Six Ways to Refresh Your Mind

What would a person hope to find if he was trying to refresh his mind? Some kind of meditation exercises? A recipe for peppermint tea? Maybe a Sudoku puzzle or Mensa quiz? Or maybe the opposite of that—maybe something mindless that disengages one’s mind and thus, theoretically, refreshes it?

I’ve been thinking about it on and off for a while, because my web host’s analysis page tells me that this search often turns up. I keep thinking about those weary people looking for ways to refresh their overtaxed, overloaded minds.

Refresh your mind…how could they truly refresh their minds? How do I refresh my mind?

Six Ways to Refresh Your Mind

Here are six ways I’ve discovered to refresh the mind—six ideas to offer mental or intellectual refreshment. Some of them would work better for someone who needs the refreshment of a little intellectual stimulation, while others would work better for someone whose mind is on overload and needs to find some intellectual rest.

  1. Music. I know that the Mozart Effect has been debated and by some experts claiming faulty research procedures, debunked. Still, how do you feel after listening to Mozart? Or Brahms? Or how about James Taylor? If you need more stimulation, one guy recommended marches. If you need less, find a mellow musician and let those sounds soothe your mental resources. Combine music with exercise (see #3) and you may experience even more enhanced cognitive benefits. They say that making music is extremely beneficial to the mind, as well. Pull out that old piano primer or dust off your guitar. Do-re-mi and all that.
  2. Recreation. This article from the National Park and Recreation website talks about how recreation can offer mental restoration. I’m partial to combining recreation with being outdoors, which makes me a perfect blogger to promote the National Park and Recreation website, as I just did. Try hiking, if you’re physically capable. Go biking or canoeing. Take the kids to the park and walk a trail. Toss pebbles in the stream. Compare tree bark and identify a leaf or two.  Yes, I’m a nature lover.
  3. Physical exercise. Hey, this is a good segue from #2. Lots of articles in everything from Prevention magazine to Modern Maturity explain how physical exercise benefits not only our bodies, but also our minds. This one offers a nice overview. I know that when I go jogging, my mind clears. When a few days pass with no aerobic exercise, I get a little fuzzy. Sometimes the fuzz thickens to a fog. Or would a fog thicken to fuzz? See? I can’t even think. Anyway, they say that physical exertion seems to stimulate and refresh my mind in addition to all its other benefits. Cool. As you may have read in an old essay of mine, my mom-mind can use all the help it can get.
  4. Mental exercise. With increased interest in health and wellness for an aging population, research into slowing dementia and Alzheimer’s has resulted in tons of tips for mental stimulation. This article in The Washington Post reviews websites with games purporting increased mental stimulation. (This other article from The Washington Post talks about both physical and mental exercise.) Happy Neuron seems to have consolidated some interesting games. Look around. You’re sure to find some fascinating activities–even the search itself might count for a bit of mental exercise.
    • Reading deserves special treatment as a mental exercise. Stay tuned for another blog entry focusing on reading as a means to refresh the mind.
  5. Find a friend. Or two, or three. Human interaction seems to keep our minds refreshed. I’m a writer–a rather solitary pursuit. I find that my night out with friends keeps me mentally alert–those are the evenings I often generate new ideas for books and articles. They ask good questions and get me thinking. There’s a lot of research out there about people…needing people. I sense a song coming on, so let’s move on to the single most important aspect to refreshing the mind.
  6. Prayer and Bible study. This is not an obligatory entry included simply because I’m a believer in Jesus Christ. I am convinced that regular Bible reading and study refreshes my mind in a way that no other reading or resource can. Prayer that is grounded in scriptural truth and directed to the Most High God through Jesus Christ offers me a deep, lasting, soul-level refreshment that fills the mind with rich treasures of God’s reality and truth. “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things,” Paul wrote to the Colossians (3:2).

In fact, any other attempt to find peace and refreshment for the mind must begin here, in Christ Himself and in the written Word, to combat the messages that the rest of the world bombards us with. Check out this verse from Romans: “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will” (12:2).

I’m on the lookout to discover God’s good, pleasing and perfect will. That sounds like true refreshment, filled with meaning.

That may or may not be what those folks were looking for when they were Googling “refresh your mind.” But it’s a start.

  • There's always more to come: subscribe to Ann Kroeker by e-mail
  • Want to slow down in our fast-paced world? Check out Not So Fast: Slow-Down Solutions for Frenzied Families.
  • "Like" me on Facebook.
  • Follow me on Twitter.
  • Comments

    1. What a great post!

      As I was reading, I was thinking “#6 should be higher up” and then you told us it was in fact the place to start.

      Well-written! May I have permission to print it out and skim it a few times more? (too late) :-D

      One of the things I like best about “the renewing of your mind” is that God does it for us. (Have to look at 12.1 & 2 together to come to that conclusion). I often don’t have the wherewithal to do it myself – must need refreshing!

      Great encouragement today. Thanks!


    2. Got here through Phil’s blog. Great post! We are doing a Bible study through our blogs (15 of us so far! the book of Proverbs in February) and this is my first time doing group Bible study, I think #6 is definitely the best place to start. #6 + fellowship with christians and mutual encouragement is my favourite way of being refreshed! And #1– piano I love- and guitar I’m trying to teach myself to play… hehehe :-)

      God bless you!


    3. Phil: It’s great to read your comments. I probably should have just bullet-pointed those things so that #1 isn’t mistaken as the Most Important. They were randomly ordered, and then as you noted, #6 was actually the place to start. I made it confusing.

