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9 Secrets Mentally Strong People Live By

9 Secrets Mentally Strong People Live By

What does it mean to be mentally strong?

Well, what it doesn’t mean is that you never struggle with issues like anxiety and depression. We all have to work with these states to some degree at one time or another. The person completely free of them is as rare as an honest politician.

You don’t have to be an enlightened master meditating in a Himalayan cave 24/7 to achieve your own version of mental strength though. With some practice and an intention toward awareness, you can thrive or even soar when life gets challenging.

There are many ways to become mentally strong. Listed below are nine pointers that anyone can incorporate into their lives. And though they may sound like the clichéd utterances of a bleary-eyed new-ager, there is some solid wisdom here.

1. Love yourself first, above everything else.

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    You might feel a weirdness in your chest at the notion of self love. Don’t worry. A lot of people do. But the fact is, it’s tough to love others if you don’t love yourself.

    Consider the oxygen mask on the airplane metaphor. Selfish as it may feel, you have to put on your own oxygen mask first in order to help others.

    2. Learn to be both soft and strong.

    The ability to see the world in shades beyond black and white is part of being mentally strong.

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    Many ascribe weakness to things that are soft, and power to things that are strong. But that’s black and white thinking.

    It is not only possible, but necessary to be both soft and strong to maintain balance and mental strength. For example, in one moment a mother elephant will gently rub her trunk against her calf as it nurses, and in another she’s fierce and ready to trample any animal that threatens her baby.

    Another less esoteric example? Toilet paper.

    3. Keep going, even when things get tough.

    Giving up is the belief that you don’t have what it takes and cannot endure. It is riddled with self-doubt and hopelessness.

    The mentally strong hold on to hope. They know that nothing is permanent and understand that with challenge comes growth.

    Yet with that being said…

    4. Know when to let go and do so bravely.

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      There’s a huge difference between giving up and surrendering. Giving up is a loss of belief and hope. Surrendering carries with it the knowledge of a healthy threshold, and not surpassing that.

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      Because it’s so often associated with giving up, surrendering can be one of the toughest obstacles to overcome. Especially if you’re a control freak. But it’s also one of the most freeing.

      5. Fake it till you make it.

      “Your beliefs become your thoughts,

      Your thoughts become your words,

      Your words become your actions,

      Your actions become your habits,

      Your habits become your values,

      Your values become your destiny.”

      -Mahatma Gandhi

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      ‘Nuf said.

      6. Never settle when something isn’t good enough.

      Seriously.

      Unless, of course, you feel some affection toward being undervalued and enjoy the deep resentment that grows over time like a tumor. You’re allowed.

      That’s just not the way of the mentally strong.

      7. Say no without hesitation.

      If your gut intuition is telling you that something isn’t right, then it isn’t right. Those who are mentally strong know they have the option to reject anything that isn’t right for them.

      They are acutely aware that “no” is not a four-letter word.

      8. Eliminate toxic people from your life.

      Of course, this is easier said than done. Especially if one of the toxic people is currently camping on your couch.

      But it can be done.

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      Toxic people will stay in your life as long as you continue to give them what they want. It may start with your money, your companionship, your car. But eventually it will become your time, your attention and ultimately your energy.

      That’s a heavy toll on your mental state and you don’t need it.

      9. Praise yourself rather than waiting for other’s approval.

      By praise I’m not implying adopting a god(dess) complex.

      But appreciating oneself for achievements or positive actions is part of a mentally strong regimen. In other words, it’s healthy.

      This is quite different from using self-flagellation and -degradation to draw positive comments on the contrary. That would be less healthy.

      So try this.

      Rather than attempt to tackle all of these suggestions, simply think of them as single steps toward becoming mentally strong. Consider them baby steps. Use one or several as mantras. Take them in any order you want.

      And remember that you’re building a foundation toward becoming more mentally strong.

      Take the necessary time and care to make it solid and it’ll definitely pay off.

