Updated: Jan 31, 2020
One of the smartest things I have done all of my adult life is exercise. The funny thing is, I'm not an "exercise freak." I've walked, jogged, lifted weights, got really crazy and did P90X twice but for the most part, I just try to get my 12,000 steps in each day.
The Mayo Clinic asks a great question: "Want to feel better, have more energy and even add years to your life? Just exercise."
Benefits of regular exercise are hard to ignore. Everyone benefits from exercise. However, today I want to talk about mental exercise.
As a child, one of my chores up to my late teens was to take out the trash. Today, I still take out the trash. However, I want to talk about a different kind of trash...head trash.
What is Head Trash?
Head trash is negative thoughts and beliefs you may have about your abilities or yourself. It affects what you do and how you do it. The problem with head trash is that those negative thoughts become beliefs and can lead to negative feelings and then lead to negative behaviors. Head trash is the stuff that gets caught-up in our head. Here are some examples of head trash:
Thinking to yourself...
People don't like me.
I probably won't amount to much in life.
I'm too old or I'm too young.
I take trash to my garage daily. Daily, I take out the head trash.
I have found that mental strength is built through small, daily victories. For me, it’s the small individual choices I make daily that build my “mental strength” muscles. We all want this kind of strength, but we can’t wish our way to it. If you want it, you have to do something about it. Take the head trash out.
I value physical health and I deeply value mental health.
I want you to understand something, it's extremely important to embrace the fact that the happiness of your life depends on the quality of your daily decisions.
5 Daily Challenges to Improve Your Mental Strength
1. The roads of life we travel down can seem pretty darn rough and bumpy. When this happens, challenge yourself to accept that there’s absolutely nothing about your present circumstances that prevents you from making progress. It's very okay to make small, bit by bit progress.
2. From time to time, I've found myself in a situation that there seems to be little hope. I've got some advice, challenge yourself to find some. Hope is abundant just waiting for you to discover it!
3. I've noticed something about life. Often, I don't get what I want in certain situations. When I don’t get what I want, I challenge myself to appreciate that there are lots of people in this world who will never have what I have right now. Gratitude can truly be a superpower! Challenge yourself to be grateful.
4. Problems in life are just part of life. When it seems like problems are numerous, challenge yourself to face problems but here is another superpower...POSITIVITY! Take on life's problems in a positive manner.
5. Life can get out of control. That's when you absolutely can’t control what’s happening to you. Well, challenge yourself to control the way you respond to what’s happening—in your response is your power.
Together, let's embrace these challenges in the days ahead?
Which challenge resonates the most right now?