The first thing that strikes one's mind upon hearing the word "fitness" is keeping oneself slim and toned. Physical fitness, undoubtedly, is an essential component of a healthy life, but is it sufficient? One's body is not the sole thing that requires a fitness regimen. The brain is also a muscle that needs exercise. Mental fitness is the mental workout that keeps the brain sharp and toned, such that one’s psychological health is in good shape.
Please continue reading to learn ways to strengthen mental health fitness and its benefits.
Exercising your brain and developing mental health fitness is beneficial to you and those around you.
Living the moment. When we are in a mindful state of flow, we can better retain information, respond, listen and act. Individuals tend to enjoy life and strengthen relationships when living in the present moment.
The power to respond. When you control your thoughts, you can choose how you respond to external stimuli. You can respond in a less emotive and rational way. This changes one's perspective and helps one develop harmonious relationships.
Improvement in cognitive functions. Being able to manage time, concentrate, focus, process speed, and communicate effectively, positivity impacts one's life.
Optimism. The increase in awareness helps individuals reconstruct their thought processes. Reshaping the thoughts results in a positive mindset and, thus, positive behaviour.
Increased confidence. The relationship one shares with themselves- self-esteem and self-efficacy increase with optimism. A healthy sense of self results in an increased ability to perform and focus on one's strengths. Mindfulness increases self-compassion and empathy.
Developing positive habits. Time management, self-efficacy and mindfulness facilitated the building of new positive habits. Stress management counselling to helps individuals develop positive habits.
Improved sleep. Physical and mental fitness both contribute to improving one’s quality of sleep.
There are a series of exercises for mental fitness that train and flex the mind. The brain tends to get a bit flabby over time. Through physical and mental fitness, one can actively train their memory, develop problem-solving skills and the ability to reason, and overcome challenges. Improving fitness and mental health is not as tedious as running a marathon, but it does require the same level of resilience and dedication.
Here are some tips to improve fitness and mental health that individuals can incorporate into their day-to-day lives.
Indulging in fun activities is beneficial to the brain. Surprising, isn't it? Playing fun games such as sudoku and crossword puzzles builds brain muscles and sharpens one's mind. Even fast-paced, challenging video games that need logical thinking boosts one's reaction time, ability to learn new things and improves the attention span.
Reading is a great workout for mental health, be it reading a newspaper, thrilling novels or lengthy biographies. The brain instantly processes words and recalls their meaning as the individual reads. Visualising the script, one is reading flexes their imagination and lights up the brain. There are numerous genres to read; being curious about the world keeps the brain working fast and efficiently.
Pursuing a hobby or learning something new works multiple brain areas and builds neural pathways. If you are learning to drive or study philosophy, learning new skill sets challenges the brain and gives it new things to ponder. Hobbies such as woodworking, knitting and other activities work on physical and mental fitness, improving reaction time and spatial awareness.
We are continuously in motion, be it physically or mentally- chasing deadlines, rushing to work, keeping up with social obligations etc., juggling between things one after the other leaves no time for the brain to rest. Just sit back and allow your body to reduce the stress hormone that negatively impacts the brain. Meditating, reflecting and spending some time to relax can result in creativity.
Recovery is the journey of self-discovery and improvement. As individuals break free from the shackles of addiction, they realise the importance of leading a healthy life- physically, psychologically and spiritually. While individuals pay attention to physical fitness and spiritual wellness, they often neglect mental fitness. Mental Health Counselling helps one keep up with mental fitness, which sharpens their mind and fills them with optimism. An individual can face any challenge with strong physical and mental fitness.