Most times, we start out a journey or a phase in our life really strong and ready to conquer but once life’s challenges kick in, it could become hard to keep pushing. Sometimes, it might seem as if the zeal we started with was lost on the way.
How do you adjust to life’s challenges? When life knocks you down, do you quickly pick yourself up and adapt to the circumstances? Or do you find yourself completely overwhelmed with little confidence in your ability to deal with the challenge? Yeah, I can be a little bit of both at different times. There are times when we can’t find the mental strength even when life warrants that we pick up ourselves and keep moving.
In as much as this process can be hard, there are some practical steps that can help us build mental resilience. These steps could be perfected through hard-work, practice, and discipline.
One of the most practical ways to build mental strength is to find habits that keep your energy high throughout the day. It requires a positive mind-set and consciously developing habits and skills which will help you move forward, making you feel good about what you’re doing and accomplishing. It’s important that you build mental strength. This way, you will feel stronger, more energetic and more productive.
What is mental strength?
Mental Strength is the ability of a person to deal with stressors, pressures and challenges and still perform to the best of their ability, regardless of the circumstances presented before them. In this case, you are choosing to be productive, have a positive attitude and be mentally tough even when the situation tries to say otherwise.
Good mental health helps us to live a life that we love and appreciate, have meaningful social interactions, and have a healthy self-esteem.
Mental resilience starts when you decide to recognize the thoughts passing through your mind, without identifying personally with those thoughts or feelings, then, finding ways to bring up positive thoughts about the situation presented.
According to Strycharczyk and Cloughe (n.d.), some techniques for developing mental toughness revolve around 5 categories:
- Positive Thinking
- Anxiety Control
- Goal Setting
- Attentional Control
HOW TO BE MENTALLY STRONG.
1. Master your emotions
Learning and understanding our emotions are important key concept when it comes to being mentally strong. Teaching or learning emotional regulation skills could help also manage our emotions and live a happier life. These skills include:
- Attention-Shifting Strategies.
- Forward-Looking Strategies.
- Positive Self Talk
- Calling Upon our Best Selves.
Once we understand and categorize our emotions, we can empathize with ourselves, and channel our focus in the direction of emotions we actually want to feel. Once we are able to grasp the concept of our emotions and how they operate, we become more experienced and see and deal with life in a more matured way.
2. Focus on making yourself happy first
We feel mentally strong and more productive when ever we are happy.
Sometimes, people come into our lives making us feel like they truly care and will be there for us whenever we need them. While this might be true in some cases, at other times it might not be. All these feelings get our hopes high, giving us false expectations and make our happiness solely dependent on others. It’s time we start working on making our happiness our topmost priority. It’s time to take back the power of your happiness.
In order for us to achieve true self-happiness, we must know ourselves better and do what we really want to do.
Avoid making compromises to please others at the expense of following your dream. Don’t always go out of your way to please others.
“I don’t want to disappoint others”. I know that feeling but your goals, happiness, and aspirations must come first. If not, you are not living for you but for others.
3. Understand that uncertainties are part of life:
There are times when we wish we knew what the future holds.
Feelings of uncertainty have been linked to anxiety and depression. Depending on what the individual is ignorant about, it can also cause feelings of fear, hyper-vigilance, and paranoia. Imagine having an exam or an interview and you do not know what to expect.
We humans just want to know. We hate being in the dark. Admitting that we do not have knowledge about something can be really hard too. But there are a lot we do not know and learning to embrace this fact will help us grow and be more open minded about the adventures ahead.
“It is uncertainty which fills life with beauty, excitement, and joy.”
4. Be willing to learn and expand:
As I have already mentioned in my previous point, there are a lot we do not know. Being curious, openminded and willing to learn makes us stronger mentally and helps us stand out.
Most times, we are aware that we have no idea about a situation presented, but we refuse to learn and refuse to let others help us out.
Always read, experiment, learn, ask questions to seek clarity, and reflect. There are so many great resources out there to help us grow and be more successful. Successful people never stop learning, even from a defeat, and that’s exactly what makes them stronger.
Learning is the beginning of wealth. Learning is the beginning of health. Learning is the beginning of spirituality. Searching and learning is where the miracle process all begins.
– Jim Rohn
5. Avoid relationships or activities that drain You:
Always go to where you or your gifts are needed and celebrated. Make friends with people that will commend and appreciate you. Do things that will make you feel joyful. To be strong mentally, you have to build positive and healthy relationships and let go of toxic people.
Ending or letting go of toxic relationships is not easy because a lot of emotions go into building a strong relationship. The question is, “Are you tired of being mentally and emotionally drained?” If yes, then letting go of toxic people is the first step to getting the joy and peace of mind you need. You’ll find more energy and more happiness throughout your day.
Edited by Grace Oluchi Anugwa