Have you been trying to improve your mental toughness? Think about it this way – you workout and exercise to strengthen your body and it takes a lot of discipline and time to get good results at the end of the day. The same principle applies to mental resilience, we need to invest discipline and time to reach that level of toughness where we can cope better with life stressors and overwhelming moments.
1. Get an emotional trashcan
It is often difficult to develop mental strength when our thoughts are clouded by negativity. Negativity causes emotional and even physical harm as it fills one with dread and anxiety. An emotional trashcan can help you get rid of any form of negativity. Your emotional trashcan may be in the form of reaching out to a friend, therapist, or even as simple as writing out your thoughts on a paper. Once you are rid of your negative thoughts, you will be able to focus on what you want, boost your confidence, and rebuild your self-esteem.
2. Acknowledge and use the power of choice
Our lives as humans are a cumulative of the choices we make and oftentimes, we are pressured to make the “right choice”. The simple truth is that there are no right choices, there are only optimal choices. Rather than being influenced by this pressure, we should focus on making choices that are in tune with “what we need” at that moment – these are considered optimal choices. If you are not certain about what you need, make a list. Identify what you can let go of, what you are grateful for, and what you will focus on.
3. Prepare for difficulties
It is completely normal to shirk away from difficult things. Nobody in life wants things hard. However, it is important to note that, sometimes, to move forward, we must encounter and overcome some difficulties. The good thing about this is that you don’t have to do it alone, find support in your partner, friend or family when it feels like you can’t handle things alone. Most importantly, find the strength within yourself.
Exercise is important for both physical and mental health. It is particularly helpful for mental well-being because it helps you to establish discipline. When you are disciplined, you will be able to stay consistent with whatever you do regardless of changing conditions. You would agree with me that it is convenient to achieve a goal when all the resources you need are abundantly available. However, when life shows you its ugly side and you begin to consider giving up, one important thing that will keep you going is the discipline you have built over time.
5. Learn how to lose
Failure is an important life teacher. Even though, no one intentionally sets out to fail, it still happens at one stage of life or the other. Rather than wallow in dejection, you must learn to take away lessons from every failure that you experience. Ask yourself – “What is the lesson here?”, “How do I move forward?”. Finding the answers to these questions will make it easier for you to bounce back.
6. Be grateful, even in times of crisis
Gratitude can help you increase your mental resilience. It is not uncommon to incline more of the negative parts of one’s life. However, gratitude breeds happiness, reduces sadness, and teaches you how to dissolve negative thoughts. It reminds you of the good things you have. Subsequently, you will beat yourself up less and not compare yourself to others as much. Ultimately, you will be able to focus on your goals and end up achieving them.
7. Let go of things you cannot control
Life is too short to worry over things that you cannot control. When things go south and you find yourself overly disturbed, ask yourself – “Is this something I can solve, and if so, how?” Identify your role in finding the solution and get the help you need to solve it. If the situation could not have been prevented, learn to let it go because doing that will ease your stress and help you focus. Very importantly, you will learn to handle distressing events better in the future.
A Word from HealthFacts to you
Developing mental resilience takes time and discipline. You may struggle along the way but you have to keep working on it. Mental health is your human right and no one should deprive you of it.
Happy World Mental Health Day!