Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on January 12, 2021

5 Ways to Help Yourself Advance Your Mental Strength

5 Ways to Help Yourself Advance Your Mental Strength

When life knocks you down and leaves you feeling battered and bruised, how do you help yourself get back into the game? The natural reaction is to spiral into panic and worry. Let’s face it, a knockdown can be emotionally and mentally exhausting.

I believe that the core difference between those who thrive through life, versus those who fall apart at the first sign of struggle, is their mental strength.

Mental strength refers to the resilience and strength that people possess to soldier through struggles and succeed[1]. It is the secret sauce that allows you to push past exhaustion when everything in your body is telling you to quit. Learn how to tap into your own mental strength and move forward.

The Importance of Advancing Your Mental Strength

Mentally strong people decide from day one that they will not allow their circumstances to define or destroy them. When something doesn’t go their way, they don’t curl up in a ball and give up.

Instead, they stand back up, wipe away their tears, and use the challenges as opportunities to prove to themselves and the world that they can overcome anything and everything.

I’ve got great news. Mental strength isn’t a superhuman trait. Instead, it’s something that you can develop and master through trial and error.

Take a moment and think back to a challenge that you had to overcome. What traits did you have to pull upon to get through that difficult time?

We don’t give ourselves enough credit for how far we’ve come and what it took for us to get where we are today. Let’s face it—life doesn’t always like your plans.

However, the tough times will make you a stronger and more resilient human being. The train wreck moments when my life felt as if it was falling apart proved to be signs that better things were actually falling back together.

Why Is Mental Strength Hard to Achieve?

Your mind is a powerful tool. It can be your best friend or your worst enemy. Here’s the kicker—we all have that voice inside of our heads, otherwise known as your inner critic.

Rather than empathize with you, this voice basks in the enjoyment of beating you down and trying to convince you that you are not the CEO of your life.

You aren’t strong enough.

You’re messed up.

Advertising

You aren’t worthy of happiness.

Unfortunately, a lot of people allow this voice to dim their light and dictate every decision in their life. The bottom line is that your inner critic robs you of your mental strength. However, it’s important to not silence this voice without understanding where it comes from[2].

A lot of people fall into the trap of assuming that because they are thinking awful things about themselves, they must be true. Wrong.

In actuality, your inner critic is your inner child. Psychologists believe these voices are residues of childhood experiences. We become so used to living under these narratives that we don’t even notice or question them[3].

Ironically, your inner critic just wants to help you. Talk about mind games at their finest! I want to propose a different perspective. Instead of fighting with this critical voice, what would happen if you reframed the intention behind it?

Help yourself by transforming your inner critic into your inner coach.

Whereas a critic knocks you down, a coach challenges you to find solutions and gives you the confidence to face new obstacles with courage, grace, and determination.

For example, you could say out loud to yourself, “Critic, thanks for trying so hard to keep me safe, but it’s time for you to step aside now.”

The beauty of life is that, at any given moment, you have the power to rewrite your story and unleash the strength that has always been a part of you.

5 Ways to Help Yourself Advance Your Mental Strength

I want you to think of your mind as if it were a muscle. Just like you go to the gym and work at building your physical strength, you’ve got to commit to flexing your mental muscle as well.

At the end of the day, success is a mindset game. As Tony Robbins says,

“80 percent of success is due to psychology—mindset, beliefs, and emotions—and only 20 percent is due to strategy—the specific steps needed to accomplish a result.”

Let’s explore 5 ways that you can help yourself advance your mental strength.

Advertising

1. Develop Unshakeable Confidence

Nobody is born with unshakeable confidence. Anybody that you’ve come across who possesses this trait has it because they have worked tirelessly to build it.

As Maxwell Maltz once said,

“Low self-esteem is like driving through life with your hand brake on.”

Mental strength is the thing that allows you to take the hit and bounce forward so that, even though you are bruised, you are not defeated.

Anyone can strengthen their confidence muscle. The question is, how do you practice being confident when you don’t feel like you have anything to be confident about?

Check out the video below to start developing some answers:

Being successful in life is all about developing and conditioning positive core beliefs every day. This is why I’m a big believer in the power of reciting positive affirmations.

You have to trust that you are better than your limiting beliefs. When in doubt, fake it until you feel it. Once you start believing that you are amazing and capable of achieving anything, you naturally start to embody that feeling.

