Advertising
Advertising

10 Things You Can Do To Increase Your Mental Power

10 Things You Can Do To Increase Your Mental Power

So you want to be mentally tough like the Spartan Warriors from the movie 300?

Yes, the legend of the Spartan Warriors is a prime example of being persevering despite the obstacles. Having their mental strength is a trait few have obtained through years of practice and pushing through boundaries.

Chances are, you won’t be a Spartan Warrior anytime soon. But if you want to think and increase your mental power like one, here are 10 things you can do to get started.

1. Have A Positive Mindset

When the going gets tough, the tough get going (think 80’s star Billy Ocean).

Difficult times are a chance to find out what we are truly made of. To start developing strong mental power, write down your goals and what you set to accomplish. Focus on obtaining these goals and believe they can be achieved. Having a positive mindset will give you the confidence needed to overcome any challenges you may face and get what you want in life.

Advertising

2. Focus on What You Can Do, Not What Others Can Do.

There will be people in life who will do whatever they can to hold you back. They are envious of you and want what you have. If you spend your time on what they say or do, it takes away your focus on achieving your goals. That’s what they want. Ignore their opinions and stay on track by being present. Observe what is happening right now. The past is the past and the future is unknown. By staying present, you can focus on yourself and whats important now.

3. Develop Short Term Memory Loss

So there is no mind eraser tool from Men In Black that can magically erase every defeat we have suffered.

    Practicing short term memory loss though is beneficial to better mental power. In football, a great defensive player has to develop a case of “amnesia.” Players often get beat by their opponents and in order to play at a high level, they must shake off defeat and move on to the next play. This takes practice but can be a huge advantage for you. When you get beat, forget about it. Pick yourself up, dust off and move on to the next play. There is always another play.

    4. Sit in Silence

    In today’s world, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with work and life. When feeling overwhelmed, a great sign of strong mental power is the ability to tune out the noise and sit in silence. It will help you view things differently with less emotion and ego. Create a space where you can sit in silence for 5 minutes a day. Turn off the electronics, sit comfortably, and focus on your breathing. You will find yourself feeling calm and relaxed during the session. As you continue to practice, work up to 30 minutes a day as you will gain more clarity and insight into your life.

    Advertising

    Read more about the additional benefits of sitting in silence.

    5. Practice Patience

    They say patience is a virtue and boy it sure is. Today, we are so used to having things right now that we forget what it means to have patience and let things develop. So if you are in the middle of a project, in the beginning of dating someone, or starting a new workout program, trust the process. It’ll make it worthwhile because all good things come to those who wait.

    6. Learn from Failures

    We tend to see failure as the worst thing possible. But those with strong mental power see failure as a learning experience. Failure brings clarity to situations. We learn the most when we are not successful. If you have experienced failure, think about what you would have done differently and apply it to the next project.

    If nothing else, everybody loves somebody who can do the worm.

    Advertising

      7. Visualize the Win

      Successful people with strong mental power are always looking to improve. They see failures as temporary setbacks, not career ending events. It starts with visualizing success. Imagine whatever you are doing whether its presenting a powerpoint deck or writing a novel and see that it will be successful. Envision giving a killer presentation or the book you wrote will be a best seller. It will boost your confidence and help you strive to achieve anything and everything you want in life.

      8. Always Strive to Finish

      We all have been here. We are at the gym and set the treadmill for 30 minutes but we end up jumping off halfway through because we don’t feel like finishing. We think completing half a workout is better than not doing anything at all.

      Yes, it’s better to do something than nothing at all but if you want to increase mental power, you can not stop halfway through. It may not seem like a big deal but if you are finishing half way through a workout, what else are you stopping short of in other areas of your life? Next time you are headed to the gym or to work, set a goal that is obtainable. Jump on the treadmill and no matter how tired you are, finish the 30 minute session. A trademark of mentally strong people is that they never quit and finish no matter what. Always strive to finish.

      9. Do Something Outside of Your Comfort Zone

      We all have that one friend who is always looking for the next adventure. They suggest skydiving over the coastline, quitting your job to go backpacking in South America, or anything that brings on a rush.

      And usually, we respond with this:

      Advertising

        I don’t blame you for saying no but think about how many times you have said no to something new. While you don’t have to do something crazy like jumping out of a plane, its great for your personal growth to do something that makes you uncomfortable. A big part of increasing your mental power is pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone. Living comfortably can keep you from progressing as an individual and living the life you want to live.

        So the next time your friend suggest a new adventure, say yes instead of no. You never know what may happen or who you will meet.

        10. Enjoy the Ride

        It is not about the destination but the journey. All things come to an end. What we will remember most are the hours we put into a new business idea, the time spent with friends that created memories and the struggles faced that have us sitting on top of the world.

        Enjoy the ride folks. You only get to do it once.

        Featured photo credit: Be Strong Like A Spartan Warrior via i.kinja-img.com

        More by this author

        10 Questions To Ask Yourself If You’re Looking For Your Life’s Purpose 10 Things You Can Do To Increase Your Mental Power These 15 Small Lifestyle Changes Will Improve Your Life Today

        Trending in Communication

        1 7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language 2 How to Apologize When You Have Made a Mistake 3 7 Science-Backed Books About Spirituality That Will Change Your Life 4 20 Things Life Is Too Short to Worry About 5 How to Find Inner Peace and Lasting Happiness

        Read Next

        Advertising
        Advertising
        Advertising

        Last Updated on January 15, 2021

        7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

        7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

        The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

        Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

        Posture

        First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

        • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
        • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
        • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
        • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

        All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

        Facial Expressions

        Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

        • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
        • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
        • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

        If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

        Advertising

        1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

        A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

        The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

        This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

        2. Relax Your Face

        New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

        The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

        To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

        Advertising

        3. Improve Your Eye Contact

        Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

        The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

        To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

        3. Smile More

        There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

        Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

        4. Hand Gestures

        Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

        Advertising

        It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

        5. Enhance Your Handshake

        In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

        “Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

        It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

        6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

        As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

        Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

        Advertising

        Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

        Final Takeaways

        Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

        If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

        More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

        Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

        Reference

        Read Next