Head Tricks

Is mental fitness the most important type of fitness? One does not think of fitness as being mental, except for when it comes to pushing oneself to do a little bit more or to finish a hard session, most do not consider mental fitness. After all, you cannot point to a whole list of possible ailments from a lack of mental fitness. With physical fitness the array of possible ailments connected to being overweight are varied and plentiful; joint problems, respiratory issues, inflexibility, back problems, skin problems, diabetes and much more.
Also, in our increasingly ‘show me’ world, you cannot see mental fitness, not in yourself. One can see it, mental toughness, in other people, but in oneself, it is hard to measure. But what is mental fitness? Mental fitness is the ability to weigh up any situation rationally. Without bias or fear, to think through what needs to be done, as opposed wants to be done.
There is also the ability to know what to let go or ignore. With so much in media telling you how to look, how to act, what to eat, drink, where to go and be seen, covering every facet of our lives, it takes mental fortitude to ignore all outside influences or even to filter them sensibly. Aside from the media influences, there are also the pressures from your peers and the expectations of your nearest and dearest.
All of this not only impacts one’s mental health, fitness, it also can affect one’s spiritual fitness; how one feels. How one feels impacts how one acts, which in turn impacts how one’s life is. It is impossible¬†to be happy all the time, of course, external things have an impact on everyone. The fit of mind can quickly put such things into perspective, lessening the negative impact of things beyond their control.
Obviously, it’s easy to put forward such a lucid and reasoned proposition when not under duress. When it’s sunny outside and all feels right in the world and your biggest problem is what shoes to wear with which jacket, keeping happy, positive thoughts in one’s head is not difficult. When in a good place, mental fitness is easy.
Like the physical body, however, the mind and mood have to be worked on. Without regular engagement, the mind becomes flabby, lazy, takes the easiest path. The easiest path for many, the brain’s natural response is to look for danger.

Danger, in modern times, where we no longer have to worry about predators or warring neighbours, is just a magnification of any negative thought. As a thought creates no danger the brain keeps looking, escalating the thought until one believes there must be something wrong.
This is when one needs to train the brain, take control of the thoughts, exercise mental fitness. A fit body with an unfit mind is pointless. Work on both.

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