Make the Mind-Body Connection
Most of us are aware of our body’s well-being. Do we need to lose a few pounds? Does a brisk walk in the mornings get us physically fit? Do yoga classes make us feel more agile? All of this is well and good, of course, but it might be wise to pay as much attention to our mental well-being as our physical. After all, your mind is at least as important as your body in determining the quality of your life.
What Is Mental Fitness?
When you feel mentally fit, you are enjoying life. The people and the places you encounter are pleasing. You can use your mind to its full capabilities, including your creative abilities. Your emotional intelligence is in top form and your brain works well enough to identify and solve everyday problems. You are adept at keeping things in perspective, including taming your worries and fears. You know how to deal with anger and loss. You are good at staving off anxiety and depression.
Take a Mental Fitness Break
Many people meditate to keep their brain tuned up. But you needn’t engage in a formal meditation program to stay mentally fit. Simply taking a ten-minute break everyday to be quiet and unplug can be enormously helpful. When you take that break, here are some of the things you may want to think about.
- Be positive. When you affirm your good qualities and refuse to dwell on the negatives in your life, you are strengthening the neural pathways that bring you a sense of well-being and satisfaction. When you feel good about yourself, your confidence increases and you are able to be more mentally proficient.
- Visualize. A great way to calm your mind is to visualize yourself in a peaceful environment. Imagine yourself relaxing on a beach, the whisper of the waves on the shore, the sun warming your skin. Or maybe you prefer sitting atop a mountain peak, surveying the vast view. Whatever makes you feel calm and relaxed. Go to that place in your mind for a few moments and feel peaceful.
- Take your breaks regularly. They don’t have to be long, but when you take a little time out each day, you will feel the effect over time. Just making the conscious effort and acknowledging the importance of mental fitness will help.
Physical Fitness Can Help Your Mind
Yes, do spend some time rejuvenating your mind. But also remember that your brain does not operate separate and apart from your body. Exercise sends oxygen to your brain and that increases your endorphins, making your feel better emotionally. So exercise can help you fight depression and beat stress. Physical exercise, working in concert with mental mindfulness, will help you feel at the top of your game.
Nancy Travers is an Orange County Counseling professional. If you need safe, effective counseling services, please get in touch. You can reach her here: http://www.nancyscounselingcorner.com/contact-us.