Let’s look at how to mentally deal with challenges as they come, difficult or not. By the end of reading this, negative emotions, stress, suicidal thoughts will look at your mind and run away forever.
You won’t learn to be an emotionless person. You will improve on how you control or handle situations that require your mental strength. Remember you may have good physical health, but if you have poor mental health, the latter will negatively impact the former.
What is mental strength?
Mental strength is the ability of an individual to be resilient and confident when dealing with challenges and to perform productively despite unfavourable situations.
Mental strength is also referred to as mental resilience or toughness and it’s a skill that can be developed to ultimately improve your mental health.
Ways that weaken our mental strength
1. Unhealthy beliefs about ourselves
It’s okay to be sad when things don’t work out. However, self-pity can emanate from it, especially when you prolong feeling sorry about yourself. Self-pity keeps you stuck on the problem whereas you should be focusing on finding a solution. When you wallow in your own pity-party, you waste time, become negative, and hurt yourself more.
Hurting people hurt people.
2. Unhealthy beliefs about other people
“If he/she will be coming too, I don’t want to go. He/she just bore me and make me angry.” These type of feelings and thoughts already show that your emotions are being controlled. When other people control your emotions, thoughts, and choices, as an adult, it ultimately means you have given away your power.
3. Focusing on things we can’t control
Thinking that just because you put in a lot of effort to a certain task that you deserve to succeed. It’s like thinking the world owes you something. This leads to disappointment when things don’t work out as you wish.
4. Trying to impress other people
This is a sort of mental slavery i.e. your happiness or satisfaction is dependent on approval from other people. When you try your best to please others, if they don’t get pleased or worse, fail to notice your efforts, you become sad and gloomy. Other people can also notice you are trying to impress them and can use that to manipulate you. You should be your own person.
5. Ruminating on the past
In other words, dwelling on the past events and activities. If you’re infatuated about your past glories and successes, then you’re in the same boat as the person who hasn’t moved on from that heartbreak. Just learn from your past and let it inform your future. Otherwise, you may end up making your life a perpetual slog of soul-crushing despair.
The past is a place of reference, Not of residence.
Why we should preserve our mental strength
Preserve your mental strength for the difficult times ahead. We all, at some point in life, have to deal with challenges that require our mental strength. Examples of these challenges include:
=> when you lose your job and can’t seem to find another job, yet the bills, still need to be paid, you have to eat; if you’re the breadwinner, you need to provide.
=> when someone close to you gets very sick, bedridden or passes away, the amount of sadness that comes with.
These difficult times, needs almost all your mental strength if you’re to persevere through them successfully. Failure to which, you end up mourning for longer than you should.
The stress can eat you up to a point of physical manifestation i.e have you seen someone who looks twice their age coz of stress? This is a bad sign, stress leads to depression which can lead to PTSD-like which can lead to psychosis.
How to be mentally strong
Tip : We do this by countering the unhealthy beliefs with healthier ones.
1. Face your challenges. Don’t run away from them.
Don’t try to escape the discomfort or the bad feelings by doing drugs, wallowing in self pity because doing this, only prolongs the situation. You need to accept the situation you’re in and the emotions that come with that, be it anger, sadness, etc – let yourself be sad – go through that, then move on.
2. Be your own person
Avoid comparing yourself with other people i.e thinking that they are more successful than you or luckier than you, whether it’s in finances, relationships, health. Don’t belittle yourself or lower your own self-esteem.
The only person you should compare yourself to is the person that you were yesterdayAmy Morin
3. Manage your expectations
Don’t expect to be thanked or rewarded or congratulated for every good thing that you do, even if it cost you some money. You might be generous enough to help somebody but since you were expecting to be congratulated, you now become scornful and vexed.
The world will seem unfair to you if your expectations are not meant. Always have realistic expectations.
Destructive beliefs are like diseases to your mental health but being mentally strong is your vaccine.
Now that you have learnt a few ideas on how to be mentally strong, make sure once you do so, keep that strength unabated.
This article is an inspiration from Amy Morin, a psychotherapist and mental strength trainer.