Take a look at this guide if you’d like to boost your self-confidence: How to Be More Confident (the Definitive Step-By-Step Guide)

2. Take Responsibility for Your Life

When it feels like the world is caving in on you, it’s easy to blame the world for your problems. However, adopting this mindset only serves to disempower you.

If you constantly say, “Bad things always happen to me,” life will constantly feel like a struggle. The Universe listens, so be careful of the words that you speak.

You cannot wait for someone to come along and make your life better. This is important if really want to help yourself. You have the power to take responsibility for your life.

No dream or goal is going to save you. The sooner that you accept and start living that truth, the sooner that you step into your power.

Advertising

3. Reframe Setbacks as Signposts for Growth

Setbacks aren’t fatal or permanent. In actuality, there are times when getting knocked down by life is very much needed.

Sometimes you’ve got to hit your emotional threshold or rock bottom before you are finally ready to change your life. If you feel like you are at the bottom now, the good news is that you can’t go any lower. The only way is up!

I believe that hitting rock bottom can be a catalyst for personal transformation and the foundation upon which anyone can rebuild their lives.

I like to think of setbacks as signposts that exist to shake me awake. Whenever I feel stuck, I’ve either been getting too comfortable in my environment or haven’t been listening to my intuition.

Setbacks offer great opportunities to redirect and refocus your life, but it’s up to you to see them that way. I encourage you to reframe your challenges as opportunities for growth.

The next time that nothing seems to be going your way, step back and ask yourself what the challenge is teaching you. This will help you prioritize your emotional health.

Every problem has an advantage. When you learn how to embrace your challenges, you are better able to look every future challenge dead in the eye and give it a wink.

4. Master Your Emotions

When things fall apart, how do you react? Do you panic and lose control, or do you sit back, assess the situation, and take action?

You can’t always control how you feel. The only thing that you can control is how you respond to your feelings.

You may be able to influence a certain outcome, but everything else is out of your hands. If you don’t master your emotions, they will end up mastering you, and that will make it very difficult to help yourself.

Psychologist Lisa Feldman Barrett suggests in her book, How Emotions Are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain, that emotions do not happen to us without our volition. Rather, we construct our emotions by making predictions using our past experiences.

This line of thinking supports the belief that you are the creator of your own reality. This means that you are—and will always be—in control of your life and your emotions.

The best way to have more control over your emotional responses is to move throughout your days more mindfully. This comes down to being present and more aware of yourself, your experiences, and how you participate with them.

Advertising

The next time that you feel yourself getting overwhelmed, take a deep breath and calm your emotional center. Give yourself time and space to choose how you will respond.

You can learn more about practicing mindfulness here: Meditation Can Change Your Life: The Power of Mindfulness.

5. Step Outside Your Comfort Zone

I believe that comfort is the enemy of progress. Your comfort zone is a safe place to hang out, but nothing ever grows there.

New research from Yale University shows that uncertainty sends a signal to the brain to kickstart the learning process[4]. This means that those unstable situations that make you feel uncomfortable are critical to your ability to grow and succeed[5].

Help yourself by stepping out of your comfort zone.

    Do you think that some of the most successful people in this world got to where they are today by sipping apple martinis and sitting on a beach? Absolutely not.

    They worked tirelessly and risked a lot to turn their dreams into reality. In short, they took massive action, despite their fears. What would you do if you weren’t afraid?

    I challenge you to do one thing every day that stretches your mental muscle. That is how you become the driver of your destiny.

    Are you still wondering how to step out of your comfort zone? I strongly recommend you read this article.

    Final Thoughts

    Starting today, help yourself become mentally stronger.

    Your mental strength is bigger than any obstacle or adversity. You can either choose to stay on the ground and play the victim, or you can rise up and transform your pain into possibility.

    Are you ready to show life who’s boss?

    More About Mental Strength

    Featured photo credit: Jonas Verstuyft via unsplash.com

    Reference

    More by this author

    Ashley Elizabeth

    Resilience Mastery Coach and Motivational Speaker

    How to Overcome Fear and Find Success (The Ultimate Guide) What Motivates You to Succeed in Life and Keep Moving Forward? 5 Reasons Why Keeping a Mood Journal Is Good For Your Mental Health 5 Ways to Help Yourself Advance Your Mental Strength 13 Simple Habits to Cultivate Self-Compassion

    Trending in Positive Thinking

    1 What Is Positive Thinking and How to Always Think Positive 2 4 Signs You Have a Distorted Self-Image (And How To Fix It) 3 10 Negative Thoughts We All Have and What to Think Instead 4 20 Small Habits That Will Help You Become Mentally Strong 5 How to Think Positive Thoughts When Feeling Negative

    Read Next

    Advertising
    Advertising
    Advertising

    Last Updated on April 8, 2021

    What Is Positive Thinking and How to Always Think Positive

    What Is Positive Thinking and How to Always Think Positive

    In order for you to change your life, you must first change the way you think. If you are new to self-improvement, this is something that you must understand. Looking back at the various figures who have made dramatic changes in their life, there was a point where they had to shift toward positive thinking.

