Mental fitness basically means keeping your brain and emotional health healthy, just as you do your physical health, adds Haley Perls, PhD, who specializes in sports and performance psychology. “By keeping your mind active and ‘exercise,’ you can keep it sharp,” she told TZR in an email. However, it is also necessary to allow time to relax. Effectively managing stress and building resilience are excellent approaches to maintaining or improving mental fitness.”
Perlus continues, explaining that with so much happening in the world over the past few years, mental health has never been more important. “When you are mentally fit, the way you interact with the world is different,” she says. “Instead of allowing yourself to go from reaction to reaction, take your time to stop and respond however you like, rather than react quickly.”
Carol Ward, therapist, and book author Pathological Anxiety: Freedom from Chronic Anxiety for Mental and Physical Health, he adds that mental fitness can help you maintain emotional balance. “Not only does it support your ongoing mental health, but it also helps you recognize and find the best resources to keep you performing at your best,” she told TZR in an email. “When we first start implementing good inner fitness habits, we may not feel something shifted right away. Like any new habit, give it time and know that you are building a foundation for solid mental health.”
So how does one even begin to work on one’s mental fitness? Ahead, experts reveal habits and steps you can start taking now.
Admit you want to feel better
Lyford says the first step toward building inner fitness is acknowledging that you want to feel better in your life. “The work we do [at The Inner Fitness Project] It helps you get to know you Could you You feel better,” she says. “You Could you Create a fulfilling life by paying attention to your inner “self,” learning to think productively about what you want, who you want to become, how you want to be and respond in life – especially under stress. “
A magazine about what you want in life
Lyford says blogging is the next step, particularly in terms of answering the questions above. “Your journal becomes the first place where your vision is made ‘concrete,’ and your captured vision of your life becomes a magnet that attracts the people, experiences, and information needed to manifest your vision,” she says. “Having a vision stimulates hope, a sense of possibility, and purpose; these energies activate a higher level of awareness and thinking. Having quality time with yourself helps you live your life on purpose.” The good news is that you can adjust or change your life vision as you go, she adds.
Connect with your core values
In regards to the above, Ward suggests connecting with your core values as well. “Core values are the principles that define your life every day,” she says. “Most times when people are conflicted or feel out of balance, it’s because they don’t align with their core values. First, look at the list of words related to core values—including those like creativity, ambition, and leadership—and pick all the words you connect with emotionally (don’t overdo it). Thinking!). Next, narrow down your list and choose the top five of them.” She says to keep this list handy and review it when you feel out of balance or out of sync with your identity. “You’ll be able to make good self-care choices once you know what’s out of balance,” she says.
Read self-empowerment books and play word games
Reading self-empowerment books can also help you decide which direction you’d like to take on your mental fitness journey. “The Little Book of Big Lies It teaches you to make self-empowering choices, no matter what has happened in your life,” Lyford says. “It helps you see and neutralize false, unsupportive self-perceptions that limit your sense of self and what is possible for your life.” She says she wrote every page to help readers see themselves on page, and there are clear steps at the end of each chapter that allow you to implement what you’ve learned.
Ward also says in her book, sick worry, takes a holistic approach to dealing with the circumstances in life that make us feel anxious and stressed. “I wanted readers to understand the different ways anxiety manifests and how they can change feeling using a body, mind, and spirit approach,” she says. Ward offers a variety of tools to its readers, from the practical to the spiritual, allowing them to choose the best, depending on what they need. Perlus adds that creating puzzles, crossword puzzles, and even using brain training apps can sharpen memory and cognitive function while improving processing speed.
Meditate, pray or take part in a spiritual practice
“Regular participation in meditation and mindfulness exercises can help keep your mind relaxed,” Perlus says. “It can slow down your fears to help you think about situations accurately and not respond emotionally.” Ward agrees Meditation not only calms the mind and body, but the practice of meditation is a spiritual discipline. When you schedule a daily meditation, you create a regular habit of connecting with yourself. Ward adds that prayer is another way you can calm your mind, express your inner fears, and share them with a greater power/universe. “When you make time for prayer, you allow yourself the space to empty your mind and heart,” she says. “This connection to the God of your understanding can provide you with a great deal of peace.”
Explore 12-step programs, life coaches, and therapy
Outside help can come in many forms, including 12-step meetings, coaches, and therapists—and there are a variety of each available. Ward says there are many mental fitness benefits from each. “Attending the 12-step meetings gives you a place to connect with like-minded people who are using these programs’ tools for healing,” she explains. “A shared sense of purpose toward recovery provides stability, hope, and comfort, all of which contribute to mental fitness.” 12-step programs come in many forms, from Alcoholics Anonymous to Al-Anon (for friends and family of alcoholics) to Gamblers Anonymous to Foodie Anonymous and more.
Ward says that different types of coaches can also provide support and accountability in all areas of life. “Having someone to motivate, challenge, and praise your efforts helps you stay focused on building good self-care habits, both personally and professionally,” she says. Likewise, therapists can offer you both the space and insight to address any emotional obstacles that prevent you from living a fulfilling life. “The empathy and guidance you receive will help you stay emotionally balanced during difficult life times — and help you stay mentally fit,” Ward says.
Exercise and eat smart
“Exercise can relax the mind while relieving stress and tension,” Perls says. Research shows that the endorphins you get after exercise — including walking — boost your mood and feel good, along with helping to strengthen your muscles and keep you fit. Other benefits include reducing pain and your risk of chronic disease, helping you sleep better, and improving your brain health, such as memory and learning ability. “Plus, because your brain needs water, staying hydrated helps with optimal cognitive functioning,” Perls adds. “Eating fruits and vegetables daily also helps support gut and brain health.”
Take 5-minute stress breaks (as often as necessary)
The primary way to stay mentally fit, Ward says, is to take five-minute stress breaks…whenever you need to, especially when you’re feeling overwhelmed. “Often, when we feel this way, we can’t imagine things could feel better, but we You can,” she says. “Consciously that taking the time to slow down will help us catch up on ourselves again. This is a great mental fitness habit to incorporate into everyday life and can be done on the train, bus, or before you move on to your next Zoom meeting. ”