Mental fitness seems like common sense. Anyone can say we need to be mentally fit, but then struggle to describe it. Let’s start with defining mental. According to Google mental means “relating to the mind.” Next, we look at the definition of fitness. Google says fitness means “the quality of being suitable to fulfill a particular role or task.” This means that mental fitness means mentally suitable to fulfill a particular role or task.
Let’s discuss this definition a little more. We all have certain tasks that we have to accomplish in our life. For younger children, their tasks can include schooling, socialization, and chores. Young adults may include dating and jobs. Some people also include raising children. All of these tasks include a need to be mentally fit to accomplish them.
Mental Fitness also includes the ability to deal with the stress of these daily items and any extra stressors that can happen. Sometimes it seems that some people deal with stress better than others. These people are probably slightly better mentally fit at that time. When we can deal with life’s difficulties and stressors we are mentally fit.
We achieve mental fitness the same way we do physically, through daily exercise. Though to be mentally fit we need to do daily mental exercises. Just like it sounds mental exercises tax the brain to strengthen it. Also, we need to learn to relax and deal better with sudden stress, like stretches to help muscles.
Like physical fitness, there are many ways to exercise mentally. It depends on what you feel helps exercise your brain. For example, a young child playing Uno may be enough for them, but an adult probably needs something a little more difficult. A few games that may help could include Sudoku, crossword puzzles, word searches, and tangrams. Also taking the time to memorize something will help with memory. Doing one a day would count as exercise.
Another part of mental fitness is teaching the brain to relax, especially in high-stress times. When we can help the brain to relax we can think more clearly and accomplish each task. Again, relaxation techniques are different for each person. For me, reading and puzzles help me to relax. Others may prefer a visualization technique. Whatever helps, relaxation for the brain helps keep it mentally fit.
When we have mental fitness, life does not suddenly become easier. Instead, we have the ability to handle the tasks and stress thrown at us better. Again, mental fitness means the mental ability to fulfill a particular role or task. Since we cannot know exactly what role or task we may need to do, we need to stay mentally fit and exercise mentally daily.