When you think of fitness, you probably picture hitting the gym, keeping your body trim and building muscle tone. Physical fitness is a vital aspect of leading a healthier lifestyle. But your body isn’t the only thing that needs a fitness regimen. Some people don’t realize that the brain is a muscle. Mental workout exercises keep your brain sharp and toned so your mental and emotional health are in tip-top shape.
Mental Fitness Tips and Exercises
Mental fitness involves a series of exercises that flex and train your mind. After you finish school, whether high school or higher education, the mind can get a little flabby. Through active memory training, you can continue to develop your ability to reason, solve problems and overcome challenges.
Mental fitness training isn’t as difficult as getting ready to run a marathon, but it does take the same level of dedication. Here are some tips and simple exercises to incorporate mental fitness into your daily routine.
Believe it or not, having fun can do your brain a lot of good. Reasoning games like crossword puzzles, Sudoku or even a competitive round of Catan are great ways to build your brain muscles and keep your mind sharp. Even challenging, fast-paced video games that incorporate logic can increase your ability to learn new tasks, boost your reaction time and improve your attention span.
Read Often and Read Widely
From the latest thrillers to lengthy biographies to newspaper articles, reading is a great brain workout. With each sentence, your brain processes the words and recalls their meaning instantly. Plus, the act of visualizing what you’re reading flexes your imagination and makes your brain light up.
There are countless genres and types of reading material to choose from. Staying curious and keeping an active interest in the world around you keeps your brain working fast and efficiently.
Learn Something New
Learning a new skill or hobby works multiple areas of your brain and builds new neural pathways. Whether it’s studying Shakespeare or learning to cook, different skillsets challenge your brain and give it something new to think about. As an added bonus, hobbies like knitting, woodworking and other activities that require you to move both sides of your body at the same time improve your spatial awareness and reaction time.
Take the Time to Be Bored
Our world is constantly go, go, go. Spending a little bit of downtime sitting, reflecting and meditating can lead to some huge leaps in creativity. When you are rushing around from one thing to the next, there’s no opportunity to give your brain a rest. Just relaxing will reduce excess stress hormones that can be harmful to your brain.
The Importance of Mental Fitness in Recovery
Recovery is a journey of self-discovery and self-improvement. As you break free from drugs or alcohol, you realize the importance of creating a healthier lifestyle — in your body, mind and spirit. While physical fitness and spiritual wellness are important, the mind is too often neglected. Keeping up with your mental fitness will help you face any challenges with optimism and a sharp mind.
At 7 Summit Pathways, our team of interdisciplinary specialists offers multidimensional and holistic therapies to support your Recovery. To learn more, contact us today or schedule an appointment to speak with a caring and compassionate professional.