Fitness mental: the missing link to wellness?


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Recently, we experienced another tragic event: a mass stabbing at a Pittsburg-area highschool. only one week prior it had been yet one more mass shooting at Fort Hood. And before that an extended line of devastating and preventable tragedies of the type that are seemingly becoming more common by the day. The naval shipyard, Aurora, Newtown, Virginia Tech, Columbine: once names that simply delivered to mind placid locations across our great nation that, sadly now, conjure devastating memories of unspeakable heartbreak.
In the midst of all of this, a national dialogue has again begun to emerge. It’s one that, given the questionable mental stability of an excellent many of the shooters in these events, involves discussions revolving around our nation’s attitudes and policies regarding the psychological state.
~ Are we doing enough to treat the mentally ill?
~ How can we better screen people for mental illness?
~ How can we keep guns out of the hands of these with histories of mental instability?
And so on…
But here’s an issue I’ve yet to hear: “What can we do to stop mental disease, to start with?”
Seems logical. And truthfully, if we were handling a plague of flu, obesity, or another physical malady, prevention would be at the highest of this list. But strangely, our culture’s attitudes and habits about psychological state differ significantly from those toward physical health.
Consider this.
In the realm of the physical, it’s universally recognized (albeit not always practiced), that if you would like a healthy body, you’ve to try to preventative maintenance: brush your teeth, eat reasonably healthy food, exercise, get enough rest. Day during and outing we engage in a host of chores designed to assist enhance the well-being and longevity of our physical selves.
In other words, we understand that fitness may be a precursor to physical health. Yet, in matters about our mental and emotional selves, we discover a special story.
Developing habits to nourish and exercise our mental and emotional selves isn’t something regularly considered by most Americans. On the contrary, most of our effort aimed toward getting to our mental and emotional needs are more about coddling than fitness. Feeling stressed? Grab a beer with friends. Did sadness get you down? Go see the newest blockbuster movie. Anxious about work? How a few rounds of golf?
Rather than increasing our brain, we medicate ourselves. We engage in activities to form us feel better within the short run, but without really addressing the basic problem which revolves around an insufficient ability to soak up and deal with life’s difficulties. It’s like addressing your weight gain by removing all the mirrors within the house. Sure it’s going to cause you to temporarily feel better, but what does it do to unravel the problem?
The truth is it’s an approach that each one too often produces what can only be described as free-range, feral minds.
Mental Fitness Defined
To be clear, during this context Mental Fitness doesn’t ask the event of data or maybe mental acuity. this is often a crucial point. Many of the mental activities we undertake to develop our minds have little or no to try to to with Mental Fitness, as mentioned here. samples of activities that do not dramatically increase our Mental Fitness levels include:
~ Digesting data as a part of the training process
~ Exercising one’s cognitive facility to form the mind more nimble
~ Participating in activities that soothe and nurture the agitated mind and emotions
This is to not say that these activities aren’t worthy and valuable, for they’re vital in our development as a productive and happy citizenry. Even so, for the foremost part, they’re not helping to extend our ability to synthesize a comparatively ease-filled experience within the most challenging of circumstances. And cultivating that ease-filled experience is that the heart of Mental Fitness.
The key to understanding Mental Fitness is the notion of capacity. Mental Fitness is the measure of one’s capacity to weather life’s challenges without being thrown unduly off balance. it is the capacity to face up to a layoff, in touch a health diagnosis, or to endure a financial challenge with grace, élan, and a way of confident calm.
We all know people like this, who never seem to be ruffled. A layoff? No problem. IRS audit? Fine. A traffic accident? No biggie. While everyone around them is shipped into tailspins, these folks stay calm, cool, and picked up regardless of what life throws at them. So what’s it about these folks that makes them so well-equipped to cope artfully with life’s challenges?
You guessed it: they need A level of Mental Fitness that permits them to artfully last out such things. The greater your Mental Fitness level, the greater your mental and emotional capacity, and therefore the greater your capacity for living happily-despite the curve balls life throws your way.