    This concept isn’t as simple as it looks on the surface. Much like any habit, there are particular ways to go about tapping into the power of positive thinking and to be thinking positively on a daily basis.

    What Is Positive Thinking?

    Positive thinking is precisely what it says. It’s a series of habits and thought patterns that make you see things in a more positive light. One common example is seeing the failures you experience as lessons and opportunities to grow.

    Positive thinking encompasses a number of things and impacts our lives in big ways. Positive thinking can create changes such as:

    • The way you talk to people both online and in person.
    • The people you attract.
    • How you inspire and encourage other people both directly and indirectly.
    • Your productivity methods and overall working capabilities.
    • Your stress level and how you manage it.

    From this description, you can say that thinking positive is much like a lifestyle. The more positive you are, the more good things will appear around you, even in situations where you experience setbacks or challenges.

    Another way to look at positive thinking is the addition of good thinking habits replacing bad ones. For example, how many times have you said “I can’t do that task” or “I’ll never achieve this goal of mine”? By definition, thinking this way will guarantee that you’ll avoid that task and put less effort toward that goal. On the other hand, by thinking “I can do that task” or “Someday, I’ll achieve that goal,” you’ll be motivated to work towards those objectives.

    How Does Positive Thinking Change Your Life?

    For those who have been in the self-improvement world, you can tell from the points above how your life can be impacted. Things like improved productivity, being more approachable, and more can create ripple effects throughout your life.

    Getting into more details, these things can translate to larger things in your life. Some changes that positive thinking will do to your life are things like:

    Advertising

    • Being able to achieve goals consistently when you set them.
    • A dramatic change in your attitude.
    • Using money in a more intelligent manner to the point you’ll be earning more.
    • Having more like-minded friends.
    • Being more generous and kind to others.
    • Living a longer life.[1]

    Positive thinking from this viewpoint can sound like it’s too good to be true, though this is no simple task. It’s not a matter of flipping a switch, and suddenly you’ve learned how to think positive. That said, these are good incentives to be working towards, and there is research behind these things being true.

    How to Tackle Negative Thoughts

    Another key aspect to positive thinking is that positive thinking isn’t about eliminating all negativity from your life[2]. Our lives do have negative events; you’ll make mistakes, fail, and have setbacks. However, it’s important that you strike a balance between being aware of reality and accepting your surroundings and thinking optimistically.

    There is no right or wrong method to pick from, but being able to limit negative self-talk in various areas of your life comes down to a few simple techniques. Here are some examples.

    Follow a Precise Guide to Cultivating a Positive Mindset

    The guide involves looking for feedback, paying attention to your thought patterns, and rearranging them to accept negative emotions. Other guides will bring you through the process by getting you to believe you can change your attitude all the way to avoiding toxic positivity.

    Learn About Your Thinking Style

    Are you a logical thinker or an emotional one? Do you focus on the short-term or the long-term? Do you naturally sway toward the positive or the negative? Identifying all of these things can help you get a handle on how your mind naturally works before you go about changing it.

    One way to tap into your thinking style is to learn about how you are motivated. Check out Lifehack’s Free Assessment: What’s Your Motivation Style? One you know your motivation style, you’ll begin to understand yourself and how you think on a daily basis.

    Create a Curiosity Around Negative Thoughts

    Looking at negative thoughts as something interesting instead of as something damaging is a good step toward giving them less power. When a negative thought comes around, try writing it down and contemplating it for a few moments.

    Why did that thought come about, and why are you looking at that particular thing in a negative way? How can you change that thought into something positive?

    Advertising

    10 Simple Habits to Practice Positive Thinking

    The methods mentioned above are ways to nullify the impact of negative thoughts. There will be times where you will still think negatively, but the impact will lessen. This is especially true when you incorporate various habits into your life to improve your positive thinking.

    Here are some things to consider to help you cultivate a positive mindset.

