We are very concerned with our physical health, and we receive a lot of advice about it. Advice on a healthy and varied diet, exercise, and a good night’s sleep is usually aimed at our physical health. Because we want to feel fit, feel tight in our skin, and glow with energy. But just as critical is our mental wellbeing! What is the difference between physical and mental health, and what can you do to stay mentally fit?
What is Physical Fitness?
Physical vitality is the degree to which you have the physical energy to function in your work and private life. Your body does not feel equally energetic every day. Sometimes you seem out of breath more quickly, your muscles feel uncomfortable, and you just want to stay on the couch. Don’t let this become a habit. For example, keep exercising and exercising.
What is Mental Fitness?
Your mental fitness influences daily functioning and mood. Mental fitness plays an important role in memory, concentration, and learning. In addition, it also helps you to deal with stress better. It is not always easy, and mental fitness helps you to cope with these setbacks.
The right balance
When you are physically and mentally in balance, you can better cope with setbacks, enjoy what you are going through, and get the best out of yourself. So it’s about the balance between physical and mental.
9 tips for feeling mentally fit
There are a number of things you can do yourself to maintain or even improve your mental health.
1. Think positively
We think it has a lot of influence on how we feel and can thus contribute to your mental health. For example, keep a record of the fun and positive things you experience in a day for a month. Write this down in a book before going to sleep. By thinking positively before you go to sleep, you immediately go into the night more positively. Positive things can be small, such as a nice cup of coffee, a nice sandwich, a nice walk, the sun shining, or a nice conversation with a friend. Try to name at least 5 positive things every night and write down how you feel at the beginning. After 30 days, you look back and write down how you feel. Do you see the change yet?
2. Do something new every week
Your brain needs stimuli to stay young. For example, take the train if you normally go by car. Visit a museum, a concert or a different city than you are normally used to. By stepping out of your normal environment, your brain receives new stimuli and is challenged. This ensures that your brain functions better and can process new information faster.
3. Do fun things
We fail to make time for things we want sometimes. This could be anything, such as reading, visiting the cinema, taking a bath, planning a trip to the beach, doing yoga, etc. Then schedule this and make sure you do not make any other appointments on the days/times that you have time for scheduled yourself. Check for yourself which things give you energy and which things cost energy. You can then minimize things that cost your energy as much as possible. That way, you pay more attention to things that make you happy.
4. Stop worrying
This is easier said than done, but worrying doesn’t help anyone. It is negative thinking and not good for your mental health. Moreover, you usually cannot immediately do anything about the situation you are worrying about. Let it go and try to think about something else. Living more in the now can also help. By being less concerned with things that have been or are yet to come, you will find that you are actually quite happy right now. So when you are cooking, sitting on the couch, or exercising, do you really have anything to worry about at the moment, or can you enjoy the present moment with full awareness?
5. Do puzzles
Making a puzzle is good training for the brain. This is because you actively stimulate your brain to make the puzzle. It does not matter whether it is a regular puzzle, a crossword puzzle, or sudoku. With all types of puzzles, you challenge your brain, which has a good influence on memory.
Go for a walk or exercise
Movement is good for the brain. Walking increases activity in the hippocampus (a specific area of the brain). This brain area plays an important role in learning and remembering, among other things. So by walking, you can maintain your memory.
Eat enough omega 3 fatty acids
The essential omega 3 fatty acid DHA is an important building block of the brain and is good for brain function, with a daily amount of at least 250 mg. By putting fatty fish such as salmon or herring on the menu at least once every week, you get this amount. Are you unable to eat fish every week? Then you can also opt for a dietary supplement such as Flinndal Omega-3 Forte as a supplement to the diet.
Learn something new
We go to school when we’re young. Then we can choose to study or go to work, but eventually, we often stop learning. It’s a shame because learning new things is very satisfying and good for your brain. For example, a study shows that learning a new language showed remarkable growth in the brain.
9. Moderate with alcohol
Everyone understands that our brains do not benefit from alcohol. It has an anesthetic effect and negatively affects different parts of our brain, such as the frontal cortex (front part of the brain) and the hippocampus (for learning and remembering). Of course, a drink every now and then is no problem. But are you a heavy drinker? Then it is wise to moderate.
Nutrients are important
As with many processes in the body, nutrients have an effect on physical and mental health. The mineral zinc is good for memory, concentration, and problem-solving skills. It keeps the mind clear during mental exertion. B vitamins play a major role in the body’s energy balance. Magnesium also contributes to a good mental balance and helps with fatigue.
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