What is Mental Fitness?
In life we all experience setbacks.
It’s not what happens to us. It’s how we respond that sets the tone for who we are and what we will become.
A few years ago, I had a significant medical setback that left me on death’s doorstep. I could have easily packed it in and called it a Life. Instead, I chose a different route, which was a gift to me, propelling me to be more active and alive than ever.
Recently I redoubled my belief in getting better at everything I do. One of the results of this was breaking my personal best by deadlifting 260 pounds.
Mental Fitness has been instrumental in this success, and I now make it my Physical Fitness’ partner.
If I can do it at 78 years young, anyone can.
In this article, you’ll discover:
- What Mental Fitness is
- Why Mental Fitness is important
- What you need to develop Mental Fitness
What is Mental Fitness?
Mental Fitness is the X-Factor.
Mental Fitness is state of well-being and having a positive sense of how we feel, think, and act.
If you’re not physically fit, you feel physical stress as you climb a steep hill.
If you’re not mentally fit, you’ll feel mental stress, like anxiety, frustration, or unhappiness, as you handle work and personal challenges. World events can also impact your current state.
But when you’re mentally fit, you feel more confident, resilient, and energized. When setbacks occur, it’s less likely that sadness will progress to depression or worry to develop into anxiety.
We become physically fit when we have a personal fitness trainer, an app for daily support, friends to hold us accountable, and daily practice. The same is true for your mental health.
Developing Mental Fitness is about 20% insight and 80% mental muscle building. It takes practice—consistently.
Why is Mental Fitness Important?
In observing what is going on in the world around us, we might question our own attitude these days. Can we continue to remain optimistic or is the environment chipping away at our very soul and belief system?
Leaders are not immune to this milieu. We have emotions and feelings and sometimes it’s difficult to stay the course when we have many distractions in our periphery.
Now is the time we need Mental Fitness the most so we can get breakthrough results—even if everyone else is struggling.
Within six to eight weeks of training, results in MRI imaging show:
- Increased grey matter in the PQ (Positive Intelligence Quotient) brain region, home to your Sage (positive mental muscles)
- Decreased grey matter in the Survivor Brain region, home to your Saboteurs (adverse mental energies)
Improvements in these competencies lead to substantial results:
- Salespeople sell 37 percent more
- Project teams perform 31 percent better on key performance metrics
- Negotiators are more likely to gain concessions and close deals
- CEOs are more likely to lead happy teams who report their work climate to be conducive to high performance
What Do You Need to Develop Mental Fitness?
PQ (Positive Intelligence Quotient) is a synthesis of recent breakthroughs in neuroscience, cognitive and positive psychology, and performance science. It’s the measure of your Mental Fitness. And it’s the best predictor of how happy you are and how well you perform relative to your potential.
The good news is you can boost your PQ significantly with practice.
Like physical fitness, it requires dedicated time to practice these skills every day.
It also takes commitment and discipline.
Without these three indispensable ingredients, many a wheel will spin needlessly, and your Mental Fitness will decline over time.
Being Mentally Fit Can Help You When You Need It Most
For those readers who can remember back to the early 1970s, the US stock market, as measured by the Dow Jones Industrial index, declined from ~1020 to ~ 600 between December 1972 and September 1974. Lines for buying gasoline were blocks long and there was great concern whether we might have another depression.
When you are in the center of taxing times, and you don’t know how long it will last, it’s difficult to stay positive about the future.
And that’s when being mentally fit helps—a lot.