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20 Small Things To Do To Be Mentally Stronger In 2016

20 Small Things To Do To Be Mentally Stronger In 2016

Join the elite group of people who challenge themselves every day to be Mentally stronger. By managing your emotions, thoughts, diet and outlook on life you are on the right path for a successful and happy life.

Here are 20 small things you can do to be mentally stronger in 2016.

1. Read an inspirational book at least once a month

Reading about how other people overcame obstacles in their lives can give you great inspiration in your outlook on life.

2. Start the day with a coffee

By starting the day with a coffee, you are activating the brain from the moment you step out the door.

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3. Do the Sunday crossword

There is nothing better than a lazy Sunday morning enjoying a late brunch and giving your brain a good work out. Why not up the game a little and tackle a cryptic crossword.

4. Talk a walk in the park

The brain is an organ that needs a rest every now and again. By taking a brisk walk in the park, or anywhere away from noise and disturbances, you will be more alert to tackle the most strenuous mental challenge.

5. Take up meditation

Meditation is a wonderful tool to get you mentally strong. Meditation is a powerful tool that can transform your very being, it can take you to the peaks of bliss and ecstasy.

6. Eat breakfast

Do not leave the house without having a breakfast. The brain needs fuel for it to function effectively. If you are someone who does not enjoy breakfast a simple banana on the train or in the car on the way to work is enough fuel for an hour or so.

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7. Ensure a good nights sleep

Mental toughness needs rest. When you sleep, your brain removes toxic proteins, which are by-products of neural activity occurring when you are awake.

8. Play chess

Not only is it a great game that you will enjoy, but your brain also loves the challenge chess gives to it without putting a strain on it.

9. Ask questions

For many mentally strong people, the one thing they most remember that has changed their lives has been the answers to questions they asked. Asking questions do not make you look stupid or weak but show an eagerness to learn and explore more possibilities.

10. Eat lunch away from your desk

Creativity improves when you move away from your desk at lunchtime.

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11. Walk straight and tall for 5 minutes a day

Standing tall and proud for at least 5 minutes a day opens up your perspective and feel confident and in control.

12. Take a power nap

Research has shown that all it takes is 10 minutes of sleep to really boost your concentration, performance and improve mood.

13. Be thankful for one thing every day, even if it is your morning coffee!

Powerful people embrace what they have to be thankful for and tend not to dwell on what they do not have.

14. Do something different at least once a week.

Mental toughness is about your habits, not your motivation.

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15. Learn to say “no” more often

The more difficulty you have saying no, the more likely you are to experience stress. Mentally tough people know that saying no is healthy.

16. Be without your phone for 30 minutes each day

Okay, I know, I am not going to get you to give up your phone for one day a week so I made this task simpler. Once you realise that the world will not end if you do not have your phone, or that your friends can wait 30 minutes before you return a call, you will feel an incredible feeling of release.

17. Have one less alcoholic drink a week

Alcohol affects cells in the body, and the most immediate impacts are seen on the brain. Alcohol is a depressant that affects the brain by causing the brain to slow down.

18. Smile to a stranger once a day

Smiling leads to a decrease in the stress-induced hormones that negatively affect your physical and mental health. Smiling to a stranger makes this ever more potent.

19. Sing in the shower

Singing in the shower boosts your mood by releasing endorphins and oxytocin in the brain, hormones that bring pleasure and relaxation.

20. Take 1 hour a week out for YOU

By taking time out for yourself you are being productive. It is important to be content with being alone and not feeling the need to be constantly with people. Solitude can be highly beneficial to your mental health, creativity, and productivity.

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Last Updated on February 21, 2019

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

In business, in social relationships, in family… In whatever context conflict is always inevitable, especially when you are in the leader role. This role equals “make decisions for the best of majority” and the remaining are not amused. Conflicts arise.

Conflicts arise when we want to push for a better quality work but some members want to take a break from work.

Conflicts arise when we as citizens want more recreational facilities but the Government has to balance the needs to maintain tourism growth.

Conflicts are literally everywhere.

Avoiding Conflicts a No-No and Resolving Conflicts a Win-Win

Avoiding conflicts seem to be a viable option for us. The cruel fact is, it isn’t. Conflicts won’t walk away by themselves. They will, instead, escalate and haunt you back even more when we finally realize that’s no way we can let it be.

Moreover, avoiding conflicts will eventually intensify the misunderstanding among the involved parties. And the misunderstanding severely hinders open communication which later on the parties tend to keep things secret. This is obviously detrimental to teamwork.

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Some may view conflicts as the last step before arguments. And they thus leave it aside as if they never happen. This is not true.

Conflicts are the intersect point between different individuals with different opinions. And this does not necessarily lead to argument.

