The importance of physical fitness is all over the media, and there is a good reason for that fuss. When you keep your body healthy, you will prevent many serious health conditions and preserve your well-being for longer. However, the aspect of health that’s not getting enough attention is mental fitness. Who needs a healthy, flexible and lean body without a healthy and flexible mind?
Before going on with the importance of mental fitness, let’s explain what it is – it’s the work you invest into your psychological well-being and your ability to find joy in each moment of life. There are three ways to go – keeping up with stress and anxiety, becoming dull and unable to find interest in anything, or maintaining your mind sharp and active for as long as possible. It’s your choice and you are making it every day.
Why should you practice mental fitness?
You start and end each day with hygiene activities, don’t you? You wash your hands, brush your teeth and take a shower every day. Are you doing something for your mental hygiene? You should! Your mind is also full of impurities that require cleansing: stressful thoughts, worries, envy, lack of will, dullness, doubt, restlessness… the list goes on and on. Maintaining a culture of mind means that you need to cultivate positive values, such as consciousness, good will, agility, self-confidence, joy, and happiness.
Stress is an inseparable part of modern life, but you can make a real difference in the way you deal with it. Instead of cultivating a restless mind, why don’t you work on maintaining a peaceful state of an undisturbed mind? Today it’s “cool” to be unsatisfied, disgruntled and resentful. Is that really the way you want to spend your life? Mental fitness does not mean being inactive. It simply means to cultivate positive values and keep your mind active towards something that will make you happy.
Everyone is interested about healthy aging, but most people limit their efforts to maintaining their physical strength. Physical fitness is certainly important, but mental fitness is the only way to prevent the signs of mental aging.
How to practice mental fitness
Now that you know about the importance of mental purity, it’s time to learn how to achieve it. What exactly can you do to keep yourself mentally fit?
- The best way to keep your mind focused, steady, and undisturbed is meditation. It takes a lot of time and practice to achieve real meditation, but that shouldn’t prevent you from being persistent with it. Start with simple concentration on your breathing for 10 minutes a day, and extend the amount of time gradually – you will notice how your mind is becoming steadier by the day. Meditation doesn’t come easily, and you should definitely seek for proper guidance from a certified instructor.
- Read a lot! Don’t limit your daily reading to random internet articles that don’t teach you anything new. Everything you read should contribute towards your mental fitness, so forget about the Kardashians and start looking for valuable readings to spend your time with. It’s important to read widely and exercise your brain in different areas. The best way to keep your mind healthy is to learn something new every day, but don’t limit yourself to superficial knowledge.
- Challenge yourself intellectually. Learn a new language, read War and Peace, solve some math problems from time to time… do anything that would challenge your intellect and test your memory.
- Engage in meaningful conversations. If your friendships and family relationships have fallen into a routine, you have to do something about it because those relations are important for your mental health. Talk to the people you love about a wide range of topics that aren’t limited to “how was your day?” Your social life can literally save your mental health in bad times.
- Have a hobby. Find something you love and devote time to it. You cannot keep your mind healthy if you don’t engage in something that interests you.
- Turn off the TV and spend few days away from the computer. TV shows and Internet distractions are making you dull and inactive. Spend some time away from them and you will immediately notice how your brain is becoming sharper.
- Pay attention! This is associated to meditation – you should extend your consciousness throughout the entire day. Are you forgetting whether you turned off the iron or not, or where you put the keys? The only way to boost your memory is to pay attention to everything you do. Your thoughts should always be here and now.
Why do you need mental fitness? – Because I cannot imagine a happy man or woman who doesn’t have a balanced mental activity. You cannot be peaceful if you can’t take control over the restlessness of your mind. Everything you do and feel comes from the way you handle your thoughts. If you think well, you will speak and act well, and you will feel well about the life that surrounds you.
Alex Petryck is a business administration student and freelance journalist. He likes traveling, cryptography and also writes for best essays writing company.