Even though we focus heavily on physical fitness, staying mentally fit is just as important. California is a laid-back state, but there’s still a lot of stress that affects you both physically and mentally. Poor mental fitness makes every day a chore. It makes the thought of exercising and eating healthy seem like a chore. Good mental fitness can also help you muscle through the toughest exercises. It’s so important we had a blog last August about exercises that can help. Here are some other ideas to aid in improving mental fitness.
Learn to deal with stress before it becomes too stressful.
Positive thinking has gotten a bad rap. Most people think it’s about wishing their way to wealth and success, when in reality it’s more about finding something good that you can work with in every situation. If you’re out of a job, wishing won’t employ you, but focusing on the skills you have can help you find a job. You may have to dust them off and bring them up-to-date but that helps reduce stress, too. It puts you back in control of your destiny.
Eating healthier can help improve mental fitness.
Eating healthier improves the gut’s microbiome. These microscopic colonies can be beneficial or harmful. Beneficial microbes communicate with the brain by activating neural pathways. They can help improve your mood and reduce inflammation that can lead to depression and anxiety. Eating more anti-inflammatory whole foods and foods high in fiber, while cutting out food causing inflammation, such as those with added sugar, can help. Studies show a diet high in sugar negatively affects mental health. Beneficial microbes also produce short-chain fatty acids that help regulate the nervous system.
Get adequate sleep.
When you have mental stress, it can cause sleepless nights. In turn, those sleepless nights can lead to more mental stress. It’s a vicious cycle. Lack of sleep can create anxiety and depression. It can lead to mood and behavioral changes. When you don’t get enough sleep, you tend to be irritable. It can cause anxiety, anger, aggression, and depression. It affects mental fitness in other ways, like interaction with others, hyperactivity, and emotional outbursts.
- Your mental fitness is vital for your physical fitness. Left unchecked, stressing out can lead to high blood pressure, hormonal imbalance, premature aging, and a shorter life span.
- For a good overview of exercises to help improve mental fitness, check out the blog from August of 2023 called Workouts for Better Mental Health. Just increasing how much you walk can help lift depression and anxiety.
- Get out in the sun and nature. Walking barefoot on grass is used by mental health specialists to help reduce stress, depression, and anxiety. It’s called grounding or earthing. Sunlight also increases the release of serotonin, which helps reduce depression.
- Staying active, social, and laughing is good for mental health. If you aren’t a social butterfly, get a pet. Studies show having good friends, an active social life, or even a loving furry companion improves mental fitness.
For more information, contact us today at Next Level Fitness