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Developing Strong Mental Fitness


Photo Credit: Tyler Bolken, 2013 – U.S. Marine Corps Depend on Physical and Mental Fitness to get through training sessions.

Zoe Markopoulos -Psychologist (MAPS, CEDP)

Physical fitness gains lots of attention in comparison to mental fitness. However, mental fitness is just as important. Being mentally fit involves having a healthy and active mind that enables you to manage the challenges in life, without burning out.

How Does Strong Mental Fitness Help You?

Healthy and strong vigorous mental fitness helps you improve concentration and efficiently cope with stress. Plus, it enables you to form strong connections with people and enjoy a fulfilling and happy life.

How Can I Improve My Mental Fitness?

While we’d all like to be mentally fit, sometimes we need help to improve our skills. Some excellent ways you can increase your mental fitness include:

  • Stop multitasking – focus on one task at a time
  • Positive affirmations (e.g. I accept what I cannot change)
  • Regular, daily exercise
  • Read often and widely
  • Challenge your intellect and memory (e.g. learn a new language)
  • Take time to relax
  • Take up a new hobby (i.e. cooking)
  • Engage in stimulating conversations
  • Take up a manual activity or craft (i.e. sewing)

The Benefits of Improving My Mental Fitness

Mental fitness maintains your overall health and wellbeing. Proactively utilising the mental fitness improvement tips (above) can also prevent the development of mental health disorders. The effect of mental health disorders can be severe on individuals and families. These conditions are extremely common in the Australian population – one in every five Australians suffered from a mental health disorder last year. Given this, it is imperative to schedule time for mental fitness into your calendar.

InShape News Fast Fact

Anxiety is one of the most common mental health disorders. Luckily there are many Anxiety Treatment options available. Many people choose to have cognitive behavioral therapy, to explore their anxiety triggers, and work on coping tactics. Several natural herbal supplements are helpful to ease anxiety symptoms. A few options include CBD oil, St John’s Wort, or Valerian root. Though these are all plant-based, these supplements may not be suitable if you take certain medications. It’s important to talk to your doctor beforehand.

Image - Z MarkopoulosIn her professional practice, Zoe Markopoulos applies her psychological and educational expertise in the effective delivery of psychology services to children and families. She recognises the importance of fostering resilience and addressing the social, emotional and educational needs of students. Zoe predominately aligns her work with the principles and techniques of cognitive behaviour therapy, positive psychology and mindfulness. A significant part of her work involves psychological counselling and assessment, developing and implementing evidence-based programs, and consultation. Zoe is also interested in self-care activities to help maintain physical, mental and emotional health.

Zoe has contributed to academic publications focused on coping, bullying, anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, children and families. She is a member of the Australian Psychologist Society and is regularly involved with the College of Educational and Developmental Psychologists (Victoria), as a committee member. Zoe is currently completing the Psychology Board of Australia Registrar Program in Educational and Developmental Psychology.

Disclaimer: The information published in this column is based on each of the author’s own professional and personal knowledge and opinion. This information and opinion are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any manner. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding any medical condition and consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional or exercise program. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on InShape News.

Read More of Zoe’s Articles
Meth Effects
Ice and Other Drug Related Ilness
Obsessive Compulsive Behaviours

27 thoughts on “Developing Strong Mental Fitness”

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    1. Hi Nicolas. Many people struggle to gain mental fitness. Some even find that they gain it, and then lose it again. This situation doesn’t mean that you haven’t achieved anything though. It just means that you have more work to do. Even professional athletes struggle to be mentally fit always. So, if you’re experiencing this, then be kind to yourself, it’s perfectly natural. Other InShape News readers have felt the same, so you’re not alone.

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