      What do you do to stay mentally strong? Share your stories.

      Featured photo credit: Eyes by Dboybaker via flickr.com

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      Last Updated on August 21, 2018

      15 Signs You’re an Old Soul and Think Differently

      15 Signs You’re an Old Soul and Think Differently

      If you’ve often felt slightly removed from the worries of today and miss the simplistic life of a time gone by, or somehow feel a little out of sync with what your peers are concerned with, there’s a chance you may be an old soul.

      Being an old soul refers to how you view and approach life.

      Your views echo those of someone much older than you, who has lived a long and fruitful life. You approach life with a greater sense of knowledge and wisdom coupled with a greater sense of inner wealth.

      If you’ve ever met an exasperated 10 year old saying, “Kids today are so…”, or a 28 year old who says, “In my day…”, an awful lot, chances are you’re in the presence of a beautiful old soul. They’re often perplexed, and unable to relate to the things people their own age consider fun, or important, and so feel out of place.

      They look at life through a vignette of experiences they may not have lived, yet, but somehow, just seem to know.

      So if you’ve ever felt like you’ve lived before, and you have a wealth of wisdom you can’t explain, chances are you have been reincarnated—

      —or maybe, you’re just an old soul!

      Here are some tell-tale signs to help you find out if you’re an old soul.

      1. You know there’s another way to do things.

      You often say things like, “I have a feeling this will work”, or “there’s no harm in trying.” People may view your suggestions as outdated or done, but you know that sometimes, just sometimes, the tried and tested ways of doing things are best. Hey, if it ain’t broke…

      You feel that not all problems require a new and innovative solution, and going round in circles when the answer may be staring you in the face is usually a waste of valuable time, and energy.

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      You have no problem trying out new things, but know, too, that oldies can also be goodies.

      2. You give advice well beyond your years.

      You somehow seem to know how to do things you haven’t even done yourself yet. It’s like you’ve lived before, and just know how it all works. People often look at you with that “how do you know?” expression, and you respond with a confident, “I just know!”

      Truth is, you do just know, but don’t know how you know. Those people who come to you for advice, though somewhat freaked out by your amazing prophetic powers to impressively offer solutions and predict outcomes, trust you wholeheartedly and don’t doubt your authenticity.

      3. You like to think things through.

      Even the most impatient of people will need to think things through if they are an old soul at heart. You need that time to maul it over in your head.

      It’s an important part of your to-do process, and it enables you to move forward in the direction most in sync with your mind, body and soul.

      To you, not being able to think things through, even a little, leaves you feeling uneasy, and that does nothing to help.

      4. You don’t waste time asking why.

      After you’ve thought things through, you move ahead, confident in the knowledge that you’ve done all you needed to do to get going.

      You don’t waste time in trying to justify it to yourself or anyone else. You have little time and patience for the nonsensical and would prefer to utilize your time getting things done, rather than sitting around talking about getting things done.

      In the end, you understand that whatever you do, you trust that all things work out just as they are supposed to, and you don’t want to question that wonderful process.

      5. You don’t like to go out just for the sake of going out.

      It’s quality over quantity for you. You love to go out and have fun, but going out because others feel it is required, or you look boring if you don’t, holds no merit for you.

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      When you go out, you’d like to experience something; something that resonates with your way of perceiving the world and challenges you.

      You’ll happily spend money on those things that give you wonderful experiences and broaden your horizons. Going out just because, seems pointless to you; you’d rather save your time, and money, and do something of quality.

      6. You have an appreciation for old literature.

      You respect the classics. You’re often found getting euphorically high off old books. You’ve probably sniffed a good few old books in your time, and you don’t care who sees.

      For you, old literature should be respected and valued; they hold history and historical experience between their pages and deserve to be exalted.

