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How to become mentally fit

Learn how to improve your mental fitness using the Positive Intelligence method.

March 08, 2021
4 min read

Today on Braincare Club: Kristin Liu, Mahitab M. Marzouk, Javier Carbajo, and Sherif Ibrahim teach you how to improve your mental fitness using the Shirzad Chamine's Positive Intelligence method.

Introduction to mental fitness 

Mental fitness is a measure of the strength of your positive mental muscles (Sage) versus the negative (Saboteur). Your mental fitness is measured using PQ - Positive Intelligence Quotient- which calculates the percentage of time our mind serves us as opposed to sabotaging us. 

Shirzad Chamine’s Theory 

  • Your “Sage” lives in the region of your brain that handles challenges in ways that produce positive emotions like curiosity, empathy, creativity, calm, and clear-headed laser-focused action. It is the voice of authenticity and positive emotion.

  • Your 10 “Saboteurs” undermine and self-sabotage you by triggering anger, anxiety, shame, and any other negative emotions. They stop you from doing what you’re capable of doing.

The 10 “Saboteurs”

1. The Judge: the Master Saboteur. It is the universal Saboteur and affects everyone. It is a character that judges ourselves, others, circumstances, and situations. It is the one that beats you up repeatedly over mistakes or shortcomings. 

2. Avoider 

3. Controller 

4. Hyper-Achiever 

5. Hyper-Rational

6. Hyper-Vigilant 

7. Pleaser 

8. Restless 

9. Stickler 

10. Victim

Most of us don’t have all 10- click here to take the free assessment and meet your Saboteurs.

The Saboteurs 

  • The Saboteurs sit in the limbic system (the right side of your brain) that creates fear, anger, and other negative feelings. These self-destructive clusters of behavior are not necessarily bad as their original purpose was to keep us safe. The Saboteurs provided the fight or flight responses we needed during our development. 

  • Instead of resenting them, acknowledge that they’re there to protect you, and practice your PQ Reps. Remember, practice makes perfect. The more you do your PQ Reps, the easier and faster it will be to shift into the Sage response.

The Sage

  • Your inner sage has five powers: the power to empathize, navigate, explore, innovate, and activate. In combination, these powers work to create a positive view of yourself and allow you to focus on what’s in front of you rather than worrying about what’s next. 

  • Your inner Sage balances out your Saboteurs by seeing the positive in every negative. It looks for the gift in every challenge in order to reframe the thought process. 

Controlling your Saboteurs 

Shirzad Chamine’s program teaches you about the Saboteurs and how to take control of them. You learn about awareness in order to identify them, and mindfulness exercises to interrupt them. 

  • PQ Reps: They are short, powerful techniques to build up the self-command muscle in your brain. These exercises will teach you to be calm in the midst of challenges, and you’ll be able to develop command over your own mind in order to shift from Saboteur to Sage response. 

Results of mental fitness training 

Shirzad Chamine’s MRI research found that practicing 12-15 minutes a day over 6-8 weeks:

  • Decreased grey matter in the “survival brain” region, where your Saboteurs live. 

  • Increased grey matter in the PQ brain region, where your Sage lives.

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Mental fitness vs. Meditation

  • Mental fitness training is more versatile as you can don’t have to do it for long. PQ Reps take anything from 10 seconds to 10 minutes to complete. Something as simple as three deep breaths is considered a PQ Rep.

  • You don’t need to be at home to do them- you can be anywhere! You can perform PQ Reps in the middle of a meeting, while you’re folding laundry, or even doing the dishes. 

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