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The difference between Mental Fitness and Mental Health

We have mental fitness, and physical fitness.

We are getting better at talking about mental health and mental illnesses. There are lots of mental health days/months that we celebrate and businesses are seemingly embracing these days too. However, the way we are looking at mental health, without discussing the root cause, is like recognizing a heart attack without acknowledging if there was anything we could have done to prevent it.

If we learnt, from an early age, to be more self-aware, resilient, how to communicate our thoughts and feelings with ease, (and given the space to do this) and understood how our brain worked we’d have more chance of understanding our mental health and perhaps wouldn't need as much medical intervention. This is Mental Fitness.

But we are not taught these things.

Think of the body as the hardware of a computer and our minds the software. We know that we need to add anti-virus software, check the a firewall etc... - otherwise viruses creep in and slowly clog up our system which can eventually stop the hardware working.

See where I'm going?

If we don’t acknowledge and understand the 'viruses' or the 'stuff' that goes on in our minds, eventually this will have a detrimental effect on our bodies.

So, how do we notice these viruses? We look at how our minds work, just as we studied human biology in school, which taught us how our bodies worked, we do this for our minds.

What do I mean?

Well, you study yourself, how you think, why you think the way you do and ask does it serve you? What's stopping you doing the things you'd like to do? What do you say to yourself that stops you?

Then you look at why.

What happened in the past that led you to believe you can’t take that next step, achieve that goal? Did someone say something to you? Did something happen? What are you telling yourself?

Then we change the narrative. Because – and here’s the reveal – you are NOT your thoughts!

Your thoughts are just a jumble of stuff that has happened to you that your brain has interpreted in its own way, that is unique to you and your experiences. It then tells you it’s the truth because – and here’s the catch – the brain is trying to keep you safe. Always. However, because the brain has only got your own experiences to go on it tries to prevent you from doing new stuff - because it's job is to keep you safe. Always.

So, why don’t we know this?

Because we don't talk about it and we ignore our mental fitness.

To find out more about how you can become mentally fit – get in touch.

Why the picture? I thought it was pretty arty, I took it at Thornham, Norfolk!

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