Have you heard the term “mental fitness” and wondered if it involved lifting tiny weights with your brain? Thankfully it doesn’t, but mental fitness training can enhance our ability to move through many of the challenges we encounter at work and at home – an area where many employees are needing support right now.
What is mental fitness?
Critical to our ability to thrive and reach our full potential, mental fitness can be defined as a state of emotional and psychological well-being in which we are in touch with how we think, feel and act. Just like physical fitness, mental fitness is something we can all strengthen and improve over the course of our lives. There is an array of skills, lifestyle habits, and practices that can help boost our mental fitness and increase resiliency so we can manage stress and cope with challenges.
What does being mentally fit look and feel like?
A few common indicators include:
- A positive sense of how we think, feel, and behave
- Living in the present moment more of the time
- Resiliency in dealing with stressors as they arise
- Experiencing flow states more of the time
- Laser-focused attention and a clearer mind
- Clarity about who you are and how you want to be
- Eagerness to take on new challenges and show up in your life
- Ability to creatively problem-solve
What are some ways to increase mental fitness?
Meditate or otherwise practice mindfulness
Meditation and mindfulness practices encourage relaxation as you engage in contemplation. Regular meditation may increase your ability to focus, decrease anxiety, and help you approach life with greater intention.
Look at your “information diet”
Pay attention to what types of media you’re consuming on a regular basis. What is the overall quality of your “diet”? Notice the quality of thoughts that are flowing through your consciousness each day. Kinder, more compassionate thoughts help to develop a more optimistic mindset which in turn supports positive action.
Focus on Nutrition
It’s hard to focus or feel mentally engaged when our bodies aren’t getting enough nutrients. While there is no one-size-fits-all diet to follow as each body has different needs, concentrate on eating a wide array of nutritious foods and eat for brain health whenever possible.
Maintain physical fitness
A healthy body supports a healthy mind. There have been many studies done that show the positive impact of exercise on mental health, including this one. If your mind is feeling dull or on the other side of the spectrum, chaotic, getting out and moving can work wonders, often in a short amount of time.
Improve Sleep Hygiene
Consider your sleep habits. What is your caffeine and water intake like throughout the day? Do you have a routine in place like reading or meditating to help you wind down before bed? These can all impact the quality of our sleep.
Mental Fitness Training Programs
Mental fitness programming is one of the many ways companies can demonstrate care for their employees’ mental well-being. In fact, formal brain training/mental fitness programs have become quite a trend in the last few years and with the widespread increase in demand for mental well-being programming in the corporate wellness landscape, these programs definitely have their place.
Urban Balance offers one such program called Positive Intelligence. In this 8-week course, employees learn to identify, recognize and intercept thoughts, habits, and patterns that no longer serve them. The practices offered within the program simultaneously activate and strengthen the region of the brain that supports highly effective stress-free performance and optimal response.
To enroll yourself or a group of employees in the next session of this widely-acclaimed professional development course starting in January, please contact us for full details.
Urban Balance is the premier provider of comprehensive on-site and virtual corporate wellness services in Portland, Oregon. We deliver yoga, Pilates, meditation, massage, nutrition and learning opportunities to the office environment for happier employees and a healthier bottom line.
Check out our catalog of Virtual Wellness Services here.