Mental fitness works a lot like physical fitness in that you need to keep flexing your mind muscles in order to keep them in shape. Basically, you want to use it and not lose it during these stranger times that have resulted due to this COVID craziness. Here are some of our favourite tips on how to stay in good mental shape.
Your mind is always working out, growing, learning and adapting. It basically doesn’t stop – even when you’re asleep and the subconscious mind takes over, so it’s important to put your emphasis on what keeps you strongest, emotionally.
A really great way to get some clarity around this is to understand neural pathways. These little superhighways are formed when you think something over and again. The more it’s enforced the stronger and more firmly entrenched it becomes.
For example, if you repeatedly tell yourself that you could never give up eating junk food, that belief won’t change – basically it’s a form of self-sabotaging. So, during times like these when we have more time to think, more time to worry and more things to actually worried about, you can see how easily we could fall into negative patterns of thought that become more and more true. It becomes a tricky cycle!
Yet, it doesn’t need to be.
The good news is that you can re-program those thought patterns. If you stop yourself from thinking ‘I could never give up junk food’ by replacing it with ‘I can give up junk food just as successfully as anyone else’ you will, eventually, form a new positive pathway and the old one will fade, helping you to succeed. It’s literally re-programming and it can work in so many powerful and important ways.
So, what do you need to challenge yourself mentally right now? What beliefs are holding you back from being as positive as you could be and getting through the rest of 2020 and all that has come with it so far, with a sense of calmness and control?
We’re guessing you might relate to a few of these at the moment… Simply change…
- ‘Being at home is so boring. I hate not going to the gym’ to ‘I’m going to train as much as I can from home or mix up my outdoor workouts!’
- ‘I can’t stop eating. I’m going to stack on weight’ to ‘I’m in full control of what I put in my kitchen and my mouth. I have so got this.’
- ‘This is never going to end’ to ‘this will end, and I am going to love having completely freedom once again – how great will life be when I never take that for granted?’
- ‘My career is destroyed’ to ‘there are going to be so many opportunities to jump at after this!’
- ‘There’s nothing I can do’ to ‘I can do so much, trying hobbies and learning things I never thought possible!’
- ‘This whole year is out of control’ to ‘I have full control of my choices and what I think about during this time.’
So, flex those mind muscles. Take control of what you can and don’t fixate on what you can’t. This year, and what might continue on from everything that has happened, is a big mental challenge. But, never forget, you can lay down those neural pathways just as surely as you can lay down on a bench and pump those weights.