Over the last 18 months, mental fitness has been top of the priority list for many businesses. Rightly so. It has been a beyond challenging time for so many people and we have certainly been called to support individuals and organisations alike with the huge range of issues arising from a mental health perspective.
We prefer to refer to this concept as “mental fitness”, because we know that the greatest impact we have is on actually creating a fit state of mind that we work on regularly, just like our physical body. If we went into a challenging time (like Covid) with low energy or a less than optimal state of mind, then we would have found it much harder to manage the state of affairs that followed, than say, someone who had been consciously working on the fitness of their mindset.
The concept of resilience isn’t about never feeling strain or exhaustion, but rather it’s about our ability to bounce back when things are challenging. If we have taken time to work on our state of mind then this bounce back is much easier to achieve.
So how do we work on our mindset?
- One of the easiest starting points is breath. While it sounds incredibly simple, focusing on our breath gives our mind a focus point and starts to connect us with our body. This means we become aware of how we feel in different parts of our body and then we can address anything that’s not feeling aligned. Breath work also offers us the ability to reduce our stress levels and drastically affect our mood.
- Some people move to meditation from breath work, which can often just be described as a more focused way of being and breathing. With practice, meditation allows us to release negative thoughts and feel less connected to things that hold us back. It can help us grow our energy and find calm in challenging times.
- Finally, exercise is really amazing for our mindset. Finding a way to get your heart pumping on a regular basis is proven to be one of the best ways to take care of your mindset, reduce your stress levels and build energy.
One of the challenges in working with a whole organisation on mental fitness is the range of awareness in this space. Some people have been aware of and working on their mindset quite naturally for years, while for others, even the idea of taking conscious breaths is a game-changer when they start implementing it.
As we, as a society, grow more conscious of the importance of our mental state, the spectrum of impact grows too. Our encouragement to clients offering support to their wider organisations, is to acknowledge that this spectrum exists and to offer ideas that can support people along the various stages that they are at.
Sometimes it is the industry that is generally lower down the spectrum and the industry norms have created barriers to working on these mental fitness ideas. We can all benefit from even the most minor of practices so introducing reminders to the team is often the best place to start.
Mental fitness is a practice. Understanding where you are on your journey of creating a fit and ready mind is fundamental to being able to create deeper resilience for yourself and to support those around you with their own awareness and prepared