Mental Fitness has many facets to it, all of which seem to be increasingly. These five facets of mental fitness can be summed up in one definition statement:
Clear thinking in the present moment, with good memories and good values upon which to draw for creative solutions, an ability to make sound decisions, and a strong will to continue generating new ideas and complete beneficial work
The 5 Facets of Mental Fitness:
1) Mental Acuity.
Mental acuity includes several mental abilities: the ability to attend to (perceive), focus upon (concentrate), and remember various stimuli. The goal of healthy mental function is to be able to perceive things accurately, have an ability to focus upon and retain focus upon a particular thought or concept, and to have an ability to remember important facts.
2) Good Decision-Making.
Good mental acuity is necessary for making good decisions, including the setting of goals. The setting of a goal always begins with what you believe is possible.? It is far more productive to focus on what you think you CAN do, rather than what you think you can’t do. It is also far more challenging to focus on what you THINK you can do, generally with a little effort, planning, or practice, rather than on what you can do at any given time. What you think about long enough, even what you hold as a subliminal thought, is eventually what you do.
3) Dealing with Painful Memories.
Learning to change your own thought processes is one of the most important things you can ever learn to do. The mind has habits that are just as deeply engrained, and perhaps more so, than physical habits or addictions.
Three strong conclusions:
First: It is vitally important in changing a mental habit that a person find something to GIVE that requires that person’s full attention. When a person gets involved in an activity that demands their mental and emotional focus, they have less time to dwell on what has been painful in the past.
Second: It is vitally important to have friends or counselors with whom you can talk over the processes of loss and recovery. It is especially important to have a counselor who has the same values that you have, and who has your best interests at heart. It is also very important to have someone to talk to who has been through at least a little bit of what you have experienced.
Third: It is vitally important that you choose to forgive. To forgive is to “let go.” It is not the same as exoneration and it certainly is not denial. Forgiveness is NOT saying that something didn’t hurt or doesn’t deserve to be addressed with justice.
4) A Storehouse of Good Ideas.
Mental fitness always involves having GOOD things to think about. You need to have GOOD thoughts to think about with GOOD frequency in GOOD amounts!
- You must have something to think about.
- Something to perceive.
- Something to focus on, concentrate on.
- Something to remember.
- Make sure that something is GOOD.
5) Maintaining a Strong Will to Live.
The “will” is part of the intellect. A person’s free will, something every person has, is rooted in our ability to choose. Making choices is a mental or intellectual ability. Two of the most important words you can ever use are “I will.” They are key words to use often as you begin any new discipline, whether it is a fat-loss program, morning devotions, daily exercise, memorizing Scripture, or determining that you will not lose your temper today, no matter how other people around you behave.
I Will Statements.
The voicing of I WILL statements moves a person beyond a negative emotion. A person who is dependent upon how he or she feels is going to be a person who is always looking for excuses. Move into your WILL. I WILL statements are particularly effective in helping you get through those times of tension, frustration, and friction that are a normal part of growth and change.
Making repeated I WILL statements about behavior each day is a form of self-talk. Positive self-talk can be extremely motivating. It can be extremely beneficial in improving self-worth and a more vividly defined self-identity. Negative self-talk can be extremely damaging; it can be self-destructive and self-defeating. The key is to make sure your self-talk about all things is POSITIVE.
Establishing Goals for Mental Fitness.
What is it that you intuitively know that you need to change about your thought patterns in order to…
- Think more clearly (with greater mental acuity) in the present moment?
- Develop good memories and establish good values?
- Be more creative in your problem-solving?
- Make wise judgments and choices?
- Make good decisions?
- Promote the development of a strong faith-based will?
(I’m a coach and coaches give their players specific exercises as a part of workout drills. So…here are your exercises for Mental Fitness)
Set Your Course
Exercise: Set specific ten-week goals to improve your:
- Perception ability
- Concentration ability
You’re Never Too Old to Learn
Exercise: Identify three things you’d like to learn, or learn “better”, or learn in a new way (with a different learning style).
The Will to Win
Exercise: Make a list of I Will statements to go along with various goals you have set in other areas of the Fitness Star. Remember that these statements relate to behavior.
Exercise: Write out a set of I AM dictums – aimed at character – for mental fitness and begin to voice them to yourself daily.
Exercise: Monitor your self-talk. Add self-talk goals to your ten-week cycle list of goals.
Totally Fit Life Truth
The feelings we express are the feelings that others
will hold toward us. What we do and say to others
become what others do and say to us.