Are You Mentally Fit?

Learn how to boost cognitive function and emotional health

Mental fitness is as important as physical fitness; however, it is often overlooked and considered when mental health concerns arise.

Your brain needs to be exercised as much as your muscles do, otherwise, it loses tone and becomes slack.

Learn how to boost cognitive function and emotional health through simple daily practices.

What is Mental Fitness?

Mental fitness is keeping your brain healthy and active and is essential for your emotional, cognitive and psychological wellbeing. Mental fitness positively impacts how we think, feel and act.

Three significant components of mental fitness include:

  • Emotional: how you manage your emotions, self-esteem, confidence, self-acceptance and resilience. 
  • Physical: physical exercise has a direct impact on your mental fitness. 
  • Social: support from friends and family and socialising with others enriches our lives in so many ways.

The importance of mental fitness

Life can be challenging and difficult to navigate at times. Adversity, failure, disappointment and grief can be crushing. Negative thoughts can overwhelm and threaten to send us in a downward spiral.

Managing adversity and negativity relies on our mental fitness as it prepares us to cope with tough times.

Mental fitness:

  • Enhances mental agility so you can think quicker and complete tasks efficiently
  • Boosts motivation
  • Improves memory and recall function
  • Increases self-esteem and confidence
  • Heightens vision and hearing capabilities
  • Boosts mood so you feel more positive and happier
  • Improves and expands your mindset
  • Helps you overcome adversity and build resilience

How to stay mentally fit

  • Daily exercise improves circulation and increases blood flow and oxygen to the brain. When your brain is more oxygenated, hormones are released which promotes the growth of brain cells. Exercise also helps enhance memory and improve reaction times and mental agility.
  • Increase brain activity by learning something new, finding a hobby or doing regular brain exercises such as crosswords or sudoku to keep your brain challenged and test your memory. There are many brain training apps that help improve cognitive function. When you engage your brain, you stimulate the brain to build new neural pathways which improve the communication between all the cells in your body.
  • Improve self-awareness. The better we understand ourselves, our emotions, our reactions, our stresses and our capabilities, the better we can manage life situations. Self-awareness helps build resilience and makes us stronger when times get tough. Self-awareness builds mental fitness. 
  • Make time for self-care to help reduce stress levels and promote relaxation. High levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) can have a detrimental effect on the brain and impair its functioning, causing memory loss, low mood and anxiety. 
  • Socialise and engage in stimulating conversation as it has the power to change your brain’s chemistry. When our brains are stimulated, we produce hormones and neurotransmitters (chemical messengers) which create new nerve pathways in the body.


Healthy brain, happy life

Maintaining mental fitness is as essential as staying physically fit. It keeps our memory, emotional wellbeing and self-esteem in check and prepares us to manage life’s challenges. Optimise your mental fitness by doing daily physical movement and brain exercises, learn a new skill, socialise, improve self-awareness and make time for self-care and relaxation.

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