      7. You have old ears.

      You love and appreciate the classics and have a longing for the musicality of those nostalgic tunes. Your record (that’s right, record!) collection looks like a retro music store. Probably only 10% of your collection consists of what you refer to as “nowadays” music, the rest are from decades gone by.

      You know only a handful of today’s artists, and that’s only because you haven’t heard an album yet to rival your favorite Grateful Dead album, or your favorite Frank Sinatra track.

      You don’t go out of your way to avoid modern music, it just doesn’t seem to whet your appetite. So you’ll happily pump your beloved Janis Joplin or Nat King Cole all the way home. Heaven!

      8. You see no need in being unnecessarily stressed.

      You don’t invite drama just because it makes you feel alive, no, you’d much prefer to live without it.

      You appreciate the quiet, and invite peace. It’s become apparent to you that the world views stress and busyness as being productive.

      But you know that being productive has nothing to do with being crazy busy or stressed, but everything to do with how well you utilize your time.

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      So you’re mindful about what you spend your hours doing, and make sure your doing something worthwhile, and not just keeping busy for busy sake.

      9. You love to meet new people.

      To you, talking to people is enriching and adds to your experience of the world. This isn’t because you just can’t help chit chatting, but more so because you are genuinely fascinated by those you share this planet with, who can offer different perspectives.

      You love being able to swap stories with people you’ve only just met. Plus, it also serves to make those trips to the bank all the more interesting!

      10. You value deep connections.

      For you, it’s all about quality over quantity. You require a deeper connection with those around you in order to feel any connection at all.

      Half-hearted friendships, surface-level relationships and fly-by-night hook-ups are not your thing. You value the essence of deeper friendships and long lasting relationships, as you give yourself wholly to them, too.

      11. You love learning.

      Nothing gets you going more than learning more about yourself, other people and the world around you.

      For you learning is growth, and growth is part of life. As an old soul, you approach learning from the understanding that it doesn’t have to lead anywhere, for example, a degree or certificate.

      Sure, those things are great and offer a sense of accomplishment, but for you it’s the act of learning something new and wonderful that motivates you, not the initials after your name!

      12. You don’t see the fuss about the latest craze.

      Following others just to fit in? Where’s the fun in that? To you, being a style chaser or tech follower is something you can never quite get your head around.

      Sure you may even own a Kindle or you may have an iPad, but now they sit there, gathering dust, because you miss the feel (and smell) or the real thing, and computer works just fine.

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      You don’t really care whether you’re an early adopter or a late comer. None of the things defines you, and you’re okay with that.

      13. You value the company of those much older than you.

      You want to drink in their wisdom and you hang on their every word as they tell you stories of their youth. You laugh at their accounts of old trends, and cry at the war stories, you reminisce with them about long lost loves, and actually listen to their pearls of wisdom.

      At a time when we seem to have less and less time for the more mature among us, the old soul has nothing but time to give. That’s because you appreciate what they have to share, and let’s be honest, you secretly wish for a time when life seemed so simple.

      14. You are the epitome of calm.

      You are the steadfast one, the one neither swayed, nor toppled, even in a crisis. You probably say things like, “Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast,” and tell people to “Get a grip!”

      To everyone else, you appear disconnected, but to those who know you well, you’re actually hard at work, you just work differently.

      You’ve learned that nothing actually gets done if everyone is running around losing their heads; someone needs to be the calm force. This is just how you make sense of what is happening.

      You stop. Wait. Listen. Then decide what steps to take next.

      15. You truly understand what it means to give.

      To you, there’s no better way to live, than to give.

      Giving your time, or money or those things you simply have no need for is the most rewarding thing anyone can do with their short time on earth. It isn’t an ego thing, far from it.

      For you, giving is the purest act of love. Plus, you see no point in holding on to things you cant take with you, so you’re more than happy to travel light!

      Featured photo credit: Portrait of fashionable well dressed man with beard posing outdoors looking away, confident and focused mature man in coat standing outside at sunny evening, elegant fashion model via shutterstock.com

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