as a New Year’s resolution for 2019? It is high time to do that! This can be both strength training in the gym, and cardio workouts, group classes and regular 15 minutes at home with the equipment at hand.
Again about myself: I have strength training once a week and cardio training at least once a week, I do not attend group exercises.
studying philosophy and/or psychology
I am convinced that all pressing questions about Being, self-organization and self-development are rooted in philosophy and psychology. Philosophy teaches to think, to analyze, to draw conclusions and to argue, it develops intelligence. Psychology helps to understand oneself and others, analyze current situations and find the necessary solutions. Of course, it would be possible to read one or two classic books on the self-development of new-fangled authors, but critical thinking will not develop in this way. Moreover, it’s nice to talk about Socrates’s teachings and Heidegger’s ideas, Carnegie’s thoughts and Freud’s theory, having learned the information from the original source.
About me: I began to study philosophy, which in my student years was behind seven seals — with the years the understanding clearly comes.
reading intellectual books and wathcing complex films
They equally develop mental and analytical processes. The only difference is that the task here is to search for hidden meanings between the lines and expose the symbols of the work. Such literature / films can be both a means for recreation and mental work — you decide how it is going to look like.
After almost two years of getting master’s degree in literature, I will not take a “light” book — I know in advance that I will read it, but will not receive anything at the output. Why do I need such a waste of time? Similarly, with the films — while entertaining, it should give certain thoughts.
Writing quotes from fiction books, abstracts of scientific works in a notebook or electronic medium — that’s what you definitely should try this year. Reading becomes conscious, memory is added to understanding. Who knows when this information will be useful to you? Authoritative and reliable information should always be at hand.
I always take note of the literature on cultural studies, history of art and philosophy, at least in order to use quotes in writing articles if necessary. By the way, in the disputes the statements that I had written down were used more than once.
learning new foreign language and culture
It develops horizons, thinking and understanding of the structure of the world. It gives additional opportunities in the present and unforeseen future. It makes life easier when traveling and helps the brain stay young. In short, it is an important component. You should not avoid the socio-cultural aspects of the country of the language being studied — they contribute to the deep learning of grammar and vocabulary, understanding of the realities.
Being fluent in two foreign languages, I do not limit myself only to them — in plans to start speaking at least two more.