What are we referring to when we talk about “mental strength”? In what way is physical exercise related to our mind’s agility and resistance?
Curious as it may seem, the classic “mind-body” pairing is intimately related and is true. It is an aspect that we can’t overlook.
When we refer to mental strength, we are talking all about how one is able to apply to face adversity in day-to-day life.
It is also about knowing how to focus on an objective to achieve it, to develop suitable strategies that help us to achieve that goal and subsequent success.
On the other hand, those who neglect the health of their body will notice how many of the day-to-day skills associated with certain cognitive processes like attention, memory and even creativity will gradually reduce and weaken.
To understand this better, here’s a simple example. You’ve had a bad day, one of those days where everything has turned out wrong, where life itself seems to be off tune and to be progressing precisely against you.
You feel so overwhelmed that you decide to put on comfortable clothes and simply go out for a walk. You soon perceive that something changes in you, you feel lighter, your mind opens to new perspectives and your worries diminish.
Mind and body are closely linked, they are connected and they are a duo that we should look after and optimize.
In this article, we will explain 5 great ways that you can do this.
1. Walking is the best exercise to achieve adequate mental strength
We just talked about this: walking at an agile, constant and regular pace promotes surprising changes in our mind.
- There are many studies that support this fact: it’s enough to walk for less than half an hour to reduce multiple mental health problems, prevent depression and improve our quality of life.
- It’s not about tiring ourselves out or pushing ourselves. Simple regular and constant movement for half an hour gets our heart going and oxygenates the body and, especially, the brain.
- Walking relaxes tension and helps the brainwaves related to calmness to start working, and so helps us to reach a state of consciousness where we are much more receptive to everything around us.
2. Smiling, a great therapeutic exercise
It may surprise you and you might not fully believe it, but smiling is therapeutic, it is an inner strength that feeds us with powerful emotions and spreads positivity.
- Something that we sometimes forget is that the act of smiling is of great importance in our genetics. It is a kind of language that is passed down from generation to generation that holds something more than just a type of social and emotional communication.
- It is enough to smile for our brain to reward us with a whole stream of endorphins.
- It is like restarting ourselves, putting reality into perspective to connect with the present moment and the clearer side of things.
So, don’t hesitate to practice it daily. When you feel saturated, go to a mirror and smile. Observe yourself and perceive what happens inside you.
3. Deep breathing 3 times a day
On this blog, we’ve explained several times that “breathing well is life”.
- Stress makes us breathe quickly and unevenly so our brain stops receiving the oxygen it needs.
- Also, all situations of anxiety and stress generate cortisol, a hormone that in large quantities acts as a fierce enemy to our body and mind.
That’s why another sensational exercise that you should practice is deep breathing.
- Find three moments of the day for yourself. 15 minutes is enough.
- Inhale air as you count to 5 seconds. Hold the air in for 7 seconds and exhale for 8.
Repeat this several times and you’ll see what changes.
4. Morning stretches
Have you ever tried it? Another exercise that will help us to achieve adequate “mental strength” is learning to relax our body, giving it elasticity, relaxation, resistance…
To achieve this, it will do us good to get up a bit earlier and, little by little, without forcing ourselves, do some stretching exercises.
These focus on the lower back, hips, shoulders, and neck.
Surprised? For sure, but you should know that doing small resistance-based exercises is very therapeutic for a very concrete objective: reducing anxiety attacks.
Negative emotions like fear, apprehension, and worry are channeled very well by the simple exercise of lifting weights for 10 to 15 minutes a day.
This moderate-intensity resistance exercise will help us not only to achieve stronger muscles. But it will also channel better our anger, frustration, and anxiety…
With these exercises, don’t doubt that day by day you will find that you have more mental strength, better prepared to face the difficulties of daily life.