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6 Science-Based Hacks To Grow A Stronger Mind

6 Science-Based Hacks To Grow A Stronger Mind

Mentally strong people know that the only things we can control in life are our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and that everything else is outside of their control. Therefore, they focus on learning about and improving their thought, feeling, and behavior patterns. They know that success in life will follow.

I wish I was taught that in school! It  I was a real go-getter, trying to get ahead in life. Yet I was putting in so much unneeded effort because I was working hard, not smart. Worse than that, I was sabotaging myself, as I wasn’t listening to my own emotions and what I really needed in life. While I was doing alright in my career, internally I was anxious and depressed, and didn’t know how to fix it.

The solution came from finding out about science-based strategies for growing mentally stronger. I learned to be aware of and improve the only things I can control in life – my thought, feeling, and behavior patterns. I grew much happier and mentally healthier, and gained much more success in my career than I had previously. I also became passionate about sharing these science-based strategies, and hope you can benefit from learning about them.

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Be intentional

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    Knowledge is power! Be intentional and figure out the truth about your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. I remember how I journaled about all aspects of myself, a science-based strategy for self-understanding. It wasn’t easy, and I noticed myself flinching away from certain aspects of the truth about myself. However I knew that the things I tried to flinch away from, the truths I didn’t want to acknowledge to myself, were most likely to be the ones that sabotaged my ability to control my thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in the long run. It was so worth it, as I discovered so many aspects of myself I didn’t know I had! This self-understanding was the key to gaining control over my thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and I continue to journal daily in order to keep on learning about and improving them.

    Understand Your Emotional Self

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    Autopilot vs Intentional System: Elephant and Rider

      Intuitively, we feel our mind to be a cohesive whole, and perceive ourselves as intentional and rational thinkers. Yet research shows that in reality, the intentional part of our mind is like a little rider on top of a huge elephant of emotions. The emotional self is the most important one to explore, as it shapes our thoughts and behaviors in ways we don’t realize. For example, I learned that I had a strong anxiety response when people don’t respond to my emails quickly, and my mind started to spin in circles, figuring out what was wrong. By learning about that unhealthy pattern, I managed to start to notice and control it, and now am much better with emails.

      Self-Empathy, Self-Love, and Self-Care

      what is self esteem

        Mentally strong people take the time for self-empathy and self-care. They listen to their emotional self, and make it feel heard, validated, and loved, thus providing themselves with self-empathy and self-love. They also take the time for appropriate self-care, knowing that if they take care of themselves, they will have capacity to control their thought, feeling, and behavior patterns, and thus succeed in life. This was a particularly tough area for me, as my emotional self does not intuitively place a high importance on myself. I had to convince myself that by taking good care of myself, I can take better care of others in my life, just like in airplanes, you need to put your own mask on first before taking care of others.

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        Be Authentic

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          Be authentic in who you are! Mentally strong people let people in their lives know about themselves and their needs, goals, and challenges. When I came out of the closet about my mental illness to people around me, I lost some relationships. However, I was much better off overall, as it would not have been good for me in the long term to keep relationships with people who did not support me. In return, I had much better support from the large majority of people who remained close to me because they knew about my challenges. I also gained new friends who were proud of and admired my decision to be authentic about who I am.

          Life the Life You Want

          Young businesswoman walking along a cobbled street in front of a white wall.
            Young businesswoman walking along a cobbled street in front of a white wall.

            To grow mentally stronger, be confident that you know best what is good for your life. Listen to advice from others, consider their perspectives, and then make your own choices. I had a tough time making a choice about my career, as I got pushback from my parents about my decision. They wanted me to pursue a career that would make money, but I wanted to pursue my passion. Well, I’m so glad that I made the choice that was right for me, and did not follow their advice. I would have been miserable, as I am really not suited for a traditional nine-to-five track.

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            Commit to Growing Mentally Stronger

            Growing Mentally Stronger T-shirt

              Perhaps most important of all, mentally strong people are committed always to growing mentally stronger. They use research-based strategies such as making a plan to improve their thinking, feeling, and behavior patterns and set physical reminders for themselves, such as t-shirts that say “Growing Mentally Stronger.” I got that t-shirt, and made a plan. I now devote more than ten percent of my weekly activities to growing mentally stronger, such as by doing meditation, journaling, reading Lifehack and Less Wrong, and attending a Rationality Dojo.

              I hope these science-based hacks help you grow mentally stronger!

