It’s been scientifically proven that anyone can develop grit, which can greatly increase one’s chances of success in life.
Highly successful people learn how to use this mental toughness to their advantage and harness mental strength to get through the most extreme of conditions.
Building mental strength is similar to building physical strength. Just as physical fitness helps our bodies to stay strong, mental fitness helps us to achieve and sustain a state of good mental health.
Many South African are still struggling to adjust to the new normal and maintain a healthy state of mind in the wake of the global pandemic.
Under Armour Ambassador, Certified Life Coach and Nutritionist and 2018 SA Bodybuilding Champion Zinhle “Fitness Junkie” Masango shares some insights on how to improve your mental strength.
READ MORE | 5 minutes with Fitness Junkie Zee
Regular exercise can help boost your mood and self-esteem. Exercise also keeps the brain and your other vital organs healthy.
Feed your brain
Feeding your brain has two meanings:
- Eat a rain healthy diet: The food you eat play a huge role in keeping your brain healthy and strong. Fatty fish is at the top of the list. Fish like salmon, trout, sardines contains omega-3 fatty acids which help build your brain. Not getting enough omega-3’s can lead to learning impairments and depression. Other foods that help strengthen your brain are nuts, pumpkin seeds, blueberries, broccoli, and dark chocolate.
- You can also “feed” your brain by reading. Reading as little as 6 minutes per day can improve your quality of sleep, reduce stress, and sharpen mental acuity
Learn to take out time to relax and rest
Take time out to relax; you can go to the spa, weekend away or simply just sit in utter silence for some time to get some “me time”. A few minutes of relaxing can help you destress.
Also make sure you get enough rest and sleep. Quality sleep is crucial for mental strength.
Meditation has many benefits for our mental health. The practice helps relieve levels of anxiety and depression, and improve attention, concentration, and overall psychological well-being.
Learning to speak positively to yourself will help build confidence, self-esteem and mental strength. I always tell myself “you are amazing” , “you are beautiful”, “you are unique”. I share these affirmations with myself every day and always remember them when I am going through a difficult time.
Physical strength can get you to the start line. But mental strength will get you to the finish line!
Author: Pedro van Gaalen
When he’s not writing about sport or health and fitness, Pedro is probably out training for his next marathon or ultra-marathon. He’s worked as a fitness professional and as a marketing and comms expert. He now combines his passions in his role as managing editor at Fitness magazine.