Building Your Mental Muscle Will Lead to Resilience
In order to establish a daily mindfulness practice, we should consistently practice so we can reap the benefits, but in reality, we often forget to do the training.
We have to be intentional about it. It is not enough to only practice the moment we feel stressed; we have to find a way to make it a habit, part of our daily routine. Only then can we hope to see the benefits in the long term. Why?
Because by practicing often, we are building our mental muscles the same way a bodybuilder bulk-up his muscles: Increasing the load/stress and lots of reps during exercising will cause the muscle fibers to grow.
Growing your mental muscle
Every time we engage in Mind-Body practices that are centering, such as savoring a moment of gratitude for 20 seconds or more, we will start developing new neuropathways. Repeating this exercise frequently will rewire your brain and build your mental power.
Repetitions play an essential role in your mental fitness – the more repeats – the better.
However, the challenge is that we don’t always follow through.
Suppose you want to build your mental muscle. In that case, the best way is to start small with any simple task that is part of your daily routine, which most people perform on autopilot mode. Start by having the intention and making a simple commitment of noticing the first minute of a task that you perform every day, paying extra attention to visual, auditory, or tactile details, and focusing on the sensations of that particular sense in your body.
For example, you can practice mindful eating, mindful walking, being present while washing your hands, etc.
It is a practical and effortless way to start a new habit, develop new neural pathways, and grow your mental muscle.
Alternatively, you can try having the intention of noticing the first minute of interacting with everyone you encounter.
Follow the recipe below:
Today, set the intention to pay attention during the first minute of interacting with everyone you encounter, noticing the visual, auditory, or tactile details during your interactions.
Pay close attention and focus on the sensations of the particular sense in your body. For example, if your interaction is in person or if you’re on video, you can tune into the color of the pupils, the hair, etc.
Or, when you shake hands, focus on the temperature and texture of their hands. Alternatively, focus on audio if they are on the phone- really hearing the nuances and changes in tone of voice, etc.
You will likely feel more present throughout the day and notice that your interactions’ quality has improved.
To your resilience,