Mental health fitness as important as physical training peak: Setting up goals for optimal mental strength can go a long way in helping one get through life’s challenges and achieving goals.
Fitness is a crucial part of our day to day lives in the modern world but many consider it to solely be about physical strength and ability, when the reality is completely different as mental strength is just as important.
Having your head in the right place is crucial for your fitness journey and your attempts to achieve your goals, particularly when getting you through disappointments such as injury setbacks or a bump in the road as you attempt to meet your targets.
If your head isn’t in the right place, then it’s easy to give up, take a day off or distract yourself. However, if you’ve got your mental strength pushing you forward then achieving your goals, in both the long term and short term, will be a lot easier.
In many cases, your mental strength can be your last line of defence when things are tough and it can help to drag you out of the mud. Whilst physical strength and ability is important, mental strength should never be overlooked.
Training mental strength
Just like your body, your mind also has to be trained to be in peak condition and there’s a number of ways that you can ensure that you become mentally tough- starting with putting yourself in the best position by being a self starter.
Fitness is all about you, regardless of whether you work out with a trainer or a friend. Pushing yourself forward and setting goals is crucial to being in the best condition and you should always remember that you’re competing with yourself, so it doesn’t matter too much how your friend or colleague is doing with their journey.
It’s also important to be positive and avoid negative thoughts, as these can quickly suck you into a cycle that’s difficult to get out of. No matter your setbacks, there’s always a positive that can be found and that’s what you should be focusing on when the times start to get tough.
Talking to yourself and visualizing where you want to be is also helpful for getting your mind in the right place, as it helps you to prepare for what’s to come. When it comes to competing in high-profile competitions such as the Winter Olympics, it often takes a significant amount of mental strength to compete and become the best as Max Parrot is backed to do in the Snowboarding Big Air. Self encouragement is crucial to ensure you don’t psych yourself out or quit prematurely, it also comes in handy for day-to-day life as well.
Exercises to complete
There’s also basic exercises to complete when you’re building mental strength and the three we’ve identified are all easy to do, so they won’t eat too much of your time in the day and can be completed quickly.
The first is to identify what you are thankful for and to count your blessings, rather than focus on the negative aspects of what is around you. By identifying three things every morning that you’re thankful for, you can get yourself started in the best way possible- and it can be simple things like clean water or sunny weather.
Practicing mindfulness is also extremely helpful, as it puts your focus on the here and now rather than contemplating things that have happened or worrying about things that are around the corner. Listen to what’s going on around you, which will help you focus in busy environments.
Lastly, it helps to behave like the person you want to become. If you imagine yourself as a lean, fit person who is capable of running every day, then the best approach is to take the jump- even if you find yourself struggling to begin with.
Remembering your goals
As mentioned, setting goals is extremely helpful for your mental state as it gives you the opportunity to assess how far you’ve come and what you need to do to achieve what you want to.
However, these goals do not always need to be physical and can also be applied to your mental strength, as you can challenge yourself to find three things to be thankful for everyday and track your progress in that aspect.
Crucially though, it’s always worth remembering that things are not always set in stone. Sure they may have been a date that you were planning to lose weight by but it’s not the end of the world, you can reassess things and update your goals. Once again, that’s important to remain mentally strong as it reduces the impact of a set-back.