How long does it take for you to bounce back from a difficult situation? We’re all different. Some can dust off the stress within a matter of days, but others, may take longer. Yet it also depends on the severity of the situation. Nonetheless, in times of difficulties, it’s important to prioritize your mental fitness – adopt habits that will increase your mental strength and care for your mind to better handle life’s obstacles with ease.
What Is Mental Strength and Why Is It Important?
Just like we practice yoga, run, or lift weights to build physical fitness, we must also develop mental strength to deal with life’s challenges, stress, and pressures to remain healthy and stable. Indeed, prioritizing our mental strength allows us to live our best life in every possible way. Think empowering social connections, confidence, problem-solving skills, and risk-taking that leads to magic, new experiences, and the ability to move forward.
9 Habits that Will Increase Your Mental Strength
1. See the glass half full
When you experience an obstacle, how do you react? Do you feel like the world is ending and give up? Or do you see it as an opportunity to pivot and grow? The latter is the glass-half-full approach, and there’s truth to its popularity. Instead of feeling angry at events and situations you can’t control, learn how to build your emotional resilience by noting positive aspects you can learn from the challenge. For example, perhaps your partner ended your relationship before a holiday to Greece. While this is unfortunate, try to use this experience to date yourself, develop your courage to travel solo and inch out of your comfort zone. If you change your perspective, life becomes more beautiful.
2. Practice gratitude
Gratitude isn’t an inherent trait we’re all born with. Instead, it’s a muscle that can be strengthened over time to achieve better mental resilience. So, if you’re feeling external dissatisfaction, look around you and identify things that bring you a little joy. For example, start small and appreciate the delicious taste of your coffee, the sun on your face, or a butterfly dancing on a flower outside your window.
3. Nurture confidence
How do confidence and resilience go hand-in-hand? When you learn how to increase your confidence, you start believing in your abilities and beliefs. And that self-belief leads to resilience. You don’t shake under pressure or see failure as an end-all-be-all. Instead, you understand the transient state of human nature and know life will bring you another opportunity. To connect to this learned skill, trust your instincts and focus on your strengths. We all have them, and you have incredible skills that will create the life you envision.
4. Improve your internal dialogue
Remember the quote, “The way you speak to yourself matters?” In fact, how we speak to yourselves attracts the relationships we have and the opportunities we receive and shapes our lives. Therefore, to learn how to stop negative self-talk, begin to observe your internal dialogue, especially during moments of stress. If you notice more self-criticism, that’s okay. Put your left hand on your heart and your right on your belly, take a deep breath, and change the narrative. Pour thoughts of self-love into your soul and forgive yourself for anything else.
5. Always prioritize self-care
One of the best ways to build resolve from setbacks is to focus on self-care. That’s right. Self-care is the gateway to keeping your mind and body in the best state to deal with situations that require mental strength. Here are a few ways to holistically treat yourself.
- Move your body and aim for 20-30 minutes of daily exercise. For example, try a few plyometric exercises for beginners or low-impact cardio workouts
- Follow a nutritious diet full of healthy fats, minerals, and vitamins. To start, create a healthy make ahead breakfast idea to jumpstart your resilience for the day
- Prioritize deep sleep and avoid habits that are sabotaging your sleep
- Feed your inner child by picking up a new hobby that fills your soul, journaling, spending time with people who inspire you, or crossing an item off your bucket list
6. Make mindfulness a daily habit
This article wouldn’t be about habits that will increase your mental strength if it didn’t address mindfulness. Every time you connect to the present moment, whether it’s listening to guided meditations, breathing during traffic, or taking a moment for yourself while your coffee brews, mindfulness is your anchor that restores hope, reduces past and future stress, and strengthens your ability to keep going. Therefore, squeeze in a few mindfulness activities you have time for; it doesn’t need to be a 30-minute practice to receive the benefits.
7. Deepen connections
Social connection is equally important to our mental resilience as sleep quality, a nutritious diet, and exercise. With a stable support system to lean on and vent to during difficult circumstances, our faith in ourselves and the world rebuilds, including our adaptive capacity to respond to future adverse conditions. Additionally, being a pillar of strength for others reaffirms our hope and ability to strengthen our own resilience. Win-win!
8. Goals, goals, goals
Did you know setting goals changes how we see ourselves and the world? It’s true. Even the act of writing down your goals engages the part of your brain responsible for productivity, self-esteem, and higher motivation. However, the key is to create realistic goals with small actionable steps each day. It reduces the overwhelm and increases your likelihood of success.
9. Accept change
Following the previous tip, it’s important to note you can’t accomplish every goal you create and set. Indeed, as a result of the unpredictability of life, your goals may remain on your list without ever coming to fruition. But the more you accept the ups and downs without allowing them to change your momentum or self-perception, you can focus on the things you do have control over, like your reaction and how you treat yourself.
If you’re adopting these habits that will increase your mental strength and still finding your mental resilience is low, seek support through therapy. A professional will help you see challenges through different perspectives, improve your self-confidence, and give you tools to strengthen your self-talk. And with consistent daily practice, you can overcome difficulties like the champ you are!
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