Healthy Habits that Improve Your Mental Fitness
Maintaining physical fitness is important for so many different reasons. It gives you not only more energy, but also more mental agility, as it increases the flow of oxygen to the brain, and releases “feel-good” chemicals into the system. However, it is equally important to have a fit mind, as an unfit mind can lead to stress, anxiety, and depression, and take a toll on the physical body. You can follow these healthy habits mentioned below to improve your mental fitness.
#1 Exercise Regularly
Studies have shown that regular exercise can boost your mental fitness in numerous ways. First, it improves the flow of blood to your brain and keeps it healthy. In addition to this, regular exercise has been shown to improve your memory, reasoning, and reaction time. So, to enjoy these benefits, make sure you’re exercising regularly. This doesn’t have to be anything too intense (although you should be aiming to complete a full workout every 3-5 days), but if you do some light physical activity most days, you’ll give your mental fitness a huge boost.
#2 Meditate Daily
Daily meditation can have a highly positive impact on your mental fitness. The practice of meditation clears your mind of stressful and negative thoughts and creates an environment where happy, positive thoughts can bloom. It also makes it easier to focus clearly on one thing at a time and process your thoughts more efficiently.
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#3 Read Daily
Reading provides your brain with a point of focus and is a great mental workout. Every sentence you read stimulates the brain to process the words and recall their meaning. It also brings your creativity into play as you visualize the characters and environments in the book, imagine the sounds, and more.
#4 Rest & Relax Regularly
Scheduling some time to relax each day allows your brain to rest, recharge, and refresh. This not only gives your mental fitness a boost, but also helps you feel much more energized overall. Good activities for resting and relaxing include taking a hot bath, listening to music, meditating, and reading.
#5 Slow down your breathing
Slowing down your breathing is a simple but effective technique for improving your mental fitness. By focusing on your breathing, you instantly clear your mind of thoughts and reduce your stress levels. Over time, this allows you to become much calmer and more centered.
#6 Get at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night
Studies have shown that sleep enhances your mental fitness in numerous ways. First, it makes you much more receptive to new information and allows you to process it with maximum efficiency. Second, it has a positive effect on your concentration levels during the day. Finally, sleep helps lower your stress levels and protects your brain from the harmful effects of stress.
#7 Fill up on healthy fats
Around two thirds of your brain is made up of cholesterol and fat. Eating healthy fats is essential for optimal brain function, as your brain uses these to build new cell membranes, create signal pathways, and much more. To ensure that your diet is rich in healthy fats, make sure you’re eating plenty of dairy products, fatty fish, nuts, seeds, and red meat.
#8 Eat lots of fruits & vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are packed full of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. Studies have shown that these powerful nutrients support your brain and allow it to function properly. In addition to this, they help protect against brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, and keep your brain healthy.
#9 Challenge your brain
Challenging your brain training games such as crosswords or Sudoku are excellent ways to enhance your mental fitness. Not only do these games test and improve your brain’s speed and memory, but they’re also incredibly fun.
#10 Be social
Socializing and engaging with other people on a regular basis keeps your brain active and stimulated. During a conversation, your brain is constantly processing new ideas, creating responses all of which test your brain and boost your mental fitness.