Mental Fitness – Gareth’s pet topic

 

I first mentioned ‘mental fitness’ back on this blog in April 2018. I went on to write a couple of posts about my burgeoning understanding of the concept: domains of mental fitness, mental fitness techniques etc.

In August 2018, I then announced that we were developing a Mental Fitness Course.

That course ended up as a set of 18 ‘lessons’ delivered via blog posts. They are indexed below. They were my first attempt to grapple with the concept of mental fitness.

With that initial process completed, I turned my hand to a new Mental Fitness project. The goal was to create a Mental Fitness Workbook – a more detailed description of mental fitness and how to build it that students could work through in their own time. I got 7 chapters into that process (see below) before realising I still had some work to do on clarifying how to teach the core mental fitness building process.

That led me to develop the Mental Fitness Workshop, which is a 90 minute workshop that contains my most up-to-date thoughts on the importance of mental fitness and how to build it. If you are looking to learn more about mental fitness, I recommend signing up for one of those workshops. You can also see these two relatively recent blog posts on mental fitness workouts and mental training exemplars.

There is variation between these resources on how I describe and approach the topic of mental fitness. This is probably confusing to readers, but reflects that I have been developing the mental fitness model on the fly and my thoughts on the topic are developing rapidly.

Thus I recommend, if the topic is of interest to you, starting with the workshop. It is the most up-to-date description of my understanding of mental fitness. 

 

Mental Fitness Workshop

Just a quick note to let you know that I am running two after-hours Mental Fitness Workshops (online via Collaborate) in May. Details of workshop below. Hope to see you online!

 

You can get tickets via Eventbrite

May 5th – 6.30pm to 8.00pm – https://www.eventbrite.com/e/an-introduction-to-mental-fitness-tickets-147700633571

May 12th – 6.30pm to 8.00pm – https://www.eventbrite.com/e/an-introduction-to-mental-fitness-tickets-147701877291

 

Workshop Details

What is it?

A 90-minute workshop with me (Dr Gareth Furber from Health, Counselling and Disability Services) in which I will give you a framework for thinking about how to maintain, improve or repair your mental health. 

 

Who is it for?

Anyone who is interested in improving or protecting their mental health. 

Anyone working on their physical fitness who’d like to know how similar principles apply to mental fitness.

Anyone interested in how to train the mind. 

Anyone working in a high pressure or high stress setting and wants tools for understanding how to be more resilient.

Anyone in a helping profession that wants a model not only for their own mental health but to assist others in theirs.

 

What I think you’ll get out of it

A modern definition of mental health and mental fitness.

An understanding of mental fitness and how people go about building it. 

An understanding of why it might be important for you to build mental fitness.

An understanding of what else might be required in one’s life if they are training their mind. 

An experience of different mental fitness ‘workouts’.

An appreciation of the fact that mental fitness can be built without necessarily investing a huge amount of time or effort. 

 

What is involved in the session?

We’ve packed a lot of content into the 90 minutes, so expect it to be fast-paced.

The workshops will be delivered online via Collaborate. 

There are individual reflection exercises throughout the workshop that you’ll be invited to do and you’ll be provided a worksheet to assist with this. Some sharing of your experiences will also be possible during the session (in the group chat).  

 

Can you get Horizon points?

Yep – 1.5 (note that Horizon is using a new point scheme, so that is why the points are lower than previous) 

 

Mental Fitness Workbook

There are only 7 chapters of the workbook written at the moment, but new ones should be added soon (fingers crossed).

Published content is outlined below:

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 – Introduction

Chapter 2 – What is mental fitness? Self-improvement as a type of mental fitness training

Chapter 3 – Is this workbook evidence-based?

Chapter 4 – The 7P’s of Self Improvement

Chapter 5 – Purpose

Chapter 6 – Psychological and Physical Capacities

Chapter 7 – Principles of self-improvement

 

Original Blog Lessons (March to September 2019)

These lessons were my first attempt to wrap my head around the mental fitness concept.

Lesson 1 – A welcome to the course

Lesson 2 – Self-improvement and why we should pursue it deliberately

Lesson 3 – Self-improvement – why pursue it all? – lessons from trying to do more physical activity

Lesson 4 – Identity, values and self-improvement

Lesson 5 – Psychological needs and self-improvement

Lesson 6 – Why the world needs you to self-improve

Lesson 7 – What is mental fitness?

Lesson 8 – Components of mental fitness

Lesson 9 – Examples of mental fitness in everyday life

Lesson 10 – Let’s start building mental fitness – acquiring knowledge

Lesson 11 – From knowledge to goals

Lesson 12 – From knowledge to skills

Lesson 13 – Self-experimentation

Lesson 14 – Habits

Lesson 15 – Let’s summarise. You could start with this lesson if you wanted as it is a concise summary of the previous lessons.

Lesson 16 – Lets practice building mental fitness

Lesson 17 – Building mental fitness update

Lesson 18 – The end, or is it?

Handout

I have also produced an “Introduction to Mental Fitness handout” that covers a lot of the core content. Not bad if you want to read the basics in one go. Some of the concepts have advanced a little since this handout was developed, but the basic ideas are still there. I’ll update it soon hopefully 🙂

 

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