              Photo Credit: Understand Your Emotional Self, Commit to Growing Mentally StrongerBe intentional,Self-EmpathyBe Authentic, Life the Life You Want

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              Dr. Gleb Tsipursky

              President and Co-Founder at Intentional Insights; Disaster Avoidance Consultant

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              Last Updated on October 18, 2018

              50+ Best Motivational Quotes To Prepare You For Any Challenges In Life

              50+ Best Motivational Quotes To Prepare You For Any Challenges In Life

              Life is filled with highs and lows —happiness and struggles that will test your resilience and integrity, push you to overcome challenges and leave you with lessons that will make you even stronger on your way up.

              It’s the way you feel and think about yourself, including your expectations and beliefs about what is possible to you, greatly determines everything that happens to you.

              It all starts with your thoughts. When you change your thoughts, you transform the quality of your life. (Right, Nancy’s story is a typical example!)

              Below is a list of the best motivational quotes to inspire you to start your day with a blast:

              Quotes for self-assurance

              1. Don’t downgrade your dream just to fit your reality, upgrade your conviction to match your destiny.

                2. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.

                  3. You are confined only by the walls you build yourself.

                    4. The man who has confidence in himself gains the confidence of others

                      5. You attract what you are, not what you want. If you want great, then be great.

                        6. It’s not who you are that holds you behind, it’s who you think your are not.

                          Quotes about positivity

                          7. Stop being afraid of what could go wrong and think of what could go right.

                            8. You should never regret anything in life. If it’s good, it’s wonderful. If it’s bad, it is experience.

                              9. Falling down is an accident, staying down is a choice.

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                                10. If you have the power to make someone happy, do it. The world needs more of that.

                                  11. Always believe that something wonderful is about to happen.

                                    12. Don’t be afraid to give up the good and go for great.

                                      13. Remember that life’s greatest lessons are usually learned from worst times and from the worst mistakes.

                                        Quotes for work and success

                                        14. Don’t talk, just act. Don’t say, just show. Don’t promise, just prove.

                                          15. Never stop doing great just because someone doesn’t give you credit.

                                            16. Discipline is doing what needs to be done, even if you don’t want to.

                                              17. Work while they sleep. Learn while they party. Save while they spend. Live like they dream.

                                                18. The key to success is to focus our conscious mind on things we desire, not things we fear.

                                                  19. Never apologize for having high standards, people who really want to be in your life will rise to meet them.

                                                    20. If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.

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                                                      21. Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it, time will pass anyway.

                                                        22. Don’t fear failure. Fear being in the exact same place next year as you are today.

                                                          23. A hill is just another opportunity to leave your competition behind.

                                                            24. Don’t quit. You’re already in pain. You’re already hurt. Get a reward from it.

                                                              25. Hustle until you no longer need to introduce yourself.

                                                                26. You didn’t come this far only to come this far.

                                                                  27. Be selective in your battles for sometimes peace is better than being right.

                                                                    28 If we keep doing what we are doing, we’re going to keep getting what we’re getting.

                                                                      29. You will never know your limits until you push yourself to them.

                                                                        30. Do what you have to do until you can do what you want to do.

                                                                          31. The man on top of the mountain didn’t fall there.

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                                                                            32. If your dreams don’t scare you, they are not big enough.

                                                                              33. If you can’t handle stress, you won’t manage success.

                                                                                34. Don’t be pushed by your problems, be led by your dreams.

                                                                                  35. Don’t mistake silence for weakness. Smart people don’t plan big moves out loud.

                                                                                    36. Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

                                                                                      37. Obsessed is the word the lazy use to describe dedicated.

                                                                                        38. You become who you spend your time with.

                                                                                          39. Be stubborn about your goals and flexible about your methods.

                                                                                            40. Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.

                                                                                              41. If you don’t build your dreams, someone else will hire you to build theirs.

                                                                                                42. Between stimulus and response is our greatest power –the freedom to choose.

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                                                                                                  43. What comes easy won’t last, what lasts won’t come easy.

                                                                                                    44. Don’t limit your challenges, challenge your limits.

                                                                                                      45. Work until your idols become your rivals.

                                                                                                        Quotes about money

                                                                                                        46. Formal education will make you a living. Self-education will make you a fortune.

                                                                                                          47. I create new enemies every day, it’s called business.

                                                                                                            48. When you have a Million Dollar vision, don’t surround yourself with 1 cent minds.

                                                                                                              49. You can’t get rich thinking poor.

                                                                                                                50. Doing what is comfortable is rarely profitable.

                                                                                                                  51. If you can count your money, work harder.

                                                                                                                    If you find yourself feeling lost and frustrated, it’s never too late to change things up. Check out this guide:

                                                                                                                    How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late

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