When thinking about your health, does your mental health come to mind? Physical health is usually what most people think of when improving their health. And of course it is crucial, but I think we can all agree that mental health is equally as important! The body and mind work together – think of them as two peas in the health and wellness pod. The effort put into training your physical strength should match the effort you put into developing your mental strength.
Mental strength is like physical strength in the sense that it takes time, effort and consistency to develop.
So, what does a strong mind look like? Here are some examples:
- You have a greater ability to be present rather than fixate on the past or future
- You possess a growth mindset, rather than fixed one – more on that here!
- You can more easily overcome adversity
- You can think and respond to things more positively
- You have a greater ability to problem-solve and challenge yourself
What does a strong mind look like for you?
Not everyday will look like a 10/10 mentally. Who else has had those days where out of (seemingly) nowhere your energy, self-esteem or motivation is low? It’s safe to say that a lot of us have been there before! That’s okay– we’re human and we can’t expect every day to be amazing, but we can put the pieces in place to increase our mental strength.
Alright, so how the heck do we do this? Keep reading!
Mental and physical health shouldn’t be thought about separately; poor physical health can lead to poor mental health, and vice versa. If your goal is to improve your mental strength, you can start by working on your physical strength.
Improving your physical strength can have many benefits on your mental strength such as:
- Boosting your quality of sleep
- Connecting with your body
- Increasing the production of dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins which boosts your mood
- Relieving the feeling of stress by decreasing cortisol levels
- Building confidence and increasing your self-esteem
By building strong bodies in the gym, we also build strong lives outside of it.
So, now that you know how important physical strength is to improve your mental strength, let’s explore some other ways to become mentally stronger. One of which is your nutrition!
Many of you have heard us talk about the 3 macronutrients that are EXTREMELY important to consume on a regular basis. These are: protein, carbohydrates, and fats, and each plays a vital role in your body and brain functioning. Carbohydrates in particular are essential for a strong mind. Here’s why:
Carbohydrates are the brain’s main energy source: this is the electricity to your body! Carbohydrates are also known as glucose, or sugar, which is what our body needs to burn for energy. Low energy can cause brain fog, moodiness, sluggishness and more – all qualities we want to avoid when building our mental strength! Read more on carbohydrates and the other macronutrients here!
Think of your brain as a super computer. While you’re sleeping, it goes through every single piece of information you’ve collected in your day and decides what is important and what can be forgotten for tomorrow. When you do not get enough sleep, or low quality sleep, your body and brain do not have the opportunity to recharge properly. Oftentimes this results in higher cortisol levels (the stress hormone). Stress plays a major role in our mental health, and reducing those stress levels is key to becoming mentally stronger. Click here for 10 tips to get better sleep!
Although physical strength, nutrition and sleep are arguably the three most important habits you can adopt to become mentally stronger, there’s a lot of other ones too! For instance:
- Connecting with people you love
- Unplugging from electronics and social media
- Get fresh air and more vitamin D
- Learning about the mind (particularly yours!) – where are our Brene Brown fans at!?
Reflection question for you all: When you’re having a poor mental health day, what is 1 thing you like to do to help?
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