Mental health professionals have always emphasized that our mental health is as important as our physical health, sometimes even more. Some people tend to easily get back to their feet after an emotional challenge while others find it difficult, this depends on their mental strength and capabilities. In this article, we’ll discuss how to be mentally strong.
When you encounter an emotional challenge, do you quickly and easily make a resolve, thereby going on with your daily life or do you tend to linger in that distressing emotional state longer than it affects your daily life? If you fall in the latter, this means you have low emotional/mental strength, however, there’s no cause for alarm. There are several practicable strategies and techniques that can develop your emotional resilience and help you become mentally strong.
Our life experiences are the mediums by which our emotional resilience is tested. The loss of a job, the death of a loved one, or the end of an important relationship; these experiences test our mental strength and the way we handle them determines how mentally strong we are.
What is Mental Strength?
Mental strength is the ability of an individual to effectively manage stressors and challenges they encounter, regardless of the situation they find themselves in.
It is important that you note that just as you go to do gym and exercise to build your muscles and keep your body fit, you must also develop your mental health through the use of mental and psychological strategies and techniques.
A highly developed mental strength helps you to develop positive self-esteem, have meaningful social connections, and ultimately, it enables you to live the life you want. It helps you to try new things, and effectively manage whatever life challenges you might experience.
How to Be Mentally Strong
Mental strength can only be developed when you commit to personal mental development, these are how to be mentally strong:
1. Master Your Emotions
Psychologists and other mental health experts often say the result is determined by your dominant thought. This means that if you think you are going to fail, you’ve already convinced yourself you’ll and there’s a good chance you will fail. It is advised that you maintain a positive mindset always, replace such negative thoughts with “I will do this” thereby convincing yourself you can, and you will eventually do.
Our emotions and dominant thoughts play a big role in how we act in our everyday experiences. So it is important that you acknowledge your feelings and how they affect your behaviours.
2. Focus on One Thing at a Time
While the ability to multitask is seen as an honorary capability, it could also heavily weigh on our minds and affect our mental strength. Always focus on your present, this will help you take in your experiences one after the other and effectively deal with each and every one of them.
When you are spending time with friends, listen to what they are saying, pay less attention to your phone, just take the moment into your mind without worrying about other things you have to do. This will help you develop a good social connection which is important to be mentally strong.
3. Embrace Challenges
As earlier explained, the challenges we experience in our daily life test our mental strength. It is advised you see challenges in your daily life as stepping stones.
When you encounter a challenge, it pushes you to act, and when your action effectively manages the challenge, it gives you clear knowledge and understanding of yourself. This knowledge is reflected in your self-esteem and confidence which is important to building a mentally strong mind.
4. Give Yourself a “Me-Time”
Giving yourself a break after a stressful day or week is important for your mental health. Take this time to do things you genuinely love to do, it could be gaming, reading, baking, exercising, or watching your favourite TV show, anything that helps you relax your mind and by extension, your body.
These me-times help keep your mind refreshed and in a better state of wellbeing to cope with everyday challenges.
5. Take Full Responsibility for Yourself
Understand that your past choices, decisions, and actions are responsible for who you are now. Don’t blame others for actions you’ve taken.
You are more powerful than you’ve realized, erase self-doubt from your mind, and believe in yourself. Once you are able to acknowledge and accept your past actions, decisions and who you are, you can be able to look forward to a more positive future. Having a positive mindset will help you face the challenges life throws at you and this, in turn, makes you mentally strong.
6. Focus on Making Yourself Happy First
It is no doubt that people feel physically stronger when they are happy, the same goes for mental strength. This is expressed when happy people say “I feel like I’m on top of the world, nobody can stop me” and many other self-confident statements.
Avoid making compromises to please others at the detriment of your own happiness. Focus on your personal goals and develop the courage to make decisions that work for you without the fear of disappointing others.
7. Understand That Everyone Makes Mistakes
It is important that you understand that everyone makes mistakes and never let the mistakes you make linger in your mind such that they affect your self-esteem and confidence.
When you make a mistake, consider it a moment to learn and understand the challenge and yourself better such that whenever you experience that challenge again, you can cope better.
8. Feel Free to Ask For Help
Being mentally strong doesn’t mean you have to take care of everything yourself. Sharing your thoughts and feelings with someone could help provide insights that will likely be beneficial to your mental health.
When you feel stressed, sad, angry, irritable, or frustrated, talking to someone close to you could help as a simple word of encouragement could provide you with the comfort and motivation you need to carry on with your daily activities.
The bases on which mental strength is developed are self-awareness and acceptance. For you to be mentally strong, you must be aware of where and who you are, and also accept them. Only then can you begin to take steps towards developing your mental strength.
Being mentally strong is the outcome of good habits practiced daily, setting boundaries, having self-esteem, and not expecting others to control your life.
I want to be mentally strong, how do I get started?
The first important thing you need to do is avoid or remove things that aren’t working for you. Get rid of the negative behaviours which you’ve identified to emotionally derail you and employ good habits that will strengthen your mental well-being.
If I struggle with a mental health issue, does that mean I’m weak?
Not at all, mental health issues can develop in anyone. Mental strength only helps you to manage and cope with symptoms of a mental health issue. It helps you stay mentally healthier but won’t guarantee that you’ll not be mentally ill.
Do I need a therapist to help me get mentally strong?
Some people are able to develop mental strength on their own without the help of mental health professionals. Others do best with the help and guidance of mental health experts or someone who keeps them motivated. Whenever you feel you need the help of someone to overcome an obstacle related to your mental health, reach out to a licensed therapist to help you move forward.