Improving Your Mental Fitness
by Ron Kurtus (revised 31 March 2012)
Mental fitness means that your brain is not only healthy and free from disease or injury, but that it is working in its optimal state.
Being physically fit is required to effectively provide oxygen and nutrients to your brain. Mental fitness is going beyond simply being mentally healthy. It is exercising and conditioning your brain or mind, so that it is stronger and has more thinking endurance. Mental condition is when your brain is in a highly effective state.
Questions you may have include:
- What is the role of physical fitness in mental fitness?
- How can you gain mental strength?
- How can you gain mental endurance?
This lesson will answer those questions.
Role of physical fitness
Since your brain is part of your body, your physical fitness affects the effectiveness of the operation of your brain. Being physically fit allows blood flow to effectively reach the various muscles in your body, as well as your brain.
If you are in good physical shape, more oxygen and needed nutrients are supplied to the brain to allow it to work effectively. Also, being in good health prevents toxins from affecting the brain and such conditions as clogged arteries from depriving the brain of oxygen. People with such conditions often cannot think as effectively as they once did.
Mental health from the physical aspect is really the health of your brain. Thus, part of the physical fitness of the brain includes the avoidance of mind-numbing drugs such as alcohol and such. After a night of heavy drinking, your mind may be muddled and your thinking processes dull. Information is not recalled very rapidly or perhaps not at all. It is an effort to think.
Your conscious mind is similar to a computer. You process incoming information. Your store information in your memory and recall it later. You analyze problems and solve them, as well as making decisions, based on logic, emotions and past experiences.
There are some people who simply don't know how to think or don't like to do it. For some people, thinking seems to be an effort. This may be a bias toward certain types of thinking, since everyone thinks until they are dead.
You can build the strength of your mind by simply using it and stretching its capabilities. Trying to solve difficult problems that can strain your ability to think is a good way to build up your mental strength.
Reading requires much more mental processing than mindlessly watching some television programs. It is a good way to increase the strength of your mind, especially if the books have some educational value.
In fact, even thought provoking conversations can build your mental strength. A good debate to try to prove your point can tax your mind and help it grow.
A person needs mental stamina too. You not only need to be able to think clearly, but you need to be able to think for a long time without fatigue.
The brain is somewhat like a muscle in that the more you use it, the stronger and even larger it gets. With good physical conditioning and mental strength, your stamina or mental endurance will also increase.
Mental fitness means that your brain is not only healthy, but that it is working in its optimal state. Being physically fit will effectively provide oxygen and nutrients to your brain. Mental fitness requires that you exercise and condition your brain or mind so that it is stronger and has more thinking endurance. Mental condition is when your mind is in a highly effective state.
Use your mind
Resources and references
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Improving Your Mental Fitness