What is Mental Fitness?
Mental fitness is a proactive new and evolving term. While mental health is an umbrella term that encapsulates everything from your daily mood to severe mental distress, mental fitness is the purposeful practice of taking care of your mental health. This involves cultivating an awareness around how we think, behave, and feel. In turn, this provides us with an increased ability to respond to life in all its richness. It helps us understand that just as we can improve our physical health by moving our bodies, we improve our mental health by strengthening our minds.
Despite 100% of us having mental health, not all of us are mentally fit.
If we think about mental health as existing on a continuum, mental fitness would be placed at one end of the spectrum and mental illness/distress on the other.
Some benefits from working on our mental fitness include:
- Improved cognitive function.
- Improved sleep.
- The ability to be more present.
- Increased positive emotions / resilience to stress.
- More confidence.
- An increased ability to develop healthy habits in all areas of life.
It is important to note, however, that building mental fitness doesn’t mean that you’ll always be happy or never suffer any setbacks, it just means that you’ll be better equipped to handle what life throws at you.
There are many ways we can work on our mental fitness. Some include:
- Setting healthy boundaries.
- Engaging in inner work and breaking unhelpful patterns.
- Strengthening the neural pathways that lead to the most realistic and objective thoughts.
- Exploring new ideas and interests.
- Cultivating community and a network of support.
- Expanding your comfort zone.
So to make things easier, we have designed a free mental fitness tip series to help you on your mental fitness journey.
This series includes how to:
- Create a sustainable gratitude practice.
- Fend off that pesky inner critic.
- Challenge unhelpful thoughts.
- Process hard emotions.
- Develop a pie chart of resilience.
- Improve our sleep hygiene.
- Schedule in things we enjoy.
- Cope with stress and anxiety.
- Reframe difficult experiences.
- Practice mindfulness.
- Quickly check-in with ourselves when we need to.
- Cultivate playfulness and self-compassion.
- Unsubscribe from perfectionism and the self-improvement spiral.
- Establish a diversified wellbeing plan.
- Prepare for a crisis.
Mental health education helps us to manage being human. As such, our mental fitness tip series also covers how photo walks, brazil nuts, indoor plants and sunshine can be beneficial for our wellbeing and provides the mental health education we all needed but never received growing up.
Mindfit NZ is all about mental illness prevention and early intervention and one way we can achieve this is by making mental fitness education, tools and strategies accessible and freely available to all New Zealanders. We are here to walk alongside you on your mental fitness journey and help you to equip yourself with the tools you need to stay well.
With any kind of practice, regularity and consistency are crucial to build strength and fitness. A brain fitness program is no different. Mental fitness is not a destination, it not a place that you will someday arrive at, it is something that you have to consistently invest in and maintain. It involves a daily commitment to yourself and your wellbeing. And you deserve to make this commitment to yourself. So, why not start making these small, consistent steps with us? We have even made a 4 week self-care calendar to start you off on this journey.
We’re rooting for you.
With love and light,