    1. Do One Act of Kindness Daily

    Making someone smile has as much of an impact on them as it does for you. Doing good things feels good, which is why many of us feel compelled to make donations to non-profit organizations. The act of charity warms our hearts.

    But you can make more of an impact by doing something nice for someone else. Smile and say hello to someone, give someone a compliment, or help them out in a small way if you see them having issues.

    2. Laugh More

    Along a similar vein, positive emotions cause us to shift our attitude, and laughter is another big one to consider. Laughter shouldn’t be forced though, so make a point of being around people who can make you genuinely laugh. This can be a comedian, a friend or family member, or anyone who can get you to chuckle.

    3. Read More Positive Material

    Our social media diet is one of the largest influencers of our mood. That, along with television or other video content. If you’re watching or reading content that makes you angry, negative, or hateful, that behavior is going to project onto everything else you do and get in the way of positive thinking.

    To change that, you must change how you are consuming content and what you gravitate toward. Make a point of reading some positive news and developments. Another option is to read or watch videos that focus on things that you’re passionate about.

    4. Set Goals

    Another solid method is to set goals and work to achieve them. This can tackle a lot of negative thoughts as people often set goals and give up due to negative thoughts most of the time.

    Advertising

    Setting goals and striving to achieve them on a regular basis allows you to build the framework to overcome those negative thought hurdles. You’ll eventually stop making excuses and focus on the task at hand.

    5. Have a Strong Morning Ritual

    In general, what you do first thing in the morning determines the energy you put toward the rest of your day. We all have our usual routine in the morning, and many times that routine doesn’t put people in a space that’s conducive to positive thinking.

    My recommendation is to mix up your morning ritual to include some positive things. Examples are doing some exercises, showing yourself some self-love through gratitude and positive affirmations, or maybe doing something you enjoy, such as completing a puzzle or writing a poem.

    6. Ask the Proper Questions

    Negativity is something that we have to accept, but how we change the impact of it can be through questions. The catch is that you need to be asking the right kind of questions first.

    For example, if you’re a pessimist, the questions you’ll be asking yourself are negative. “Why did this happen to me?” “Why do bad things happen to me whenever I try something?” These are negative because you’re painting yourself as a victim, and it does nothing for your mindset but slow you down.

    Instead, start asking questions like:

    • What’s one good thing about this situation?
    • What is it that I can learn from these events and circumstances?
    • What is one small thing I can do right now to start fixing this?

    By asking these questions, you’ll start to give your brain some tasks to ponder over to solve this situation and gain something from these experiences.

    7. Create a Positive Environment

    Consuming positive content is one way of creating a positive environment, but there are other things that can influence it. In general, creating an environment where you can be positive is key to development. This means:

    Advertising

    • Do the things that bring joy and energy into your life.
    • Be around positive people who lift you up.
    • Continue to strengthen that environment by reinforcing standards for what’s acceptable for you and what isn’t.

    8. Meditate

    Meditation is another morning activity to consider and one to do overall if you want to practice positive thinking. Meditation provides a number of benefits when done on a regular basis.

    Meditation provides you with an opportunity to look inside yourself and see what makes you tick. It helps you to look at thought patterns and to begin rearranging them. It’s a powerful method because it adds perspective to who you really are and what you truly think[3].

    From there you can make drastic changes by simply meditating.

    9. Write Down Your Thoughts and Tackle the Issues

    Similar to meditating, consider jotting down the thoughts that come to mind whenever you feel stressed. During these periods, you’ll see that when you’re stressed, you’ll be writing down things that cause you to feel stressed. It could be something extreme, or it could be a series of small things you need to do that have piled up.

    The idea is to write out those thoughts and the next day begin working on fixing those problems to make room for a more positive outlook.

    10. Read Positive Thinking Books

    The last method to boosting positive thinking is to be reading more books on the subject. Positive thinking is a subject that has been researched heavily, and there is a lot of information on it. You’ll find a lot of it overlapping or having similar elements, but it doesn’t hurt to pick up a few books and read what the author has to say on the subject.

    While reading articles is great, a book has more room to add more details and perspectives that aren’t otherwise there when reading an article.

    Final Thoughts

    Positive thinking is not something that can be done overnight. It’s something that takes time as it involves rewiring your very way of thinking and reinforcing habits. It’s not an easy path, but it can lead to many avenues opening up to you in various ways. The road to success and to great change is through a positive and developing mindset for better physical and mental health.

    More Tips on Positive Thinking

    Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

    Reference

    Read Next