Mental fitness is all about challenging your brain and addressing your mental health. In this article, we’re going to discuss the importance of mental fitness and all the ways you can train your brain to become mentally fit.
Read on to learn more.
What Is Mental Fitness Exactly?
When you hear the term “mental fitness,” you probably start thinking about the brain games designed to make you smarter.
However, mental fitness isn’t about memory games and puzzles. It’s about training your brain not to feed into negative thoughts and behavioral patterns.
Mental fitness is defined by the experts as our state of mental wellness. In other words, mental fitness is a reflection of our sense of self and how we think, feel, and act.
You can think of mental fitness as your overall mental and emotional health. For example, while it’s natural to feel down sometimes, when you’re mentally fit it’s much easier to stop that sadness from progressing into depression or allowing your thoughts to drag you into an anxious state.
Essentially, the more fit your brain is, the more confident, energized, and resilient you’ll be.
This goes beyond simply feeling happier and better about life all the time. It’s about strengthening the neural pathways in your brain so that you can more adequately deal with life’s most stressful events as they occur.
How to Develop Mental Fitness
Science has proven again and again that we have the ability to rewire our brains. However, Achieving mental fitness isn’t something that just happens overnight. It takes time, practice, and commitment.
Of course, it’s much easier to curl up on the couch, binge-watch our favorite shows, and get lost in our negative thoughts.
But that ends right now.
With the following tips for developing your mental fitness, you can turn your destructive thoughts, feelings, and behavioral patterns into a thing of the past:
When we say play games, we’re talking about real games. Crossword puzzles, Sudoku, mystery games, card games—anything that challenges you and makes you think outside the box.
Not only will these types of games strengthen your wits, but overcoming challenges help us feel better about ourselves and our capabilities. Ultimately, it increases our confidence levels and contentment.
Eat Brain Food
Your brain and body cannot function at full capacity if you’re living off of junk food. In fact, research shows that a poor diet is often linked to depression and poor mental health.
So, start eating whole foods that feed your brain. Some of the best foods you can eat for your mental health include healthy fats, fruits, vegetables, legumes, and lean proteins.
Meditation is the key to the mental-muscle building. Not only does it allow us to practice mindfulness, but it helps us strengthen our concentration by teaching us to focus on the task at hand while tuning out distractions.
Once you begin to master mediation, you’ll be able to take things as they come without allowing them to trouble your mind.
Both your brain and body need ample time to shut down and recharge. Many people are under the impression that resting makes us lazy, but you need to listen to your body when it tells you to take a break.-
Rest doesn’t always mean sitting around or napping either—although relaxing and taking power naps are important. Sometimes rest means taking the day off from work and reading on the beach or going for a nice long walk on your lunch break.
Address Your Thoughts
Addressing your thoughts is arguably one of the most difficult mental fitness exercises you can do. When you notice an intrusive, negative thought cropping up, you need to become mentally present to address it.
Once you address it, you can decide whether it’s something to think about further or whether it’s simply a distraction. Most of the time, intrusive thoughts are nothing more than distractions, and you need to be able to maintain your power over them before they spiral out of control.
Create a Better Routine
Healthy habits are essential to mental fitness—and it takes a minimum of 21 days to create new habits.
So, create a daily routine by introducing a new activity into your life or by adjusting your current routine. For example, you could try waking up and going to sleep at the same time every day, reading before bed instead of watching TV, doing 30 minutes of yoga each day, etc.
Eventually, you’ll have created healthier habits that will allow you to maintain your mental fitness.
Remember, there are no shortcuts on the road to mental fitness. It requires mindfulness, willingness, patience, and consistent practice. However, once you wake up and go to bed each day feeling at peace with yourself and the world, all your hard work will have been worth it.