19th December 2023 Mindset Development Group

What is mental fitness?

Our mental fitness is our ability to cope with the inevitable challenges life will throw at us, and to optimise our potential from the opportunities presented to us.

Being mentally fit empowers us to lead resilient, confident, productive and happy lives.

Most of us recognise to keep physically fit we need to exercise regularly. We don’t wait until we’re injured to start and if we stop, we know our physical fitness will decline. So, why don’t we treat our mental fitness the same way?

Mental fitness ca be seen as fitness for mental health through evidence-based tools and techniques we can integrate into our lives that empower us to treat our minds, like our bodies, with a proactive and preventative approach.

Why prioritise mental fitness?

No matter our path in life, our brain and mind is our greatest tool to thrive.

Yet, we’re never taught how it works, how to look after it, or how to optimise it so it works at it’s best for us.

Generally, we only look to help our mind once we experience a problem with our mental health.

This is a bit like waiting for your car to breakdown to service it!

Mental Fitness During A Busy Day

So, we know what mental fitness is and why being mentally fit is important. But, how do we prioritise our mental fitness during a busy day?

Here’s our ‘5 To Thrive’ mental fitness daily workout, from our Pocket Mentor app that provides bitesize fitness for mental health tools.

Taken from the latest psychology and neuroscience research, these tools and proven to make you more mentally fit.

 

1. SHORT PAUSES 

Breathwork: The Mindful Moment

Short pauses throughout a busy day to de-stress and reset, even just 60 – 90 seconds can help. For a guided daily exercise, try the daily Mindful Moment in our Pocket Mentor.
These pauses reduce physical stress in our body and mind (as found by a recent study by Microsoft) and enable us to better offer our potential to the next step in our day.

How to Use Mindful Moments During A Busy Day:

  • Whilst the kettle boils

  • In between tasks and meetings

  • In the morning to set up for the day

 

2. PIVOT TO HELPFUL THINKING  

In the moment of a challenge, or you find yourself stuck in a negative thinking loop, try the S.T.O.P.P tool, taken from our Thriver programme to become more mentally fit when you experience a challenge.

  1. STOP
  2. TAKE A BREATH
  3. OBSERVE – Is this thought helpful or unhelpful?
  4. PIVOT – What’s a different perspective here?
  5. PROCEED – Take your next step with a helpful thought at front of your mind.

Proactively, strengthen your neural pathways in your brain for seeking and taking in the good, the stuff our brain is usually good at ignoring.

Build an intentional gratitude into your day to become more mentally fit. We call this ‘Daily Thanks’, taking 60 seconds to appreciate the seemingly ordinary, the things you overlook that add value to your life.

This balances our perspective or our circumstances. If you want to build this into a habit, try the ‘Daily Thanks’ tool in our daily mental fitness workout in The Pocket Mentor.

3. CONFIDENCE BOOSTS

Sometimes our worst critic is ourselves and we can get in our own way or progress or beat ourselves up with self limiting beliefs.
Just because a thought arises, doesn’t mean it’s true.

I understand if you come to affirmations with a sceptical mind ( I did too). They are misused and overused, but when used correctly can truly empower us with robust confidence.

Affirmations are short statements, based on our true strengths, previous experience and skills that empower us to be more mentally fit and confident.

They must be tailored to you in order to have impact on making us more mentally fit, so that our brain believes them. This is the step most people overlook.

You might create affirmations that you repeat daily over time, that support you to build a skill or strength, or you might craft an affirmation that helps you overcome a challenge coming up in the coming day or week. Or, both!

An affirmation practice is where we repeat the phrase out loud to ourselves for a minute or so and this can be used during a busy day to make us more mentally fit:

  • Before a meeting,

  • Before a presentation,

  • Before a tough conversation,

  • To keep us going through a difficult task.

To try an affirmation practice to make you more mentally fit, try our daily affirmation prompt and tool in The Pocket Mentor

 

4. REFLECTION  

Take 3 minutes when you finish your day to reflect on it. Note your efforts, progress, learnings and even use it as a space to have a rant!

This tool is a form of micro journaling enabling us to be more mentally fit by processing our day and take in the good, which then enables us to better switch off and be fully present in our home life.

If you want structure and a place to record your daily reflection, try our Pocket Mentor Reflection tool, that provides 3 questions each day to answer.

 

5. VALUES CHECK IN 

Our core values are a set of 3-4 qualities we believe make us a good person.

Take 3 minutes, in the morning or evening, to ask yourself ‘how closely did I live to my values today?’

Note down each of your values and measure out of 5 how closely your actions aligned to each value.

If you lived closely to it, great! What a confidence and motivation boost.

We all have off days, if you didn’t live closely to your values, use this reflection as a space to refine for tomorrow.

 

The Critical Factor For Mental Fitness

All of these tools combined take just 10 minutes to complete. The critical factor is building these into helpful habits to reap the benefits to making us more mentally fit.
For support in this habit building step, try our daily mental fitness workout in our Pocket Mentor app,that enables you to set reminders for each of the mental fitness tools.

 

A Gym For Mental Fitness? 

If you work best with robust structure, guidance and accountability, we’ve developed a gym membership for mental fitness, Thriver,for you and/ or your team, that provides you a structured way with a roadmap to become more mentally fit and effective.

What could being mentally fit empower you to do?

 

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