Although different aspects of your being operate independently, they're still connected. At some point, they come together to create the best being possible. That explains why your physical and mental states are co-related. Balance in one area is easily transferred to another.
Working as a first responder where life-saving decisions have to be made quickly, caring for individuals in crisis, and exposure to trauma puts a strain on your mental processes. Have you been feeling stressed out and having difficulty making those quick decisions or are you having difficulty even making simple decisions? Does your mind feel foggy? Are there some days where you feel like you are trying to wade through a mud pit? You may be in need of some physical fitness activity to help clear the cobwebs and to reduce your stress hormones. Mental toughness can be difficult to acquire, but it's much easier if you focus on achieving physical fitness first.
By ensuring your body is strong, challenged, and fully tuned, you can encourage mental toughness and realize awesome physical achievements.
Try these strategies to strengthen both your mental and physical fitness:
1. Make your workouts uncomfortable. It's important to challenge yourself. Instead of doing what you know you can, test your limits. Keep changing the game so you build determination.
· Develop an indomitable spirit by jogging outdoors during winter instead of on the treadmill. It's easy and comfortable to use the treadmill. Running outside in cold climates tests your limits. It also allows you to feel confident in your abilities when you succeed. If you don't live in a colder climate, or even if you do, try a HIIT workout. HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training, which involves a short workout and quick bursts of energy with quick resting periods.
· Fitness challenges help you transfer that confidence and determination to other parts of your life. Uncomfortable life situations can really take a toll. But you've already overcome fitness challenges. Now, you can use those victories to equip you with coping mechanisms for mentally challenging situations.
2. Participate in physical competitions. Competitions are usually intimidating, especially if you have a formidable opponent. But as you participate in more competitions, your self-esteem develops at the same time.
· Invite someone who is better at a challenge than you to a contest. Having that person as an opponent helps you readily identify your shortcomings and strengthen your skills.
· As you compete, you come to terms with your abilities. And although you may be less impressive than your opponent, you can truly develop an appreciation for the level you've reached.
· In all your competitions, avoid allowing pride to push you beyond your limits. First responders are notorious Type-A personalities that tend to love competing and winning at all costs. You probably want to prove that you're solid competition. But avoid doing so at risk of hurting yourself physically.
3. Take part in speed training. You may have other strong suits that don’t include being fast on your feet. But you'd be surprised how much speed training can help you mentally. Practicing sprints and trying to shorten reaction time can help you work more efficiently.
· When you develop a quick reaction time, it's easier for you to make good decisions under pressure.
· Speed training also helps you to work quickly and accurately.It's great if you can speed through tasks. But it's even better if your accuracy level is always high. Develop an effective combination through speed training.
Take the time today to acknowledge the connection between your mind and body. They support each other on a day to day basis. Be sure your mind functions optimally by keeping your body in tune. Your professional life and personal life will both benefit.