Your mental strength is extremely important, especially in this day and age. Our lives are now almost 100% digital, which means chasing your ideal career can mean working around the clock.
We answer work emails after hours, and our constant connectivity can have a damaging effect on our mental health.
If you feel your mental health is suffering under the pressure, here’s a few simple ways to boost your mental strength.
1. GET MORE SLEEP
The saying “sleep when you’re dead” is NOT one to be followed. Sleeping allows our bodies the down time we need to process the information we ingest during the day. The brain then stores this information in memory banks, improving our concentration and assisting in our ability to learn.
The Sleep Health Foundation advises that although needs vary adults need an average of 7-9 hours sleep per day. They also suggest you stick to a sleep routine. This is so you can condition your body to know when to rest, and when to be active. Whilst it’s impossible to ensure the same pattern of sleep every day, you should be able to keep a routine most days.
Sleep is an important factor in helping foster mental resilience. Therefore is crucial to keep you on track to success.
2. EAT MORE FRESH FOOD
Fresh food, also referred to as raw food, is food that has not been cooked, or exposed to heat of over 50 degrees celsius. This is a temperature at which Robert Ross from ‘Raw Food Life’ states “the natural enzymes in food are completely destroyed.”
Enzymes are proteins that assist in cellular activity and metabolism in the body. They enable us to digest and assimilate the foods that we eat, so that the body can absorb the nutrients and get rid of the waste. When eaten in the right combination (as explained by nutritionist Lauren Talbot), raw foods quickly nourish and leave the body, without requiring too much energy.
Processed foods on the other hands, go through a process whereby nutrients and enzymes are removed. Therefore artificial colourings, flavourings, chemical ingredients and preservatives are added to re-introduce the flavour that was lost during processing.
Now, I’m not saying cut out ALL processed foods altogether, as that is both difficult and expensive. However, eating more fresh food and reducing your intake of processed foods, will increase the nutrient level in your body. This, in turn, will increase your mental focus.
3. EXERCISE DAILY
Whether it be a short brisk walk, or an intense 1 hour cardio session, it is important that we perform physical exercise on a daily basis. Not only has it been proven to improve your mood and leave you feeling happier and more relaxed, regular physical activity can also help you prevent or manage a wide range of health problems. These health problems include stroke, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, depression, certain types of cancer and arthritis.
Exercising daily also increases your energy levels, activity fuels more activity. Starting your day with exercise can clear your mind, boost your energy and prepare you for the day ahead. If you want to ensure you stay focused and motivated to succeed, daily exercise could be the ticket.
You don’t need to put in a full hour of intense cardio everyday, but going for a long walk or attending a pilates class will give your mind clarity. It will make boost those positive vibes and increase your overall energy levels.
4. DRINK MORE WATER
Drinking more water is the easiest and cheapest way to boost your mental strength.
Physically, our bodies are 60% water. That’s why we need to ensure we drink enough to replace what we lose, and maintain the balance of bodily fluids. Water is needed to keep the bloodstream liquid enough to flow through blood vessels, help eliminate the byproducts of the body’s metabolism, regulate body temperature through sweating and to carry nutrients and oxygen to cells.
In terms of improving mental strength, drinking more water can increase energy levels to help you concentrate, think clearer and stay alert. Dehydration not only causes headaches and migraines, but also impacts brain function. This includes memory, reasoning ability, attention span, decision-making abilities and concentration. As the brain is composed of water, it can actually shrink when you’re dehydrated.
If you make these small changes, you will feel better for it. It will help you stay motivated, focused and driven so you can enjoy life to its full potential.