What is Mental Fitness?
Mental fitness can be defined as being in a constant state of well-being. Expressing positive attitudes towards how you feel and think and showing it through your actions is a tell-tale sign of being in a state of mental fitness. Living in this positive state can do so much towards your overall feeling of inner satisfaction, social interactions, and even your physical health.
Why is Mental Fitness Important?
Mental fitness can be categorized into four pillars:
This will be your ability to manage strong emotions, such as anger, grief, and bliss. Your emotional resilience, self-esteem, and self-acceptance can also contribute to your overall emotional state of well-being or lack thereof.
Humans are a social species. Companionship and a strong sense of community can offer much-needed support, enrichment, and affirmation in your life. Meaningful social connections can:
- Help you cope with stress, illness, traumas, and grief
- Improve your confidence and sense of self-worth
- Increase your overall happiness
- Contribute to your sense of purpose and belonging
People who have friends are, in general, emotionally healthier and can enjoy a better quality of life.
According to a study, as many as 7 million Australians are losing sleep over financial stress and 40% of the population has experienced some sort of financially induced stress.
More than being over an absolute amount, the stress stems from not being in full control of our finances. Financial setbacks and the pressure to achieve financial goals contribute to financial stress.
Over the past couple of years, more research has emerged showing evidence of how mental and physical health are very much interconnected. This study concludes that poor mental health is a risk factor for various physical conditions. Interestingly enough, the study also observed the reverse: chronic physical conditions can contribute to poor mental health.
How Can a Person be Mentally Fit?
While there will be numerous practices to care for mental fitness, we’ve curated a list of doable actions that you can start with today:
· Pay Attention to your Physical Health
As discussed above, physical and mental health are intertwined. This is pretty much straightforward: good eating habits, getting adequate rest, and regular exercise are the foundations of good physical health. Also, according to this study, foods rich in vitamin B-12 and Omega 3 can have a positive effect on how the brain processes emotions and performs cognitive processes.
· Soak up Some Sunlight and Breathe Fresh Air
Sunlight is rich in vitamin D, and this study highlights the correlation between vitamin D intake and depression. Interestingly enough, the focus group who underwent vitamin D treatment showed positive enhancements in their overall physical and mental well-being.
· Spend time With Company
Meaningful social interactions can give you a sense of value and appreciation. That feeling of connectedness can do so much to elevate one’s sense of well-being.
· Pursue a New Hobby
Nothing can break the routine and the mundane like a new stimulus. Learning a new skill or craft challenges your brain and gives incentive to forming neural connections. These stronger connections can lead to higher brain functionality.
· Reach out for Help
Whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed with whatever’s bothering your sense of well-being, seeking outside support can absolutely help. Whether it’s from friends, family, or professional services, the earlier you reach out, the better the outcome will be.
Mental fitness is something that’s not to be taken lightly. And it’s a good thing that there are several ways to repair and elevate your sense of well-being. The takeaway: physical and mental health are intertwined, social interactions are good for you, and help is available when you need it.
Gwen Paris is a Clinical Psychologist with experience working with a broad range of mental health concerns and diverse clients to provide psychological intervention and assessment.
Gwen’s therapeutic style is adaptive to the client, but is primarily based on Schema Therapy, Trauma-informed care, Narrative Therapy, Acceptance Commitment Therapy, Dialectical Behavioural Therapy and of course Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.
Gwen offers in-office, teleconference and online counselling.