      Another reason I wanted to write *something* to address this, is because the other choices when you Google “refresh mind” or “refresh your mind” are kind of off in another direction completely. I thought I’d provide this perspective as a thought-starter.

      Diana: Hi there, and thanks for your encouraging words! I like your combination there of starting with Scripture and prayer, adding some Christian friends and encouragement from them, and then piano and guitar! I have a guitar. It’s leaning against the wall next to me even as I type. I tried to learn, but I have no rhythm. I want to, though, so I need to pull it out and try again. It sounds like you’re already more of a musician than I am, so you’ll probably pull off teaching yourself! Keeps the mind working, they say!

    4. No -no I think it’s GreaT that you get to #6 and find it’s really number one and you elaborate on it a bit more.

      Not everyone would finish the list if it was first: “Oh-one-of-those” they’d say, and click “next”

      Bullet points don’t have the personality or logic flow this way has. I wouldn’t change it!


      Besides – I thought you stayed up half the night PLANNING the way it presented! :-D (you can erase these two lines now that you know)

    5. Hi Ann.

      I like the ways you invite people to refresh their minds. When we focus attention on different ways we can boost our energy through building trust, love, abundance and understanding, our minds and emotional selves are less likely to stagnate. I’m reminded that I have abilities to tap into my own unlimited thoughts and feelings. This enables me to be grateful I can praise and bless all things that happen and all things I make happen.

    6. Phil: Wow, I wish I were as clever as you thought; sorry to disappoint you! I do think, however, I’ll leave it as is. You’ve given me reason enough to do so.

      liarac: Hi! Well, I do try to avoid stagnation. Bleh. I hate feeling like my mind is stagnant.

      It’s so interesting to hear your point of view, especially since we seem to be coming from different perspectives. As Phil said in an earlier comment, I, too, believe that God is the One who brings true refreshment of mind, emotions, spirits, relationships, etc. I’m grateful to Him for this and all that He makes happen. I think you and I share a delight in ideas and creative thought, but we may differ in that I don’t believe I myself can make anything meaningful happen–apart from God I can do nothing–nor do I praise *things that happen.* In terms of praise, I seek to praise God Himself, and thank Him for His unlimited nature, and that He offers me life in and through Christ. Thanks for dropping by–you stimulated some further thoughts on the topic.

    7. Thank You

    8. Readings not one of mine while i read i get other pictures on my mind such as what happened like 5 years ago or yesterday i thinking all day and my minds needs to refresh or chill out..

    9. hi dear annkroeker actually im muslim but i dont care about religion so i have problem with study when I try for studying somethink make me bussy and I cant staudy that was Im aasking u how can I concebtrate just over my study?

    10. please spare me the bible thumping and the cool aid drinking.

      All I have seen from religion is people hiding from the things they need to fix. All I have seen from organized religion is hypocrisy and abuse of “mob power”.

      I have seen people who acted pious at church and let their kids be abused right under their noses and do nothing. Enough.

      Hiding in the Bible is sticking your head in the sand.

      Six should have been meditation or “something spiritual”; but, this is your page. 5 out of 6 isn’t bad…

    11. It’s a shame this doesn’t stay secular. b/c it didn’t it is just more noise on the internet.

    12. hi, i can’t concentrate on any work so i lose my concentrate on my mind so how to control my concentrate

    13. Melissa Phillips says:

      Great post! I want to use this in our leadership program. My husband and I pastor a church and we are always looking for ideas and resources we can use. Thanks for sharing, your words will live on!

    14. hai.

      Dont think about the life …

      its only one word ….

      That is “Life is like a Drama”…

    15. hi, i can’t concentrate on any work so i lose my concentrate on my mind so how to control my concentrate ?

    16. i would like to say recognise your God and try to know what he wants from us and for what purpose he has created the human being. for example when we buy a television we get catalogue (instructon manual) alongwith that how to use and how much power (electricity) to be used.if we don’t follow it will get worse, In the same way when God has created us he give us religion book for guidance. so instead of following our desires if we follow the instruction of God which he has given in our religions books, so our lifes can be much relax and easier. i belive thas is the best way to avoid all worries.

    17. it is easily for me to feel bored……………….?????????so,what should i do…?thx a lot

    18. nice suggesions.but i am bord of my me the way which never hurts me

    19. Thanks:

      I think to have mentally fresh someone should establish strong relationship with ALLAH SUBHANAHU WATA”LA(Almighty).

    20. DEAR FARHAN:

      Thank u very much for your suggestion.

      I am thinking in that way.

      Md. Mostafizur Rahman

      Asst. Professor & Coordinator

      WTO Research Center

      School of Business Studies

      Southeast University

      Banani, Dhaka


      Would you please give your profile so that I can contact you in the future.



    1. […] can engage in numerous activities to increase productivity while you wait, or pick from various mind-refreshing activities. Choose whatever you wish, but make the most of your time. As for me, it’s reading that works […]

    2. […] Ladies and Gentlemen, Start Your Mental Engines Jump to Comments You know that I’m a bit concerned about the deterioration of my brain. I like the idea of refreshing my mind in various ways–first and foremost by renewing my mind–and have even offered some posts on that topic. […]

    3. […] phrases seem to complement (or trump) my “Six Ways to Refresh Your Mind” post from long ago. I hope to keep my mind refreshed, fit and alert over the long haul, so […]