Everyone knows that exercise is good for you. The real question is whether you enjoy it or not. When you like something, doing it regularly is easier. This creates a positive cycle of reinforcement, especially when you look in the mirror and see the great results of your work. All of that effort suddenly seems more rewarding because you remember why you’re doing it.
Your muscles aren’t the only thing that needs regular exercise to stay in shape. Mental health follows virtually the same pattern. Good routines can have a positive effect on every aspect of mental health, from your emotions and energy levels to your mental focus and creativity. Like exercise, these habits require you to invest time, but the results are worth it.
Have you ever noticed that it’s easier to keep going physically when you’re working toward a specific goal? For example, if you’re following an exercise routine, you probably decide ahead of time exactly how many repetitions you’re going to do. Goals help motivate you.
When you start feeling fatigued after lifting that weight 10 times, you remember that your set goal is 12 reps. That motivates you to push a little harder and reach the number 12. Endurance programs such as 75 Hard revolve around this principle of mental toughness and physical benefits. Put simply, your body follows your mind.
Athletes do the same thing. It’s why people wear fitness watches that track their totals. It’s why you set a distance goal at the gym or when jogging. Even though your legs start to feel tired, you remember that you’re almost there, and it gives you the stamina to do what you need to do.
Goals help you mentally, too. If you’re working on an important project, it’s common to get fatigued mentally after a while. Goals can give you the strength to push yourself because you remember it’s just a little further to the finish line.
Some people think that sleep is a waste of time. These business professionals never really leave the office behind. They work nine to five at their company and use up mental bandwidth all night long, too, thinking about clients and problems. Like muscles, your brain can’t keep up with constant fatigue. To build strength, you need time to recuperate and rebuild.
For your brain, sleep is that time. It gives your mind time to process the things you learn. It gives you a temporary break from stress and helps you wake up feeling refreshed.
The ironic thing is that sleeping sufficiently actually helps you be more productive, not less. Getting enough rest improves your mind’s abilities, so solutions to problems just seem to appear instead of requiring you to concentrate for ages. A clear head is a better head for decision-making.
Going to bed early isn’t the only thing you need to do for your brain. It’s also important to get high-quality sleep. Your surroundings may not always help, but you should try to have as peaceful an environment as possible. Cool temps are better for staying asleep all night long. Also, try to avoid drinking coffee after 4 or 5 p.m.
Eat for Your Mind
Junk food has the same effect on your brain as your muscles. It’s not good for your body, and it’s not good for your mind, either. The reason is that you’re getting empty calories that don’t have any nutritional benefits. That’s like trying to fill up your car’s gas tank with air instead of gasoline. You’re not going to get far that way.
Many people aren’t aware that your brain has huge energy and nutritional needs. Once you think about everything it does, it’s not that surprising that your brain is hungry all the time. Prioritize good foods, such as fresh fish with omega-3 fatty acids, high-protein foods such as yogurt and nuts, and fruit with lots of antioxidants, including bananas and berries.