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Mental Fitness Explained by a CBT Psychologist

Dr. Andrew Miki | February 6, 2019

Are you familiar with the concept of mental fitness and do you know how to become more mentally fit? Mental fitness is defined as a state of well-being and having a positive sense of how we feel, think, and act.

Today we know that 1 in 2 people will be diagnosed with a mental illness by the time they reach age 40. The concept has only emerged in the past few years. It helps people understand that just as we can improve our physical health by moving our bodies, we improve our mental health by strengthening our minds.

I’m not referring to memory games or thinking puzzles, but rather exercises that keep you mentally well and build up your resilience to stress. Just as it’s easy to opt for the couch and Netflix rather than exercise, it’s also easy to feed negative thoughts and behavior patterns that evoke feelings of sadness, worry, and anxiety.

We’re more likely to get sick when we don’t exercise or nourish our bodies with proper nutrition. Similarly, when we don’t practice healthy cognitive practices, the more likely it is for your mental fitness to decline.

How Mental Fitness Helps

It’s about strengthening the neural pathways that lead to the most realistic and objective thoughts. It’s about breaking patterns so that you experience positive emotions more regularly than negative ones. If you’ve been viewing life events through a glass half empty lens, it can help.

The more we feed negative thoughts and behaviors, the more likely they will occur. This is due to the neuroplasticity of our brains. Science has proven that humans have an enormous capacity to constantly rewire our brains throughout our lives. Thoughts that evoke certain emotions cluster together via neural pathways. This means that every time we allow a negative thought to repeat, it strengthens. It seeks to strengthen neural networks that make you feel mentally healthy.

You’ll feel more confident, resilient, and energized by improving your mental fitness. It’s natural to feel sadness and worry but by strengthening your mental fitness, it will become more difficult for sadness to progress to depression and worry to spiral into anxiety.

How does it work?

Learning techniques that improve your mental fitness can be broken down into three skills that work in tandem to one another:

  • Recognizing the patterns that create difficult emotions and negative moods.
  • Integrating techniques to regulate overwhelming emotions and thoughts as and when they arise.
  • Resolving the patterns that detract from your well-being by building new ones.

Part of strengthening your mental fitness is discovering strategies that are most effective for you. Similar to how some people prefer to play outdoor team sports vs. going to the gym, you’ll discover methods that work better for you. Our Starling Minds platform offers in-depth training that will help you discover ways to strengthen your mind.

What is Starling Mental Fitness

Starling’s Mental Fitness program helps organizations lower absence and disability costs by offering a robust platform that helps employees develop cognitive-behavioral skills that reduce stress, anxiety, and depression before leave is required. Starling Members recognize improvements in job engagement when they have skills to manage mental health conditions.

It’s a preventive approach for managing growing disability costs alongside a mental health movement for organization.

Why Starling Mental Fitness

Empower employees to take early

action to cope with life stressors

Remove the largest barriers of access

to evidence-based mental healthcare

Reduce the number of workers who

take leave due to mental health

Give employees and their families 24/7

access to mental health support

Put a low-cost, personalized, and

immediate CBT therapy solution in place

Create and sustain a culture of care for

employee well-being

Our Digital CBT Approach for Mental Fitness

Evidence-based mental health

assessments that provide

objective symptom scores on

anxiety and depression

A Mental Health toolbox equipped

with tools to set goals, track

progress, balance thoughts, and

regulate moods

Interactive exercises and

bite-sized videos that make it easy

to learn cognitive-behavioral


A confidential, online community that destigmatizes mental health

conditions and helps members

understand that they are not alone


What have been our results?

Our digital CBT platform is proven to deliver outcomes for employees who experience the highest levels of workplace stress.

  • 77% report lower stress, anxiety, and depression
  • 91% of members believe that Starling helps manage their mental health
  • 4 in 5 reduce absences by 6.5 days per year
  • 5 x payback on investment reported by clients


“Becoming more self-aware was the first step that helped me move a difficult period of depression. I wanted to be my best self again for myself, my family, and my co-workers but I had no idea where to start. Starling Minds has given me a daily practice to get my mental health in check. I’ve tried a few mental health apps and this one is by far the best.” — Starling Member

Learn more about our Mental Fitness Program and discover how to manage stress, anxiety, and depression in a healthier way.


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    Dr. Andrew Miki

    A practicing clinical psychologist for over 10 years, Dr. Miki is the founder of Starling Minds. His goal is to offer a software service that history has never seen before – one that empowers people anywhere in the world to improve their mental fitness.

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