Just as we have to work out our body to build physical fitness...our minds need a workout to increase mental fitness too. And as with any other type of training this requires practice, practice, and more practice. A mental workout can be achieved through acts such as contemplative practice, consciously engaging in loving-kindness and nurturing the subtle mind. Dacher (2006) describes that the concept of a mental workout is not rest and relaxation, but to progressively work on developing our mind's healing capabilities.
Mental workouts have been proven through research and various studies to "transform the mind by reducing disturbing emotions that cause anger, hatred, fear, worry, confusion, and doubt while enhancing positive emotions such as patience, lowing-kindness, openness, acceptance, and happiness" (Dacher, 2006, pp. 63). In this sense, mental training promotes well-being by enhancing the individual's resistance to mental distress and physical disease.
One way I have practiced working out my mind is through an iPhone app called "Mental Workout". The app has several different programs for mindfulness meditation, freedom from stress, and good night (there is also one called up in smoke which I do not use since I am not a smoker). The mindfulness meditation program is my favorite...it provides several guided meditations, varying in length, that I can follow anytime and anywhere. I also enjoy the freedom from stress program which provides a bunch of tools to instantly relieve stress such as breathing exercises, music therapy, and other ideas.
Dacher, E. (2006). Integral health: The path to human flourishing. Laguna Beach,
CA: Basic Health Publications, Inc.
Mental Workout Inc. (2014). Mental Workout (version 1.0.54) [mobile software
application]. Downloaded from http://www.mentalworkout.com