Instead, proper handling of conflicts can actually result in a win-win situation – both parties are pleased and allies are gained. A better understanding between each other and future conflicts are less likely to happen.

The IBR Approach to Resolve Conflicts

Here, we introduce to you an effective approach to resolve conflicts – the Interest-Based Relational (IBR) approach. The IBR approach was developed by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 book Getting to Yes. It stresses the importance of the separation between people and their emotions from the problem. Another focus of the approach is to build mutual understanding and respect as they strengthen bonds among parties and can ultimately help resolve conflicts in a harmonious way. The approach suggests a 6-step procedure for conflict resolution:

Step 1: Prioritize Good Relationships

How? Before addressing the problem or even starting the discussion, make it clear the conflict can result in a mutual trouble and through subsequent respectful negotiation the conflict can be resolved peacefully. And that brings the best outcome to the whole team by working together.

Why? It is easy to overlook own cause of the conflict and point the finger to the members with different opinions. With such a mindset, it is likely to blame rather than to listen to the others and fail to acknowledge the problem completely. Such a discussion manner will undermine the good relationships among the members and aggravate the problem.

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Example: Before discussion, stress that the problem is never one’s complete fault. Everyone is responsible for it. Then, it is important to point out our own involvement in the problem and state clearly we are here to listen to everyone’s opinions rather than accusing others.

Step 2: People Are NOT the Cause of Problem

How? State clearly the problem is never one-sided. Collaborative effort is needed. More importantly, note the problem should not be taken personally. We are not making accusations on persons but addressing the problem itself.

Why? Once things taken personally, everything will go out of control. People will become irrational and neglect others’ opinions. We are then unable to address the problem properly because we cannot grasp a fuller and clearer picture of the problem due to presumption.

Example: In spite of the confronting opinions, we have to emphasize that the problem is not a result of the persons but probably the different perspectives to view it. So, if we try to look at the problem from the other’s perspective, we may understand why there are varied opinions.

Step 3: Listen From ALL Stances

How? Do NOT blame others. It is of utmost importance. Ask for everyone’s opinions. It is important to let everyone feel that they contribute to the discussion. Tell them their involvement is essential to solve the problem and their effort is very much appreciated.

Why? None wants to be ignored. If one feels neglected, it is very likely for he/she to be aggressive. It is definitely not what we hope to see in a discussion. Acknowledging and being acknowledged are equally important. So, make sure everyone has equal opportunity to express their views. Also, realizing their opinions are not neglected, they will be more receptive to other opinions.

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Example: A little trick can played here: Invite others to talk first. It is an easy way to let others feel involved and ,more importantly, know their voices are heard. Also, we can show that we are actively listening to them by giving direct eye-contact and nodding. One important to note is that never interrupt anyone. Always let them finish first beforeanother one begins.

Step 4: Listen Comes First, Talk Follows

How? Ensure everyone has listened to one another points of view. It can be done by taking turn to speak and leaving the discussion part at last. State once again the problem is nothing personal and no accusation should be made.

Why? By turn-taking, everyone can finish talking and voices of all sides can be heard indiscriminantly. This can promote willingness to listen to opposing opinions.

Example: We can prepare pieces of paper with different numbers written on them. Then, ask different members to pick one and talk according to the sequence of the number. After everyone’s finished, advise everyone to use “I” more than “You” in the discussion period to avoid others thinking that it is an accusation.

Step 5: Understand the Facts, Then Address the Problem

How? List out ALL the facts first. Ask everyone to tell what they know about the problems.

Why? Sometimes your facts are unknown to the others while they may know something we don’t. Missing out on these facts could possibly lead to inaccurate capture of the problem. Also, different known facts can lead to different perception of the matter. It also helps everyone better understand the problem and can eventually help reach a solution.

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Example: While everyone is expressing their own views, ask them to write down everything they know that is true to the problem. As soon as everyone has finished, all facts can be noted and everyone’s understanding of the problem is raised.

Step 6: Solve the Problem Together

How? Knowing what everyone’s thinking, it is now time to resolve the conflict. Up to this point, everyone should have understood the problem better. So, it is everyone’s time to suggest some solutions. It is important not to have one giving all the solutions.

Why? Having everyone suggesting their solutions is important as they will not feel excluded and their opinions are considered. Besides, it may also generate more solutions that can better resolve the conflicts. Everyone will more likely be satisfied with the result.

Example: After discussion, ask all members to suggest any possible solutions and stress that all solutions are welcomed. State clearly that we are looking for the best outcomes for everyone’s sake rather than battling to win over one another. Then, evaluate all the solutions and pick the one that is in favor of everyone.

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