With so much focus on physical appearances, people often put their mental health to the side. But, just like society admires those who upkeep a strong physique, there’s something undeniably impressive about mentally tough people. Some people seem to be able to utilize their mental acuity better. But how do they do it? Are there secrets to be more mentally fit? Let’s take a look.
What Is Mental Fitness?
Mental fitness is a relatively abstract term, so the definition dramatically varies from one publication to the next. However, in general terms, mental fitness is the ability to have a positive outlook on how we feel, think and act. Most mentally strong people can get through challenging everyday and life moments without it knocking the wind out of them. As it’s natural for everyone to go through challenges, this is an incredible skill to have. After all, everyone wants to operate on a higher level, but what does that look like? And how do you get there?
10 Habits of Mentally Tough People
While mental strength will look different to each individual, there are some common characteristics of mentally strong people. Here are the top 10 habits of mentally tough people you could try to incorporate into your routine.
1. Exercise Daily
Exercise can improve your mental health and help reduce anxiety, depression and negative moods and improve self-esteem and social withdrawal. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins, putting you in a good mood and making you feel more motivated. Additionally, exercising can make people feel accomplished and in control of their lives. All of this helps facilitate a healthy mental state of mind.
The good news is you don’t have to become a personal trainer or a weightlifter to see these kinds of positive results from exercise. Research shows that just 30 minutes of exercise a day is enough to see positive physical and mental benefits. Start by including a 30-minute exercise routine during your lunch break or right before dinner. Exercise can even include daily activities such as a brisk walk to work.
2. Read Often
Reading helps stimulate your brain. It’s also a great way to educate and entertain yourself. Whether you’re reading the news, fictional books, biographies or graphic novels, reading helps reduce stress, build your vocabulary and prevent cognitive decline.
Carve out a period of your day that you can dedicate to reading. This could be right before bed or after dinner. Consider setting a goal for how many books you plan to read over the next month or year so you can track your progress.
If possible, try to read from a physical book to give yourself a break from devices (and to avoid tempting distractions).
3. Increase Your Vitamin B Intake
Eating a healthy diet is important. However, pay particular attention to your vitamin B intake. Vitamin B is closely tied to brain health. Try to incorporate vitamin B-rich foods into your diet, such as leafy greens, dairy foods and wholegrain cereals.
Ask yourself once a day if you’ve eaten something high in vitamin B. If you haven’t, consider taking a vitamin B supplement that day.
4. Challenge Yourself Mentally
Your mind is a powerful tool that wants to be used and challenged. One key factor in mental success is never to grow compliant. Stretch yourself mentally with new challenges, which will improve your brain health and brain function. Some examples include learning a new language, doing crosswords, playing chess and other mentally stimulating activities.
5. Take the Time to Relax
Stress is closely linked to many life-threatening conditions and illnesses. And excess stress hormones like cortisol can be particularly harmful to the brain. Whenever possible, take the time to relax throughout your week. This can be done by scheduling massages, meditation, yoga, going for walks or other activities that allow you to wind down. It turns out that mentally tough people know when to stop being tough and take a break.
6. Learn a New Hobby
Similar to challenging yourself, learning a new hobby allows the “grey matter” in your brain to have a “workout.” Hobbies and new skills can build neural pathways in the mind and improve brain function. Additionally, hobbies invoke feelings of passion, accomplishment and happiness in people.
7. Make Time for Relationships
Having relationships is a key part of being human. When you take the time to see people, you often engage in conversations that are stimulating. This can allow your brain to explore and inquire. In addition, when you see people you love, you’re usually put into a happier mood.
8. Get a Restful Sleep
It’s essential for your mental health that you get between 7-9 hours of sleep every night. Sleep deprivation impacts a person’s psychological state and their mental health. It’s also important that this sleep be restful. Make sure that your bedroom is a sanctuary, so you’re not pulled out of deep REM sleep throughout the night. Getting enough sleep will ensure you have the energy to tackle the other items on this list too!
9. Set Goals
When you set goals, you get a boost of self-confidence every time you achieve them. Setting goals lets you track your progress, so you can see the strides you’re making. Start with small goals, such as increasing the number of workouts per week or time spent reading. As you accomplish your goals, you’ll feel inspired to push yourself further.
10. Make a Routine
Many of the habits on this list have two things in common. One, they are the habits of mentally tough people. And two, almost all of them require a routine. You won’t be able to exercise more, sleep more or read more if you’re not creating a routine for yourself. A schedule doesn’t have to be limiting. Give yourself the flexibility to make changes when necessary. However, your routine can provide structure to your life and help you accomplish goals.
If you are struggling with a mental health condition, prioritize seeking treatment for that over mental fitness goals. Once you’re getting treatment for your condition, you can supplement your treatment with the above 10 healthy mental fitness habits. These habits will work to benefit your mental health as a whole.
If you’re struggling with mental health issues, this can significantly impede your mental fitness. To find out more about the program, call (833) 596-3502.