Health is more than just physical fitness – it’s mental fitness too

/, Mindset/Health is more than just physical fitness – it’s mental fitness too

Mindset is a crucial component of our overall health.

I’m a pretty regular user of social media, and I often see people posting about athletic pursuits, like running, yoga, and cycling. Which is fantastic. Physical fitness is an incredibly important facet of disease prevention.

And it got me thinking about psychological fitness. Things like resilience, self-confidence, and persistence. Being able to manage stress in healthy ways. Being able to handle frustration without lashing out at our friends or family. Being able to handle the dissenters and the “haters”.

There are loads of people who look good on the outside, but quickly fall to pieces when they’re overwhelmed, or when things don’t go to plan, or when they feel they’re being criticised. In my opinion, those are signs that their mental fitness may need some work.

Real health is about having a healthy body AND a healthy mind.

Consider the trifecta of physical fitness: strength, flexibility, and endurance. It’s the same for mental fitness. And here are some ways to develop your mental “muscles” to improve your psychological wellbeing.

Strength.

Set up a strong foundation of what you want, what you value, and what you will and won’t tolerate in yourself and others. Uncomfortable emotional states, like guilt, usually result from a conflict between what we want and what we think others want, or because our actions have violated our personal standards. When we are very clear on our goals, priorities, values, and expectations, we are far more likely to act in accordance. And less likely to allow distractions and naysayers to derail us.

Flexibility.

Growth happens when we step outside our comfort zone. Question everything – your thoughts, focus, beliefs, and actions. Because you just might find that they’re not working for you. And if that happens, be open to finding better ways to think, better things to believe or better attitudes to adopt, and be willing to take them on board. Stepping outside our comfort zone means that we’re better at coping with challenges or unexpected situations – and less likely to take things out on others (especially those we value).

Endurance.

It’s easy to be a flash in the pan and give up after a few weeks or months. But, anything in life that’s worth having will require focused and consistent effort. The people who get results are the ones who stick with it, and who take daily action (no matter how big or small those action steps may be). Perseverance is infinitely easier when we have a strong foundation of goals, values, and standards, because our actions are more likely to be in alignment with them. And if we do get distracted, mental endurance means that we get right back into achieving our goals.

 

I’d love to hear from you! Have you given your mindset a workout today?

 

 

By |2017-07-09T18:49:32+00:00October 14th, 2014|Categories: Health, Mindset|Tags: , |0 Comments

About the Author:

Dr Ash is a neuropsychologist and activist for animal rights, children’s rights, and mental health. She has a doctoral degree in neuropsychology with fifteen years’ experience in the health, medical, and developmental fields. She works closely with activists, change agents, young people and families. Ash speaks and writes extensively about activism, emotional wellbeing, healthy parenting, and maintaining positive mental health habits. She is the author of Staying Positive in a F*cked Up World.

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