The official launch of Let’s Get Mentally Fit was about a year ago. As a matter of fact, we will be celebrating our 1 year anniversary on October 18, 2015. During this time, I’ve had a chance to speak with many people about mental fitness; their belief about what mental fitness is; their belief about what it takes to get/stay mentally fit and their frustration over their inability to stay mentally fit. Many of them, after a little bit of additional information, are clear about what mental fitness is. However, just as many are confused the latter two.
Many think that attaining a mentally fit state of mind is as simple as popping a pill, reading an inspirational Facebook post, listening to a song, going to therapy once or hitting the gym. The fact is, the process of getting and staying mentally fit could entail (depending on the person) all of those things. However, we must consider these as lifestyle changes instead of just one hit wonders.
I’m often asked, “What DID you do to stay mentally fit?” My response is always the same, “I’m still DOING it!” I have a mental fitness plan; a guide that I follow to make sure I’m designing my life in a way that supports my ability to be MY best self. I don’t deviate from my plan too often because I know it increases my chances of feeling anxious and overwhelmed. People are often shocked by this because they want an easy answer. They want to hear that I took a pill, did some hocus pocus and voila, everything was all better. This is so not the case. The fact is, eating healthy, surrounding myself with people who bring the best out of me, prayer, devotion, exercise, therapy, doing something to help others, reading positive statements, reciting positive affirmations, balancing life/work and scheduling time to watch something completely mindless and entertaining are all part of my daily mental fitness plan. When will I stop? As our campaign psychiatrist has said, “the only time you should stop is when you’re dead!”
Mental fitness is no different than physical fitness and if we view it from that vantage point, it will make more sense. No one goes to the gym one time and expects to look like Serena Williams or DeWayne “The Rock” Johnson. In order to effectively manage high blood pressure, people don’t just take a pill one time and then pray that it goes away. People with diabetes don’t take insulin once and then forget about it. No, in order to achieve a fit body or effectively manage high blood pressure or diabetes, you must make LIFESTYLE changes. Maintaining a mentally fit life is absolutely no different. You must think about what you need to feel like your best self and build your life around it. The hardest part is getting the courage to actually do it. Today, I want you to actually do it; take time to think about what you need in order to be your best self and make a mental fitness plan to get and stay there. You can do it!