The topic of mental health is something we can’t get away from now. It’s certainly demands a lot more focused than it ever used to. But while the modern world appears more stressful, right down to the smallest of tasks, we can all benefit from a fine tuning. Improving our mental resilience is something we can all benefit from, as it helps us in every part of our life. It gives us a sense of pride over difficult situations; it helps us overcome traumatizing times, and has an overall positive effect on how we go through life, especially if we get knocked down from time to time. We’re not immune to feelings like this, which is why we would all benefit from learning the ropes of developing this mental toughness before we get knocked against them! So, what methods are the best?
Learn To Take Risks
In essence, being mentally weak is about being part of a situation that we don’t feel comfortable in. Solving this problem is about being outside of your comfort zone. Learning to push the barrier of your comfort zone is something we can all benefit from doing. Taking risks means something different to each and every one of us. But it’s the act of taking these risks that will improve your ability to be resilient in a pressurized environment. Some people can’t bear the idea of speaking in front of a group of people, yet others thrive off it. These two people will have different comfort zones. But it’s not about going so far out of your comfort zone that you have a mental breakdown, instead it’s about making sure that you push your resilience one bit at a time. Instead of going from 0 to 100, you go from 0 to 1, 1 to 2, 2 to 3… And the more you get used to circumstances that you once considered intimidating or scary, you move on to the next one, and gradually push your comfort zone out.
Your Body Is Your Temple
We can feel stressed or anxious about certain situations because we aren’t fueling ourselves in the right way. If you eat a lot of sugar, for example, you can be running off this nervous energy. Instead, you should take the time to step back, evaluate your own health, not just your body, but your mind, and look at the tools out there to help you. This is something we can all benefit from, giving our body and mind a “once-over”, so we get a better understanding of how best to progress. While improving your diet is one way to provide a stable baseline, many people will need something a bit more to send them on their way. In life, we can have issues that we struggle to get past, whether it is deep-rooted in childhood, which then manifests itself into adulthood. But, not all of us are trained psychologists, so it can take a long time to come to the realization that we need help in a professional capacity. Sometimes, these deep-rooted childhood traumas can turn into something like addiction. With a problem in life like addiction, there are drug abuse treatment centers, as well as follow-up treatments, like counselling, personal support, and the like. But these problems stem from something early in our life that eroded at our sense of pride or resilience, which can take some time to recapture. But if you look to the root cause, this can give you a lot of answers. Sometimes the root cause is very simple, such as being unhealthy in body, but to truly find what has caused you problems later on in life, it can require a lot of soul-searching.
Look At Your Core Beliefs
Sometimes we can stray far from the beaten path, and end up being something that we don’t recognize. We wake up one day and think but this was not something we anticipated in life, and sometimes it can be a good thing, but sometimes it can be a complete betrayal of what we believed. Overtime, we develop core beliefs, and look to our past experiences to shape who we are. On occasion, these core beliefs can be wrong, for example, having a negative self-opinion, which places a cloud over your ability to do anything in life. The one way to overcome this is to examine your core beliefs- are they actually true? Very few matters in the grand scheme of things are always or never true. And once you realize this, it opens your mind up to changing your core beliefs. From there, your mental toughness improves considerably.
We can feel a reticence to express ourselves on occasion, and this could be down to the environment we are in. Or you may have beliefs that you consider to go against the grain of the environment you are based. Finding a way to express yourself means having the courage to reveal a part of yourself that you haven’t before. Expressing yourself isn’t just about communicating who you are and what you’re about, it’s very good for each and every one of us. Learning to avoid that sense of suppression by finding a hobby that just clicks, or a practice that makes us feel freer in our day-to-day lives, is a skill we can all benefit from. This practice provides us with, not just a mental toughness, but a place to retreat to if we feel overwhelmed with life. A lot of people do things to relax, from sewing, to jigsaw puzzles, to meditation. Do whatever you feel helps express your innermost thoughts and beliefs gives you that sense of courage to do more things that are inherently you, and not just things that please other people. Once you get a taste of something that lights your fires, you want to do more of it, and it’s your right.
Mental toughness isn’t about avoiding your emotions; in fact, it’s about marrying your emotions to your ability to withstand uncomfortable environments. Gratitude is one of those tools that is constantly being talked about now in the same breath as meditation and mindfulness, but for those people who consider it to be too much of a hippie practice; it can be beneficial in a physiological sense. Practices like meditation and mindfulness have been shown to reduce blood pressure, make you happier and will help you to cope with difficult situations. And gratitude is something that, over time, will help to change the chemistry of your brain. By picking three things at the end of the day to think about and express your gratitude for them, this will help to relax your brain and body, and you will slip into a wonderful sleep. We can carry anxieties and stresses into stressful situations, which make them worse, instead, we can learn the approaches to calm down our nervous system from professionals like Navy SEALs, such as box breathing and meditation. These things are going to increase your resilience and mental toughness, even though they appear like very simple and non-tough exercises.
Go Into Yourself
Do you understand what you’re all about? We can have an incorrect opinion about who we are and what our default modes are, and the solution is, very simply, learning to connect mind, body and being again. And because you can stray far away from your original core beliefs, the same can occur with your overall coping mechanisms. You can be a completely different person to what you were, but take this as a stone cold fact that you can change yourself for the better again. Going into yourself and learning exactly what it is that you are isn’t something that can be done overnight, but it’s about having the tenacity and the focus in which to do it, over time, you can understand your strengths and weaknesses, and learn how to tolerate these better. Understanding how you struggle with discomfort in certain environments, either from a physical or mental standpoint, gives you a starting point in overcoming these issues. But lots of us, instead of tackling the issue head on, tend to avoid fixing these problems. If you’re really looking to develop a sense of resilience or toughness, you’ve got to turn the spotlight onto yourself, no matter how upsetting it may be.
The task of developing resilience isn’t a quick fix, but once you acquire the tools necessary to build up your ability to cope with stressful situations, it gives you a skill for life. Either we want to be more resilient so we can be a stronger person, or we don’t like who we are, but by developing our abilities to toughen up in certain environments, it gives us more clarity, more focus, and we can do what we want as best as we can. It’s important to remember that being mentally tough isn’t about shunning your emotions; instead it’s about having the ability to understand when you are being irrational under pressure, so you can keep that part of your personality at bay. Mental toughness is something we can all benefit from, and it has a profound impact on our life, and as a result, we can enjoy life better.