It has been scientifically proved that anyone can develop grit, which can greatly increase one’s chances of success in life.
Highly successful people learn how to use this mental toughness to their advantage and harness mental strength to get through the most extreme of conditions.
Building mental strength is similar to building physical strength. Just as physical fitness helps our bodies stay strong, mental fitness helps us achieve and sustain good mental health.
Many South Africans are struggling to adjust to the new normal and maintain a healthy state of mind in the wake of the global pandemic.
Under Armour Ambassador, certified life coach and nutritionist and 2018 SA Bodybuilding Champion Zinhle “Fitness Junkie” Masango shares some insights on how to improve your mental strength.
Regular exercise can help boost your mood and self-esteem. Exercise also keeps the brain and your other vital organs healthy.
Feed your brain
The food you eat plays a huge role in keeping your brain healthy and strong. Fatty fish is at the top of the list. Fish like salmon, trout and sardines contain omega-3 fatty acids which help build your brain. Not getting enough omega-3 can lead to learning impairments and depression. Among the other foods that help strengthen your brain are nuts, blueberries, broccoli, dark chocolate and pumpkin seeds.
You can also "feed" your brain by reading. Reading as little as 6 minutes a day can improve your quality of sleep, reduce stress, and sharpen mental acuity.
Learn to take time to relax and rest
Take time to relax. You can go to a spa, take weekend away or simply sit in silence for some time to get "me time". A few minutes of relaxing can help you destress. Also make sure you get enough rest and sleep. Quality sleep is crucial for mental strength.
Meditation has many benefits for our mental health. The practice helps relieve levels of anxiety and depression, and improve attention, concentration and overall psychological well-being.
Learning to speak positively to yourself will help build confidence, self-esteem and mental strength. I always tell myself "you are amazing" , "you are beautiful", "you are unique". I share the affirmations with myself every day and always remember them when I am going through a difficult time.
Physical strength can get you to the start line. But mental strength will get you to the finish line.