Not a long post, but one to indicate that my work on mental fitness is still happening.
In fact, I just recently ran a couple of 90 minute Mental Fitness Workshops for students at Flinders.
These workshops provide an introduction to my Mental Fitness model and explain how to apply it in everyday life.
At the core of the model is the idea of a Mental Fitness Workout, drawing an obvious comparison with the physical workouts used to build physical fitness.
‘Workouts’ are kinda a strange beast. If you think about it, to get stronger, we expend a significant amount of energy that in the short-term can leave us feeling weaker and with less energy. However, as we recover from the workout, our body improves.
I think the same holds true when it comes to Mental Fitness Workouts.
Take therapy as an example. At the end of a therapy session it is common to feel quite mentally and emotionally exhausted. However in the following days, as we process the content of the session, our emotional and mental health shifts a bit, usually in a positive direction. Repeat this process and significant growth is possible.
So in the workshop, I outline 6 different types of mental fitness workouts:
•R = Repeatedly reflect on how your life is now, your strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes, successes and failures (where I am now, where I have been) •
•I = Imagine your ideal life and self (where I want to be) •
•P = Build and nurture a network of people who support you to be the best version of yourself that you can and for whom you reciprocate that support (the people in my life) •
•P = Be deliberate in identifying and solving the main problems in your life, from the small daily ones to the bigger life-defining ones (the barriers and obstacles I need to overcome) •
•E = Experiment with new ways of thinking and behaving, trying new things, having new experiences (a way to practice change and trigger growth) •
•D = Develop daily and weekly habits and routines that move you closer to your ideal life and self (the small steps that get me to my bigger goals)
At any given point in time, you can make a decision to engage in a mental fitness workout.
It may be as simple as sending a friend a message of gratitude (people) or establishing a habit of 5 deep breaths on the hour (daily habits).
At the core however is the idea that you will expend mental energy in a specific way in order to gain psychological benefits down the track.
With the workshop and model in place, I can now return to trying to write my book chapters.
You can access a copy of the workshop here: https://1drv.ms/b/s!ApveYJPFH6VTiZd0T5aMfAfg1Sy9gw?e=3nA2AT
You can access a copy of the workshop handout here: https://1drv.ms/b/s!ApveYJPFH6VTiZdzw5cwZgo_YhP2fw?e=qM7ady