how to become tougher mentally

Last Updated on August 28, 2023

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how to become tougher mentally

In business, there are times when you need to be mentally acute to make tough decisions.

In leadership, there are times when you need to be mentally tough to navigate through complex information.

In life, there are times when you need to be mentally sharp, to make good decisions fast.

In those times you need to be mentally strong. That means managing your emotions, adjusting your thinking, and choosing to take positive action whatever your circumstances.

But like any physical strength, mental strength doesn’t just happen. It has to be developed.

Here are 15 effective ways to become more mentally strong:

  1. Focus on the moment. The challenges that come along from time to time are a test of our willingness to stretch and change. The worst thing you can do is to ignore the situation or procrastinate in developing solutions. The challenge is here and the difficulty is now. Focus your energy on the present moment; don’t lose what is right before you. When you focus on the moment you come to realize where you have the most power to make things right.
  2. Embrace adversity. Mental strength gives us the ability to see the obstacles in our path as stepping stones. When we encounter struggle, and we all do, we can be inspired by the knowledge that it’s not a dead end but a path to deeper knowledge and understanding.
  3. Exercise your mind. Just like your muscles, your mind needs to be exercised to gain strength. Growth and development take consistent work, and if you have not pushed yourself recently, you might not be growing as much as you can. Mental strength is built through lots of small wins, maintained through the choices we make every day. To gain stamina, take on a daily task that stretches your mental endurance.
  4. Challenge yourself. Albert Einstein once said, “One should not pursue goals that are easily achieved. One must develop an instinct for what one can just barely achieve through one’s greatest efforts.” Underestimating yourself and playing it safe hold you back from success. When you believe in yourself and your abilities, you often can go beyond the imaginable.
  5. Respond positively. You cannot control everything that comes your way, but you are in absolute control of how you react to everything that comes your way. What happens to you is important–but not as important as your response. Incredible progress can happen in your life and leadership when you take control of your reactions.
  6. Be mindful. Mindfulness means taking control of your focus and being intentional about what you give your attention to. Whether it’s an emotion, a thought, a belief, an impulse, or something in the environment, mindfulness calls us to approaching everything with a curious, nonjudgmental, open, and accepting attitude. To be the most resilient and mentally strong, make the time to be mindful so you can focus on what you truly want.
  7. Don’t be defeated by fear. To be resilient and mentally strong means knowing how to deal with fear. When you enter frightening situations with the awareness that it’s an opportunity for you to grow, trust outweighs fear.
  8. Be aware of self-talk. We’re often so busy worrying about how we talk to others that we sometimes lose track of the way we talk to ourselves. Make a point of being as positive and supportive of yourself as you are of others, because when times get tough you have to be able to believe you can make it through. Replace self-doubt with positivity.
  9. Rid yourself of can’t. When you feel like you can’t do something, keep your focus positive. You just have to do it. The mentally strong weed out the words like can’t, never, and should–replacing them with can, could, and when.
  10. Stumble toward success. Winston Churchill once said, “Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” Perseverance gives you the ability to face any difficulty, any challenge, any setback without being defeated. It’s better to have a lifetime full of small failures that you learned from rather than one filled with the regret of never having tried.
  11. Find solutions. There will be always problems– every business has complications and any endeavor has hurdles, but if you can learn to focus 90 percent of your time on solutions and only 10 percent on problems, you’ll be able to respond effectively instead of spinning your wheels.
  12. Be grateful. In the business of our busy lives we neglect many of the basic concept of recognition but gratitude gives us fortitude. Gratitude can transform any common day into a thanks giving day and turn routine jobs onto joy and change ordinary opportunities into something we get grateful about.
  13. Brace yourself for the storms. Adversity is inevitable. Be as well-prepared as you can so you can fight them with strength and push through to blue skies.
  14. Define your moments. When you find yourself doubting how far you can go, remember how far you have come. Give yourself credit for everything you have faced, for the battles you have won, for the fears you’ve overcome.
  15. Make it an everyday pursuit. Most mental strength is built and demonstrated not in exceptional circumstances but in the day-to-day of life and leadership.

Positivity, preparation, willingness, discipline, focus, and a long view will all serve you well. Practice mental toughness and you’ll soon be amazed at how strong you’ve become.

how to be a strong man mentally

Mentally strong people don’t skate through life passively. Whether they want to learn a new language or set a fitness goal, they constantly challenge themselves to learn new things and reach new levels of achievement.

Challenging themselves to reach new goals gives them ample opportunities to sharpen their skills. Even if they don’t succeed, they’re able to learn from the process.

  1. Practice gratitude
    celebration happy
    They know they have more than they deserve. Giuseppe Lombardo/EyeEm/Getty
    Rather than think they deserve better, mentally strong people recognize that they have more than they deserve. They’re thankful for anything — from the clean water they drink to the friends who show them compassion. Their gratitude helps them feel and do their best.
  2. Engage in self-care
    Fun and play are key to a good life. Jacob Lund/Shutterstock
    Some people believe taking care of yourself is a sign of fragility. They think eight hours of sleep is for the weak, and relaxing on the beach is for the lazy.

But mentally strong people recognize that they have to recharge their batteries if they want to be their best. They also know that fun and play aren’t enemies of success — they’re hallmarks of a good life.

They don’t get caught up in glorifying being busy. Instead, they make self-care a priority.

  1. Establish boundaries
    They create boundaries and stick to them. Jack Frog/Shutterstock
    Mentally strong people know that it’s important to build a life conducive to building mental strength. And the best way to do that is by establishing healthy boundaries.

They don’t apologize for protecting their time, money, and mental health. Whether that means politely declining an activity that isn’t a priority or saying no to a family member who asks to borrow money, they act according to their values.

  1. Set aside time for solitude
    Dining alone
    Alone time helps them get to know who they are. Getty
    While mentally strong people certainly don’t shy away from social experiences, they also make time for solitude.

They aren’t afraid to be alone with their thoughts. But that doesn’t mean they sit around overthinking things. Instead, they use time to productively problem-solve, reflect, and plan ahead. That alone time helps them know who they are — even as they grow and change — so they can continue to be comfortable in their own skin.

  1. Prove yourself wrong
    woman writing desk working
    They always push themselves to try. GaudiLab/Getty Images
    Mentally strong people experience self-doubt just like everyone else. But they don’t believe everything they think.

Even when their brains tell them they can’t do something, they often put those thoughts to the test.

When strong individuals finds themselves thinking they can’t succeed, they push themselves to try anyway. Every time they prove themselves wrong, they train their brains to see them as more competent and capable than before.

Build your mental muscles
FILE PHOTO: An office worker exercises during a lunch break at a park in central Tokyo, Japan September 22, 2017. REUTERS/Toru Hanai/File Photo
Exercise mental strength. Reuters
Just as there are many exercises for becoming physically strong, there are many strategies for becoming mentally strong. These six habits can jumpstart your efforts toward becoming the strongest and best version of yourself.

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