This immunity to being buffeted by life’s ups and downs seems to be more naturally developed in some people than others. And it’s true, some people seem to change state with an aptitude to artfully weather life’s challenges-that is to mention, they’re endowed with a better than average Mental Fitness level. But-and this is often crucial-this in no way is to mention that one’s Mental Fitness level is fixed.
Again, we will take clues from the physical realm. For an equivalent is true of our innate fitness levels. a number of us are natural-born athletes, others are anything but. albeit we humans are available shapes and sizes and physical abilities, regardless of what one’s a natural level of fitness are, we ALL can enjoy exercising our physical selves-and improve our fitness and live healthier, happier lives.
And so it goes with Mental Fitness.
This means that we aren’t victims of our natural level of mental fitness, nor our circumstances. Remember, the greater our Mental Fitness, the better we will remain undisturbed by the inevitable difficulties that life throws our way. So it paves the way for more happiness and contentment-in good times and bad.
And even as importantly, developing ourselves during this regard can function as a crucial component within the health of our communities. fitness aids to debar physical illness. Mental Fitness aids to debar mental disease. it is a simple means to reinforce the well-being folks all.
With this understanding, the matter becomes one among increasing our Mental Fitness – our capacity to stay mentally and emotionally undisturbed in additional and varied circumstances, especially in situations that have historically thrown us off balance.
How do I increase my Mental Fitness?
So, this all begs the question: “How can we increase our Mental Fitness level?” Surprisingly, it’s more simple and easy than you would possibly think, and truly isn’t all that different from the way we build more physical fitness!
Think about it. to create our physical capacity, for instance, your capacity to lift the load, you physically challenge yourself. To lift more weight, you would like to lift more weight. Strength builds as you deliberately lift just a touch more weight than you’re comfortable with. If you’ll easily lift 80 pounds, lift 85; once you’ll lift 85 easily, move up to 90; then on. You’re expanding your capacity for weight lifting by always lifting just a touch quite is comfortable and by staying with the burn.
The same principle applies when you’re working to expand your mental and emotional capacity. Here, too, the invitation remains the same: do a touch quite is comfortable and stick with the burn. except for the expansion of our mental and emotional capacity, instead of needing physical weight to supply the resistance needed for growth, we’d like difficulty or challenge.
Here’s the thing: life’s challenges, those that typically throw us into a tizzy, are for our Mental Fitness just like the weight is to our fitness. they’re challenges which will be wont to increase our capacity to calmly weather life’s challenges-but as long as we see the opportunities for what they’re.
I confess. there’s far more nuance to effectively increasing our Mental Fitness levels than is presented during this simplistic explanation. Nevertheless, the premise remains sound. And this I do know from experience.
You see, helping people cultivate optimum mental and emotional fitness is my life’s work. Over the years I’ve seen thousands upon thousands of individuals forge lives of great equanimity and fulfillment even amidst torrents of disappointment and challenges. My chosen tools are drawn from the traditional wisdom of yoga (tapping the lesser-known mental and emotional aspects of the practice beyond mere yoga postures and breath), but that’s to not say these are the sole tools which will be wont to this end.
Is this orientation toward Mental Fitness a silver bullet? Will it end mental disease and completely debar future killings and other such tragedies? Not by an extended shot. the reality is that Mental Fitness can’t completely eradicate mental disease any longer than fitness can end physical illness.
We will always need treatment modalities, facilities, and trained professionals to deal with the requirements of these who have slid into a mental disease. even as we do for those that are physically ill.
But if we could take steps to scale back the incidence of such illness even 5 or 10 or 20 percent, wouldn’t it’s worth it?
The invitation here is to seem at the tremendous impact that forging greater fitness has had on reducing physical illness. then orient toward employing those self-same principles as a way of accelerating our Mental Fitness to assist reduce the incidence of mental disease also.
While the true impact of such a movement is uncertain, it seems clear from where I sit that we owe it to the victims and families of those senseless tragedies to a minimum of provides it a try.
Eric Walrabenstein is that the founding father of Yoga Pura and is one among the foremost sought-after authorities on the appliance of yogic technology for self-healing and empowerment within the nation. As an author, speaker, and master teacher of mind/body health, E is legendary for creating yoga’s ancient wisdom practical and relevant for people from all walks of life.

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