How to Be Mentally Strong
Turbulent times surround us. There are no guarantees and more uncertainty than ever before. Learning to tolerate uncertainty and regulate our emotions is key to facing this troubled world. Mentally strong people have learned how to cultivate these two types of thinking.
1) Mentally strong people are adaptable in their thinking and open minded to new evidence. They don’t cling to existing beliefs if they no longer seem valid or relevant.
2) Mentally strong people feel fear but do not let it stop them from moving forward. Moving forward can be scary and uncomfortable but mentally strong people understand that each and every struggle allows more strength to be gained. Staying fearful doesn’t help you to conquer limiting beliefs about the world. It keeps them real and powerful.
Being brave enough to go against the grain, speak out and stand apart even in the face of opposition and rejection is key to growing as a person and testing your parameters.
Most of our problems are created by our own distorted thinking. We learn by observing our parent and other significant role models in our life. We learn from society and from the media. Not all of the things we learn are correct or balanced. It pays to be a critical thinking – able to evaluate information for yourself before believing something either way.
3) Mentally strong people define themselves. They do not allow others to tell them who they are, whether they are capable or not nor what is/isn’t possible for them in their lives. Mentally strong people make their own minds up because their opinion of themselves matter more than that of others.
Most of our distress comes from the discrepancy between how we envisage life and the way it actually is. The saying “It wasn’t mean to be like this” is possibly a statement that has been uttered by most of us at some time in our lives. Acceptance of what is can make all the difference. Give up resistance and deal with what is. Just because things don’t go according to plan does not mean that all is lost.
Be philosophical – perhaps the way it is now is the way it’s meant to be for some reason or higher purpose…
4) Mentally strong people don’t constantly obsess about being happy. Happiness can occur when we least expect it. It can also be fleeting. A chemical explosion of endorphins and increased serotonin enabled by a small event such as laughing with a friend or skipping in the park. Happiness is specific to each individual, not to general consensus. If your idea of pure happiness means sucking pumpkin seeds in your shed on a rainy day, who has the right to deny you that or tell you that that is not real happiness? Be centred and know what brings you happiness but don’t obsess about it. Chasing it seems to make it more elusive.
Thoughts are more powerful in dealing with a specific situation, circumstance than the actual situation itself. The way we perceive a situation has tremendous power over the quality of our lives. We can marinate in toxic negative thinking or we can enable ourselves and promote resilience by adopting an optimistic outlook. Easier said than done, I know, but well worth the effort.
5) Mentally strong people have strong minds – they don’t blindly follow the crowd. They break the rules (not the law) but have a good sense of right and wrong.
6) Mentally strong people also understand that hatred and resentment don’t hurt the people who are hated. They only hurt the hater. Empathy and understanding are what separate animals from humans and we should use this skill to help our lives run smoothly. Being judgemental can be toxic leading to bigotry. Keep an open mind and remind yourself that most people make mistakes. Try not to always think the worst of others. This affects you and your trust of the world, not the people you distrust.
7) Finally, mentally strong people take full responsibility for their current position in life. They understand that their past choices, thoughts and actions have put them where they are now. They don’t blame others as they have still made choices, even if they were passive ones. For example – blaming an ex partner for all your trouble when you still, perhaps on an unconscious or fearful level, stayed with that person.
You are more powerful than you realise. We dilute our personal power by allowing self doubt and limiting self beliefs to stop us from being true to ourselves. Believe in yourself, be kind, compassionate and tolerant and make your own mind up about the world.