In the face of tragedies, obstacles, and setbacks, we often think it’s impossible to come out on top. How can we? Life keeps knocking us down, no matter how many times we get up. But what if we told you that you can overcome that? That you can be, not only resilient enough to rise up again, but to move forward with your life.
Today, we’re going to show you how to become mentally strong! From techniques, you can use to invaluable advice by experts, let’s get started!
Start With Why
by Simon Sinek
⏱ 15 minutes reading time
🎧 Audio version available
Regulate Your Emotions and Thoughts
Have you ever met a mentally strong person who often has emotional outbursts? Probably not. That’s the definition of being a mentally strong person: the ability to control yourself. That doesn’t mean that you don’t feel these powerful emotions. You just don’t let them run rampant.
Experiencing numerous conflicts, tragedies, and setbacks throughout your life is inevitable, whether it’s on a professional and personal level. But rather than caving into the pressure, mentally strong people know how to regulate their emotions so that they don’t say or do anything that will end up costing them in the long run.
“They don’t let their anger cause them to do things that they later regret, or if they’re sad they don’t get stuck in a bad mood.” She also adds that they are “able to control their feelings well enough that they can move forward.”
Mental strong people also don’t let their strong emotions affect their mental health. That means that they know how important it is to control their thoughts, so that they don’t linger on the negative stuff. The key is finding a balance.
Instead of being an overly pessimistic person, thinking that’s how you’re going to protect yourself– or being overly positive—the real power is in identifying the harmful, untrue thoughts that have negative effects and replacing and reframing them with more realistic statements.
Take Positive Action
When life knocks you down, not only do you move forward, but you actively take positive action. That means that you don’t let an obstacle stop you from moving on to another goal or project. It also means turning a negative into a positive.
Mentally strong people don’t wait for the moment to pass. If they’re having a bad day or if they feel like their routines are dull, they’ll think, “What can I do about this?” instead of convincing themselves that it’s not worth trying or that it’s too ambitious. And then they make a plan and make it a reality. They create concrete steps they can take to make their life better.
Stop Having Unhealthy Beliefs About the World
Having an unhealthy belief about the world holds you back, keeping you stuck in limbo, a cycle of “Why is this happening to me?”
The cold, hard truth is that the world doesn’t owe us anything. Even if we put in enough hard work and follow all the steps, success isn’t always guaranteed. Most people expect success to fall into their laps. This is a bad expectation that will lead to disappointment. It’s time to give it up, along with all the rest of unhealthy beliefs you are holding on to.
When something bad happens, it’s always all right to feel sad. But drowning in self-pity is an unnecessary escalation of that sadness. It doubles the misfortune you feel and prolongs the pain.
When thoughts like “Why do these bad things keep happening to me?” and “Why me? I shouldn’t have to deal with this!” are constantly on your mind, they keep you fixated on the problem instead of finding a solution. If you adopt a healthy mentality, even when you can’t find a solution, you can move on and find a way to make your life better.
Throwing a party pity takes more time and effort than you think. Accepting that life isn’t fair and that there is no cosmic reward waiting for you does wonders for your mental health. It’s freeing. You know that you won’t always be rewarded for your efforts, but you will also know that this suffering isn’t permanent.
The world, your happiness– they’re both a product of your mentality.
Don’t Ignore Your Emotions
Ignoring and bottling up your emotions is the oppositte of being mentally healthy, never mind strong. Keeping everything buried inside is like carrying around a time bomb. At some point, you’re going to either explode or you’re going to encounter a situation that needs all the mental strength you can muster—only to find little of it available.
We ignore our feelings because we’re uncomfortable with them. Feelings like sadness, fear, and hurt make us feel, well, awful, and they pull us out of our comfort zone. So, we cower from them and even go to great lengths to avoid fully feeling that discomfort, resorting to drowning in self-pity or denial or external solutions like overworking, binge eating, and alcohol and drugs.
As good and distracting as these solutions feel, they’re only temporary distractions and a bandaid on a bleeding wound. The pain is prolonged, and it’s going to come back tenfold. The only true solution is to let yourself experience these uncomfortable emotions as they come. Let yourself feel, be sad, be angry, be hurt, and then let it go.
Take Care of Yourself
Having a better lifestyle covers a lot of territory, but here’s the gist. You know how they say that mental strength is similar to physical strength? Like your mind is a muscle you need to constantly train, maintain, and take care of? When we want to be physically healthy and strong, we go to the gym and exercise. And then we take further care of our bodies by eating well, and quitting harmful substances, like junk food and soda.
Taking care of your body is also a step towards having a healthy mentality, but it goes far beyond that. Mental strength is virtually the same as physical strength. If you want to be strong in that sense, bad habits such as envy, jealousy, resentment, and constantly comparing yourself to others are the opposite of nurturing your brain.
Be Both Soft and Strong
At this point, you know that the world isn’t black and white. There are realms of grey that go beyond what’s considered mental strength. People think that being soft makes you weak, makes you vulnerable.
And they think that exuding toughness and power are the only ways you can be strong. This is wrong. It’s not just possible to be both strong and soft, but it’s actually necessary. This balance is imperative to mental strength.
Settling for something that isn’t good enough is never worth it. When you recognize your inner strength, you’ll know your worth, and something that’s not up to your standards isn’t worth it. Accepting anything less than satisfactory will end up bringing up those old feelings of resentment, doubt, and insecurities.
Don’t Wait for Others’ Approval
This is the pinnacle of being mentally strong! Have you ever met a mentally strong person who waited for someone else to praise them and constantly looked for their approval?
The answer is no. They praise themselves rather than waiting for others who may or may not grant that approval. This doesn’t mean that you should have a superiority complex. The simple act of recognizing your own achievements and having a genuine appreciation for them is a fundamental pillar of having a healthy mind.
Stand Up for Yourself
Being mentally strong doesn’t just mean rolling with the hits and bouncing back from them. It also means being strong enough to stand up for yourself.
When someone picks on you, this doesn’t have to be a dark moment to look back on. This could be the moment you stand up for yourself and build your confidence. This also applies to people not believing in you. Stand up for yourself when someone tells you that you can’t accomplish something. Prove the haters wrong.
Follow Through With Your Promises
Following through with what you say you’re going to do helps you be confident in your capabilities. It also helps you earn the respect of others, who will recognize you as someone who is strong and reliable. This strengthens your personal and professional relationships, and bonus! It will help you accomplish your goals.
Do More of What Makes You Happy
And finally, the last step in becoming a mentally strong person is knowing when it’s time to stop being on guard and letting yourself relax a little. Self care is highly important. That means taking time off for doing more of the things that make you happy. True confidence only comes when you’re proud of yourself and what you’re doing.
Mental strength is what’s going to get you all the way through to the finish line.
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