A Hyper-Efficient Hippocampus! Learning To Be Mentally Fit

Being fit and healthy is a must. But while becoming physically fit is something we all need to do, it's the other piece of the puzzle that we can sometimes neglect. Physical fitness is so important, but mental fitness has so many benefits as well. But when it comes to being “brain fit,” it's exactly the same as the way you would train a muscle. Ultimately being fit is about responding to the demands of everyday life, and this applies to your mental health as well. So what can you do to develop your mental fitness?

Continue Your Learning Journey

One of the biggest and most important aspects of being mentally fit is about ensuring that you know the journey you are going on. This means constantly exercising your brain by giving it more stuff to absorb. The fact is that these days we could argue that there's too much to learn, but we seldom focus on one thing. Take this opportunity to actually focus on learning something that will benefit you. This is one of the shortcuts to being able to absorb information more effectively. Because if you have an interest in a subject like cyber security awareness, it's going to be far more exciting for you to learn. Of course, there are times when we need to learn stuff that we don't want to, but this is where you actually have to find something else interesting about it. You learn something new every day, so make a concerted effort.

Focus on Maintenance Too!

It's vital that when we learn something new every day but we don’t always need to overstretch our reach. There's a lot to be said for ensuring that you maintain as well as build strength. Using the analogy of being physically fit, there will be times when you are overstretching your capabilities. Maintenance is such a crucial aspect of being mentally fit and this is why sometimes we have to settle into a routine where we do something that is not just good for our brains but is comfortable. This means that we may very well fall into the trap of focusing on our phones, but it's a far better habit for you to get involved with something like puzzles. 

There are plenty of puzzle books out there such as PennyDell Puzzles that you can take advantage of. So many people focus on their phones, but there is a danger of being distracted by social media. There's also a lot of concern with regards to how it impacts our ability to pay attention. There's absolutely nothing wrong with using your phone in the right way, but if you are looking to improve your mental maintenance, it's far better for you too to use tools like crosswords and Sudoku to ensure that you are maintaining your mental strength in the right way. Because going on our phones can mean that we end up staying up later and sleeping less, this is when we are going to feel the effects more, which will impact our ability to think effectively.

Do Not Underestimate the Importance of Your Health

On a purely physical level, our brain is predominantly made of fat and water. The solution? Hydration. So many people continue to neglect the importance of adequate hydration. But the fact is that if you are dehydrated your brain has to work harder to complete the task. Even mild dehydration of between 1% to 3% fluid loss can lead to huge reductions in your memory and brain performance. Having adequate hydration is vital. Likewise, ensuring you are giving your brain the right food is just as important. We continue to neglect just how much energy our brain burns. Ensuring that you give your brain the fuel it requires in the form of fats and a healthy diet will make a considerable difference. Having more healthy fats in the form of butter and MCT oil is going to help in numerous ways.

Being Physically Healthy 

While it's important to be physically fit, we have to remember that the mind and the body are connected. Working out is great because it can relax the mind. While stress is incredibly detrimental to our abilities to function, we have to remember that exercise is also something that can give us a sense of achievement which has positive repercussions on our mindset. In essence, make sure you hit the gym! But also be aware of the impact of too much strenuous exercise. Instead, think about making your workout routine only marginally stressful and make it more about cardiovascular and aerobic fitness.

Keeping Relaxed

If we are stressed, our brain goes into overdrive. And yes, while there is a lot to be said for the benefits of having stress as a motivator if you are forever going beyond your limits, you are going to eventually pay the price. Learning how to be relaxed is crucial. There are things you can do to calm your mind, which has been said a million times before, such as meditation and committing to relaxation, but the fact is that you've got to make a habit of these things, rather than just bringing these practices into place when you feel stressed. This is why focusing on keeping relaxed with a combination of methods will be more beneficial. Stress is something that will impact your sleep if you let it and also there are going to be external circumstances in your life that will make you feel more anxious. There's a lot to be said for the right supplements. Ashwagandha, for example, has been shown to be beneficial in keeping people calm because it lowers levels of the stress hormone cortisol. But there are also other things you can do to help regain a sense of relaxed perspective. Gratitude is one of those practices that has shown a great impact on people's optimism. And because there is a link between optimism and improved health, this is going to impact your mind in positive ways.

Use Enabling to Your Advantage

If you want to be mentally fit, you've got to think of ways to create new connections within your mind. Because our minds were built to react to stress and anxiety, this is why we hear that incessant chatter in our minds. But there are ways for you to retrain your brain and make the most of other ways to build new connections. This can stem from positive self-talk as well as constant reminders of what is sometimes referred to as “enabling expressions.” Having these little reminders dotted around can help us to keep our chimp brain firmly in its place.

Being Aware of Your Body

Practicing body awareness is another thing that can help you to improve your focus. It also helps when you notice signs of tension. You can start from the top of your head and work down to your toes and as a very nice side effect, it can actually put you to sleep. By doing this daily, you can increase your awareness of what is going on in your body and you are training your brain to remain focused. 

The fact is that mental gymnastics are all well and good, and there’s a lot to be said for good old-fashioned brain training, but if we are to be mentally fit we have to provide those solid foundations first. Being mentally fit is not just about reacting to stressful environments, but it’s about ensuring that you take the time to get in touch with your values and emotions, while also being calm and curious.

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