Physical fitness is something that everyone is familiar with and this time of the year, many of us make plans for improving our physical fitness- joining the gym, running, picking up a sport and so on. But how about our Mental Fitness? How can we become more resilient to changes in life and stay grounded without succumbing to pressures or stress? Well, the good news is that by using certain principles and putting these into practice one can improve the way one tackles and adapts to change positively, thus being more resilient.
There are times, situations and people in life that do not conform to ones personal expectations. Instead of getting upset with these, learn to accept these as they are without blaming, shaming or getting angry. Don’t blame even yourself and learn to ‘let go’.
Once you have ‘let go’ and accepted things, situations and people as they are, you can begin being ‘responsible’. I picked up from a book recently that the word ‘responsibility’ literally means our ability to respond creatively. Our mental fitness depends on our ability to respond rather than ‘react’ because reaction is emotionally charged whereas ‘response’ is something you do after contextualising the event in question.
3. Emotional Awareness
Being in touch with your emotions can often help in regulating emotional impulses and help in ‘responding’ rather than ‘reacting’. So ask yourself a simple question throughout the day- ‘What am I feeling’ and express that or record it in a journal. Keeping a record of your emotions and your behaviours associated with situations, times and people can be a good way to know about yourself. It then helps in working towards developing more healthy ways to express, respond and develop positive behaviours.
4. Tackling Fear
Lots of things that are left undone are as a result of our past conditioning- how we were brought up, how we perceived things, situations and people as we grew up, who our role models were and what did we learn about ‘fear’ during developmental years. Fortunately, being humans, we never stop developing and we can learn to tackle ‘fear’ as well. If ‘fear’ is a normal response to a valid threat, then that is a different issue but if it is a perceived fear due to past conditioning and is stopping you from progressing in your life, careers or decisions, then elaboration of the word may help. You have to decide whether you go with ‘FEAR- Face Everything And Run or Face Everything And Rise. Part of self- development and mental resilience lies in our ability to do the latter and tackle our fears.
5. Being Tigger
Winnie the Pooh cartoon series is lovely to watch. One of my favourite characters is ‘Tigger’- he is full of energy, always optimistic, bouncing with positive attitude and remains unfettered in his ways no matter what happens. But one can learn a lot from that character- change will always be constant, there will be times when things don’t go our way, we may meet failures but what matters is whether we have a ‘Tigger’ within us or not i.e. can we bounce back from these times? Thinking of ‘being tigger’ can be a helpful way to remain positive and optimistic.