In recent years, there has been a lot of attention around physical fitness. While physical fitness is certainly important to live a long and healthy life and a vital part of wellness, mental fitness is just as necessary to stay in shape.
Your brain is just like a muscle and you need to work it consistently to keep it strong. It can be easy to fall into a routine of being comfortable and not pushing your brain past what feels safe, but in order to keep your mind sharp, you need to train it like you would any other part of your body.
Good mental fitness can mean a better memory, better sleep, and more energy throughout the day. Below are a few ways to improve your mental fitness.
1. Play challenging games.
In this day and age, we take our phones with us everywhere we go. This means that whether you’re on the metro to go to work or waiting for your food at a restaurant, you can use that time to train your brain. Games like Sudoku or crossword puzzles are great choices for improving your brain’s speed and memory.
While it may seem counterintuitive to work out physically in order to work out mentally, physical exercise has shown to be a large contributor to a strong mind. Exercise has shown to improve sleep and relieve stress. It has also become a recommended part of treatment for psychological disorders such as depression, anxiety, and ADHD.
3. Expand your reading list.
Another great way to improve mental fitness is to delve into different genres of books and other reading material. Try reading a book in Old English or another vernacular you aren’t familiar with. If you find yourself only reading mystery novels, try a history or environmental book.
4. Adopt a new hobby.
By taking on a new hobby, you’re training your brain to do something that it isn’t used to and will work on new areas of the mind. Try to set aside an hour or so a day to engage in a hobby such as cooking, gardening, or painting. By trying something new, you’re allowing your mind to be more creative and you might just find that it’s your new favorite thing to do!
5. Put down your phone and turn off the TV.
Most of us spend way too much time in front of a screen each day.
Just check your phone’s screen time and you may be surprised at how many hours a day you spend scrolling through your phone.
And when we’re not on our phones we might be watching TV or working on our computers. Excessive screen time has shown to increase diseases such as diabetes and obesity.
Use technology to your advantage and set reminders for yourself to limit how much time you spend in front of a screen.
6. Practice relaxation.
Relaxation is a pivotal part of creating a strong, healthy mind. Too much stress can cause sleep problems and mental health problems. Set aside regular periods within your week to practice meditation or just time away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.