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The Importance of Mental Health

Keeping your brain in shape

Physical fitness gets plenty of attention, and for good reason. A healthy body can prevent conditions such as heart disease and diabetes, and help you maintain independence as you age. Mental fitness is just as important as physical fitness, and shouldn’t be neglected. Including mental dexterity exercises into your daily routine can help you reap the benefits of a sharper mind and a healthier body for years to come.

Benefits of mental fitness

When you go to bed after a long day, your body begins to relax. But the mind doesn’t always follow. Visualization can help. You can often achieve a sense of peacefulness through imagery, the process of picturing a tranquil scene or location. This practice can reduce tension in both your body and your mind by challenging neurons in the less-dominant area of your brain. The less-dominant side of your brain is the area that controls feelings of self-confidence and optimism. When you think about something other than your daily worries, you increase activity in the neural structures of that area of your brain. Ultimately, visualization can boost your emotional well-being and calm you down mentally

Mind-body connection

It’s no surprise that the more you help your body, the more you help your mind. Physical activity increases the flow of oxygen to your brain. It also increases the amount of endorphins, the “feel-good” chemicals, in your brain. For this reason, it’s not surprising that people who are in good physical shape also tend to enjoy a higher level of mental agility. Engaging in a vigorous physical workout can help you battle depression and gain a more positive outlook on life. It’s also a great way to beat stress, which can harm you mentally and physically. Mental exercise is just as beneficial. According to a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, certain memory training exercises can increase “fluid intelligence,” the ability to reason and solve new problems. While exercise is good for the brain and the body, so is meditation. Meditation, in conjunction with other methods, is an alternative way to treat depression. Calming the mind allows you to problem solve in a more relaxed way.

Become mentally fit

Stop multitasking; Be positive with yourself; Try something different; Play games; Read more; Take time off

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