In the world we live in today, and from the beginning of time really, we as humans have been surrounded by mental and physical stresses to some degree in our daily lives.

When you think about it, during  the Caveperson’s (politically correct term) time, what possibly could their problems have been compared to what we deal with today? Their living quarters were a cave. Maybe they had to evict an animal to take possession of it. Clothing would be simple, a cloth covering private parts.Transportation? It was their feet they used to track down food for the day.

On that journey they might have encountered a vicious beast looking for food too – YOU! The body’s natural instinct in this situation kicks in. It’s called Fight or Flight; the instinctive physiological response to a threatening situation, which readies one either to resist forcibly or to run away. The only decision to make then was to stay and fight, or run to safety.  No deliberation, just two choices.  

So, in this situation, is physical strength more important than mental strength?

Thankfully we have evolved. But that fight or flight system our ancestors needed to survive is still waiting inside us for that vicious beast to show up.

In modern times fight or flight is needed to get out of the way of a falling tree. But it can also show up unwanted as anxiety from a stressful day at work. Your body can’t tell the difference – stress from a tiger or dealing with kids out of control.

So, in today’s world, do we need mental strength more than physical strength? Our needs have changed thus our bodies have changed.

Mental strength seems to be more important than physical strength on a daily basis for the life skills needed today. Mental training is needed in most things we do. 

When it comes to physical training, we are training muscles, which does add to our health and wellness and is sometimes needed for our safety.

An interesting side note though, physical training helps develop neural networks in the brain.


Mental and Physical Strength Together = Empowerment

There is a definite need for both though. Being mentally and physically strong is like having a moat and wall around your fortress. When the moat is empty and the wall is crumbling the dysfunction of the world comes flooding in.

In My Experience.

Anxiety is another area that is familiar to me. Basically, I was normal until I hit 30 years old. During my last 6 weeks of my 6th pregnancy, claustrophobia was my kryptonite – tight spaces, crowds, elevators, and planes – became my triggers.  This is a huge phobia as it affected my relationships, my work, and activities, basically my whole life. I made a small box that I functioned in to feel free from an anxiety attack. Take drugs? Never, that would mean I was weak (or just stubborn).  

Exercise not only changed my body; it changed my mind.

During that time, I got deep into physical exercise. Taught an aerobics class and enjoyed strength training. Being physically strong was empowering. In this case the physical helped with the mental struggles. 

Physical activity in any form is a great way to keep you physically healthy as well as improving your mental wellbeing.

 My quest now, is to secure that mental and physical strength again, together. I know what it feels like to be strong. It feels like Victory!

SIDE NOTE: Supposedly I had a nanny around age 2 that used to lock me in a cupboard. Maybe that was the cause of the delayed PTSD reaction during a stressful time in my life. 5 kids, 3 of them 2 and under might do that to you. 

 I hope Karma got the nanny in the end.

“I survived because the fire inside me burned brighter than the fire around me” – Joshua Graham

Time to Decide

Mental Strength vs. Physical Strength? Which is more important to find your dream life? Everyone is different, but in today’s world they definitely complement each other. They really should not be thought of as separate. To be a healthy person, you need to be physically fit of course, but not managing mental stress is a killer for sure. 

I don’t know about you, but when I am depressed, I have a hard time sticking to anything. Diet, exercise, work, just seems to be too hard. 

We need to learn how to temper the stress and get rid of the lions, tigers, and bears that take up space in our mind. 

To enjoy your dream life, you need to be strong both mentally and physically. Not only to find your inherited path you belong on, but also to stay on it.

“Life doesn’t get easier or more forgiving, we get stronger and more resilient.” – Steve Maraboli.

 

Next Deliberation: Chicken or the Egg?

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