7 Ways to Boost Your Mental Fitness
Physical fitness gets a lot of attention — and for good reason. It keeps us fit, can prevent health conditions and disease, releases endorphins to fight off depression, and improves our health as a whole.
Mental fitness gets a bit less attention but is just as important as physical fitness.
But mental fitness is just as important as physical fitness. Integrating mental fitness into our daily schedules can improve our mental dexterity, boosts our memories and mental sharpness, and even helps to keep our bodies healthy.
Here are 7 great ways to keep your mental fitness in tip-top shape.
Sleeping is our time to recharge and recover. Sleep is crucial for our immune systems (especially during a pandemic) to function well, both mentally and physically. Sleep also improves our memory, mood, creativity, and problem-solving skills.
Taking time to sleep is great but it’s also important to take time to relax. Excess stress hormones like cortisol can be harmful to our brains but can be prevented. By scheduling regular times of relaxation into your day, you’ll be getting ahead of that stress and ensuring you intentionally have set time to relax.
Follow a routine.
Our brains love repetition. It forms connections and we can use this to the benefit of our mental health and fitness when we’re trying to get into a new routine. By adding a new habit to our routine, for example, setting aside 10 minutes to meditate each day, we’ll start to develop the mental cue to do it automatically within our routines. This isn’t a magic tip, as we still have to show up for ourselves even if we aren’t in the mood, but it’s built-in neurological support we can activate.
Think of meditating as exercising your mental muscles. Meditation helps us to increase our awareness of ourselves and our surroundings. It can be a way to reduce stress and improve concentration, helping us focus and tune out distractions. Personally, I have recently fallen in love with Mellisa Wood Health’s guided meditations and workouts – if you’re looking for someone who understands a busy schedule, she’s your girl!
It sounds easy, but it can be challenging at times. Breathwork is a tool you can access anywhere, no matter the physical location. Breathing slowly and calmly also helps to reduce blood pressure, improve memory, and settle emotions.
Take some time off the grid.
We’re living in a digital age. Often, our phones are blowing up with texts, news updates, social media notifications, etc. That’s where a digital clean-up comes in handy. Check out the push notifications you have set up. Are there some that you don’t need or use that are cluttering up your space? Minimize them. A simple digital decluttering can make a world of difference in just a few simple steps.
We can’t always control everything in life, and that’s okay! Yes, it is OK not to be OK all the time. Fixating on the things that we can’t change is a recipe for stress and exhaustion. Aim to be mindful of when you’re stressed or distraught by something out of your control. Notice how your body feels. Use mindfulness and try radical acceptance – there are things that we can’t control, but we can control how our bodies and minds react to them. Be kind to the parts of you struggling to accept the things that are out of your control.
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