Mental Fitness and Your Habits
by Judi Moreo
Do you know that the level of your mental fitness is directly related to your habits? Actually, not many people are aware of this. Instead, they think that being mentally fit is something they are born with. It is not. You can easily develop and improve your mental fitness.
How high would you say your mental fitness is? Answer the following:
- Do you give up on exercise when it gets tough?
- Do you find excuses for everything?
- Are you stuck not losing weight regardless of what you do?
If you answered yes to any of these, then your mental fitness needs work. When you allow excuses to stop you, you only hurt yourself. It is not really your lack of motivation or willpower, it is your lack of mental fitness. When you are mentally fit, you don’t allow obstacles or excuses to block your way. Instead you battle through regardless of the circumstance.
The easiest way to improve your mental fitness is by developing your habits. (A habit is a routine that you follow each day, almost without thinking. No one has to tell you to brush your teeth each morning, it is a habit.) Pick one thing that you would like to develop as a habit and work on it. If you want to lose those last ten pounds but haven’t given up your daily sodas, stop drinking them. Get tough mentally. It only takes about three weeks for an action to become a habit and to become ingrained in your mind. That really isn’t that long, now is it?
Another example is wanting to run in a 5K, but not doing it. Think about how badly you want to do it, and then identify what it is that is stopping you. If you want this with all of your heart and soul, you will achieve it. You will find time to fit in training runs which will fill you with a sense of accomplishment. What it boils down to is your determination. To succeed, all you need is the perseverance to keep going. This means scheduling and planning out your runs and putting tools into place for success.
Is Mental Fitness Inherited?
You may be wondering if mental fitness is an inherited trait. Is it something you are born with or can mental fitness be developed? The good news is that anyone can improve their mental fitness if they are prepared to take action.
Right now, you may be thinking it is impossible. You see plenty of people who seem to get just about everything they desire. For instance, a friend writes a book and gets published right away. You are hoping for the same, but not seeing any opportunities. There is actually a good reason for this, and it has to do with your mental fitness. How would you describe your attitude and the level of your passion towards your goal? Do you want to be an author more than anything else, or is it just a wish? If you are truly passionate about something, then your mindset automatically changes. You have the drive and motivation to make it happen. You are the one who works later or gets up earlier to get additional writing time.
Have you ever noticed that some people who don’t seem to have much talent become extremely successful? This is because they have the passion and the perseverance to reach their goals. Mental fitness is a factor that separates those who are good from those who are great. This is such a huge factor that it actually outweighs talent. A talented musician may not get as far as a musician with only average musical skills because the average musician has far more mental fitness to work harder and longer.
There are certain traits that are displayed by people with mental fitness. These include:
- Positive mindset
- Self control
- Good at handling pressure
These are the type of people who can turn on a dime and change direction. If things don’t go their way, they don’t let disappointment stop them. They simply go with the flow, change course, and adapt.
So, if you have a goal or a dream that you want to reach, start making plans and taking action in order to achieve it. Map out a plan of attack and don’t let anything stand in your way. Be flexible and ready to take action. If something comes up and you miss your writing time, don’t let it pass. Just reschedule so you get your next page written. When you do these things, you are well on your way to showing that you have what it takes to achieve your goals and dreams.
How Mentally Fit Are You?
Many successful people are successful because they possess mental fitness. Some research studies suggest your intelligence only accounts for 30% of your actual achievements. Mental fitness accounts for the rest. So, what makes a person mentally fit?
If you are mentally fit, you have the perseverance to follow through on things. If you are an athlete, your mental fitness is displayed by not missing workouts; a student would not miss assignments; a writer works through the writer’s block and puts words on paper anyway.
People who are mentally fit are usually surrounded by successful people. They show traits such as being consistent, adhering to schedules, and always approaching things with a positive and professional mindset. In other words, they know what their responsibilities are and they carry them out.
If you currently don’t feel fit, don’t worry; you can work on developing this trait and increasing your mental fitness.
Your first step is to define what the words mental fitness mean for you. There is no one definition that suits everyone. So write down things you can do that will imply you have mental fitness.
Here are a few examples:
- Not missing your workouts for the next 2 weeks
- Finishing your next project ahead of schedule
- Stop drinking soda
- Doing that extra rep before quitting
- Not missing family night with your kids
The only way to demonstrate that you have mental fitness is by taking action and proving it to yourself! Changing your mindset is one of the first steps to increasing your fitness. You need to have a positive mindset and be committed to following through with things. If you have decided to commit to a new exercise regimen for a month, you have to think about this in a positive way. This means not giving in to excuses for missing your workouts. It can help to view your mental fitness as one large muscle. Just like any of your other muscles, it needs to be exercised and developed to keep working effectively. When you are confident that you can tackle things head on, your mental fitness muscle is growing nicely. Always keep that positive mindset, and your mental fitness will not shrink when it comes time to face any circumstance.
Easy Ways to Improve Mental Fitness
Being mentally fit is not that difficult to achieve. Your mind loves to be put to use and the more you stimulate your mind and thoughts, the more your attitude changes. All of these changes combined can really help improve your mental fitness.
- It is important to stimulate your mind on a regular basis, but you definitely don’t want to over tax it. Always be open to taking on a new challenge, but don’t take on too many at once.
- Meditation is another fantastic way to improve your mind and body. It can give you a great boost of mental energy. As you meditate, it is important to focus on what you are doing. Leave any work or personal issues out of your thoughts. Yoga is a great way to get in meditation along with some physical exercise.
- Are you stuck in the same old routine? When was the last time you tried something new? Challenging your brain by doing something new is a great stimulation tool. This also helps increase your confidence levels. You may want to try a new sport, pick up a new book, or attempt a crossword puzzle. Get out of your rut by trying new things.
- Are you the type of person who always offers to help when asked? You just can’t seem to say no? This is not great for your mental health at all. Instead, start learning how to say the word no. It can relieve you of a ton of stress.
- If you really want to increase your mental fitness, then allow yourself to work on those things you are passionate about. Stop putting them off, or waiting for the perfect time to do them. Be flexible and make changes to your schedule so you can follow your passions.
- Your emotions can play havoc with you and decrease your mental fitness. Learn to stay in control, especially if your emotions often embarrass you.
- One of the worst things anyone can do is to keep living in the past. This only causes you to think negatively, and can lead to severe depression. Start letting the past go and live in the present. Instead of wishing things were different, grab your mental fitness and make things different!
As you can see, many of these tips help you move from being a negative-thinking person into a positive-thinking one. By becoming more positive, your attitude changes, and this in turn, increases your mental fitness.