Mental health has become a focal point for individuals and organisations over the last few years. People are searching for simple ways to improve their emotional wellbeing, satisfaction with life and strategies to help them cope with the increasing level of stress present in daily life.
At Worksite Fitness and Rehabilitation, we refer to this as ‘improving your mental fitness’. And much like your physical wellbeing, consistent ‘mental exercise’ has been shown to improve overall wellbeing and the ability to bounce back after setbacks.
What is mental fitness?
Mental fitness is just as important as physical fitness. When you’re mentally fit you respond to stressors and bounce back from challenges in life more effectively, because you know that setbacks do not define you. Through deliberate practice, we can learn strategies to keep our brain and emotional health in shape.
So, what are some simple strategies to help you improve your mental fitness? Here are 6 ways to help:
1. Thought awareness
Our thoughts play a significant role in our emotional state of mind. Psychologists agree that most of your negative feelings are caused by irrational or inaccurate thoughts. However, a majority of our thoughts remain unconscious so we’re unaware of why we’re feeling the way we are.
By learning to be more aware of our thoughts, making them conscious thoughts, you have the ability to challenge your thinking and choose to replace negative thoughts with more constructive thinking.
By focusing on a positive mind set (self-talk, thoughts) mental strength can increase.
For further information, visit: https://www.headsup.org.au/your-mental-health/taking-care-of-yourself-and-staying-well/thoughts
2. Manage your expectations
If you have poorly managed expectations, you’ll run into more surprises, which can make you feel out of control. Lack of control can lower your morale and weaken your mental fortitude. Flexibility and the ability to adapt to situations are key components to laying the groundwork for strong mental resolve.
3. Break the pattern
Don’t just cope or fix the symptoms; try to get a resolution to your stressors. This can include managing your time, managing your workload, or addressing issues and sources of conflict.
4. Appreciate what you have
Instead of worrying about what we have, and what we need to be happy (e.g. job promotion, better house, bigger TV, the best schools) instead give thanks and celebrate life’s good things. It helps us build positive emotions. When we make time to celebrate the things we love and are thankful for, we are also living more mindfully.
5. Stay connected
Being connected to others is important for our mental and physical wellbeing and can be a protective factor against poor mental health. Strong ties with family, friends, pets and the community provide us with happiness, security, support and a sense of purpose. These connections are also known to lower levels of anxiety and depression and raise self-esteem.
6. Take time
Take time to slow down, rest and relax. The ways in which you cope with stress are unique to your personality. Consider healthy, stress-reducing activities that work best for you such as exercising or talking things over with friends or family, listening to music, writing, or spending time with a friend or relative.
Make sure you schedule time to relax, and when you do… clear your head, and don’t let worries or stresses take your attention.
Want to help improve the mental fitness of your workplace? Contact Worksite Fitness and Rehabilitation to discuss a simple approach for your organisation today.