Mental fitness refers to one’s ability to focus and make decisions based on clear, rationale, and critical thinking. Just as physical fitness keeps the body’s ability to function, good mental health helps us enjoy life and the environment and the people in it.
The Importance of Mental Fitness
Physical fitness gets plenty of attention, especially during the rise of COVID-19 and for a good reason. A fit, healthy body help prevent conditions such as heart disease, disease, and play a role in healthy ageing.
Mental fitness has the same level of importance as physical fitness, and it is one topic that many should not ignore.
As defined, mental fitness is the state of well-being, including having a positive sense of how a person feels, thinks, or acts. It means keeping the brain and emotional health in good shape.
However, it does necessarily equate to memory games or thinking puzzles. It rather involves exercises that keep a person mentally well and build a strong resilience against stress.
The concept of mental health (including mental fitness) has only emerged in the past few decades, and it is meant to spread awareness to the general public. It promotes understanding of the mind and the negative thoughts that might evoke feelings of sadness, worry, and anxiety.
Four Components of Mental Fitness
There are four components to mental fitness, including:
- Emotional – includes self-esteem, self-acceptance, and the ability to divert strong emotions into positive energy.
- Social – ability to maintain a strong relationship with friends, family, and loved ones.
- Financial – a common factor in mental stability where people have full control over their finances and life goals.
- Physical – ability to overcome continuous obstacles and roadblocks is a sign of good physical health.
5 Ways to Boost Mental Fitness
Consider the following approaches to increase mental fitness.
Commit to regular exercise
The connection between the body and mind is the main focus of several studies, wherein physically active individuals have better mental health than those who don’t.
Engaging in regular exercises is also proven to lower the risk of other diseases like Alzheimer’s and stroke.
Engage in mental puzzles
The brain also needs a good mental workout to be in its best state. The best way to exercise the brain is through solving puzzles, such as word games or Sudoku.
Explore games where you can explore ideas and interests that can make you feel calm, open, and curious. Reading is also another way to boost brain health.
Get enough sleep
The brain performs all its “housekeeping” functions during sleep, including processing new information and cleaning out waste matter (such as dead cells and damaged tissues).
The brain is active while the body is at rest, and lack of sleep can disrupt its essential functions. Adequate sleep is vital for optimal mental health.
Try de-stressing techniques
Stress makes it harder to focus or remember things as the stress hormone reduces the blood supply to the brain prefrontal cortex or the decision-making part of the brain.
Chronic stress can shut down the prefrontal cortex. To avoid such, take time to de-stress through meditation, listening to music, getting a massage, and other activities that could help you calm.
Eat and drink smart
Remaining hydrated is essential for the brain to keep its optimal cognitive functioning. Water and several food choices, including fruits and vegetables, help promote good gut and brain health.
Taking good care of the body does not only revolve around physical health; it also helps improves emotional well-being.
For best results, consider doing the five ways we included above and learn mental health first aid.
Taking steps to build mental fitness enhances one’s ability to manage stress and improve overall health. It also boosts productivity at work and promotes healthy relationships, resulting in total happiness.
If you want to know more about mental health and fitness, enrol in an MHFA course today.