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Mental Fitness Mindset


1. The Mental Fitness Mindset

At the core of Mental Fitness lies a mindset that focuses on improving our mental health with a good plan, the passing of time, and a little bit of effort.


2. The Mental Health Continuum

Many people believe that improving one's meantal health is impossible, not worth the trouble, or that it requires years of expensive therapy.

The truth is, almost anyone can apply some of the tools of mental fitness at least some of the time to better manage stress and to deal more skillfully with uncomfortable feelings.

While professional quidance can be useful for people experiencing extended periods of mental ill-health, you don't need permission or a perscription to safely start working on your mental fitness.

Rather than simply being 'well' - where we may assume we don't need to work on our mental health at all - or 'ill' - where we may feel stigma, judgement and a sense of despair, the Mental Health Continuum offers us a more motivating and nuanced approach to understanding and protecting out wellbeing.

Realising that our mental health can go down, but also up, is an empowering way to reimagine mental health as something that we can influence.

We move along the continuum - either left or right - depending on our genetic starting point, how we respond to what happens to us, and most importantly, by the things we think and do.

3. A Growth Mindset For Mental Health

Thankfully, we can build the skills of calmness and composure.

When times get tough, we can be confident that we will have knowledge, habits, and tools to handle setbacks in a way that voids spiralling into burnout, anxiety or depression.

Imagine how much more effectively you would be able to deal with lifes curveballs when your starting point is a 7 or 8 on the continuum, instead of a 3 or 4.

To build our composure, we need to start with Mental Fitness mindset, or what psychologist Carol Dweck calls a "growth mindset".

Building our confidence doesn't always come easily or progress in a straight line. Life gets in the way. We try things that don't work at first, or we encounter unexpected challenges.

When we fall short of a new years resolution or fall in pursuit of a goal, it can be all too easy to decide that a new skill is too hard, not worth it, or 'not for me'.

With a growth mindset means that we believe that our abilities and skills can be delveloped with effort, rather than being unchangeable personal traits. Ome setback isn't the end of the world, and doesn't reflect on our capacity to achieve future or unrelated goals.

Why is this importnat? Because when we have a fixed mindset, we often assume that we are personally at fault or somehow inadequate.

People who embody a growth mindset speak to themselves differently about failure and adversity. Instead of saying: "I can't do this" they say "I just haven't figured this out yet".

The word yet is vital for maintaining the belief that we can make progress, if only we keep going. With a growth mindset, "the problem isn't me, it's my approach, and I can always change my approach.


The Tools Of Mental Fitness

Sometimes, the tools we commenly use to cope with setbacks or stress don't promote calmness and composure. We overeat, gamble, drink to much, or isolate ourselves from others. We are in survival mode.

To start thriving instead of surviving, we need to turn our attention towards more sustainable and meaningful forms of recovery, tools that help us feel better, while also strengthening our composure for the future.

This website Toolkit is a collection of science's most practical, preventative and proactive mental health and resilience skills.

Understand and apply these skills regularly, and you will have more options for how to navigate the pressure and obstacles you face.

Of course, not every skill from this toolkit will suit you. Applying some tools can be more challenging than others. Some require new perspectives, attitudes or even expert guidance.

Experiment with ehat works for you and maintain an open mind as the future unfolds.

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