AFEA S.A. CEO Sissi Lignou weighs in on the importance of mental fitness in the meetings and events industry.


“Health is the greatest of human blessings”, according to Hippocrates. Who could disagree with such a statement, especially in these critical times? Physical and mental health has definitely become the protagonists of our priorities, on both the personal as well as the professional environment, and the importance of work-life balance is absolutely trending.

Our ancestors identified the importance of having a balanced and healthy body and spirit and have preached explicitly on the value of mental health, so why should we act any differently? The benefits of exercise for our physical health are widely known and constantly highlighted.

But what about mental fitness and brain health? How important is it to train our mind and care for the body-mind connection?

Socrates, the great philosopher, once said, “I call myself a peaceful warrior because the battles we fight are on the inside.”  I could not agree more. The battles in our daily life, especially in times of crisis, are multiple and sometimes very difficult to manage. Overthinking and multi-tasking – the absolute trends of our times – do not make things easier for addressing challenges. However, the actual battles first come from the heart and the mind, and their management can be influenced by the way we react to them.

Photo by Aziz Acharki on Unsplash

Good brain health, a state in which every individual can realise their abilities and optimise their cognitive, emotional, psychological and behavioural functioning to cope with life situations, is a necessity in these circumstances. It can even be a catalyst in the decision-making process on how to deal with the challenge effectively.

According to Wikipedia, “Mental Fitness is defined as a state of well-being and having a positive sense of how we feel, think, and act.”

The pandemic had a very negative impact on people’s mental health, as stress, fear, anxiety and the feeling of insecurity began to dominate. Consequently, the role and contribution of mental fitness to a healthy and balanced life is now more than ever in the frontline, as necessary (in some cases more important) as physical fitness and should not be neglected.

Mental fitness can be achieved through various exercises and practices based on several components: emotional, social, financial, and physical. Starting from self-acceptance and resilience, friendship and happy social life, moving swiftly into a healthy lifestyle with careful nutrition, slowing down on one’s daily routine and embracing decompression, exercise and meditation.

Taking steps to build your mental fitness enhances your ability to cope with stress and improves your physical health, productivity at work, relationships, and overall lifestyle. We can only achieve mental wellness if our body is functioning well.

This article was provided by the International Association of Professional Congress Organisers, author Sissi Lignou, CEO, AFEA S.A. Travel & Congress Services. AFEA is a PCO and DMC operating in the meetings and events industry since 1977, providing customers with integrated quality services.

IAPCO represents today 138 companies comprised of over 9,900 professional congress organisers, meeting planners and managers of international and national congresses, conventions and special events from 40 countries.


References: Wikipedia, Healthline, KFF

Featured photo by Mor Shani on Unsplash

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Sissi Lignou

Author Sissi Lignou

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