Sometimes mental fitness is associated with physical fitness. This is based along the theory that a strong body leads to a strong mind. Increase in physical activity releases oxygen to the brain which makes it work more efficiently. Physical activity also releases endorphins to the brain which is a chemical which produces a “feel-good” experience. However it is also possible to train the mental side without intensive bouts of physical activity.
Meditation is a practice that started in the Far East but has transferred itself to the West and trains the brain to allow peaceful thoughts. It clears the mind of stress and allows the person to relax, and has been used on many occasions to allow people to sleep. Meditation is associated with many Religious groups. Leaving time aside for people to either pray or simply to contemplate the use of a numbers of practices such as slowing the breathing down and chanting has resulted in the clearing of the mind. Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Sikhs, and even Christians have set aside time for meditation and the training of the brain. There are variations from group to group with some even specializing in sitting positions ranging from kneeling to sitting.
Meditation has now made its way into the modern work place. Many companies in The States have introduced mindfulness programs that are available to their employees. It has been found that in the country that a quarter of all US employees are undertaking some type of program to reduce stress. Google in 2007 introduced the “search inside yourself” program which is only one of the dozen courses that are available to its employees. General Mills are another company that has followed suit and as well as using meditation they have also used yoga to train the mind.
Meditation plays a huge role in the teaching of Yoga. The clearing of the mind is seen as integral so that the body can adapt to extending into certain poses. The release of stress throughout the body results in greater flexibility and once this has been achieved the link between the two works both ways. The training of the mind is often associated with certain activities. Reading books and completing puzzles is a great way to continuously train the mind. Inactivity has the same negative responses as when the physical side of the body suffers as a result of extended periods of sedentary activity.
Certain food types are associated with giving a strong mind set. The eating of fresh fruits and vegetables gives a feeling of wellness to the consumer. The eating of sugary foods has a negative side. The initial effect is a high as the sugar is released quickly into the bloodstream, but this is often followed by an extended period of feeling tired and low. There are times when an individual does require medical help. There has been an increased understanding of mental health issues in recent years. Depression is causing more and more absences from the work place and the use of psychiatrist doctors to help people recover is happening more regularly. In the States it has been found that 16% of all adults take some form of psychiatric drug. There are many activities that can promote mental well-being as it is an important and relevant issue in today’s society.