Everyone would like to be a mentally strong person, but mental resilience can be extremely hard to achieve when life gets on top of you.
Help is at hand: experienced individuals have shared their tips on how to power through when times get tough, posting advice on answers website Quora.
In order to be mentally strong, you must prevent yourself from getting carried away by emotions to the point where you can’t see logic.
This involves dealing with difficult tasks one step at a time without getting overwhelmed, and also means balancing positive and negative thoughts in a way that advantages you – not getting carried away with one side or the other.
Mentally strong people will keep their eye on the prize, and won’t let their need for instant gratification or the approval of others get in the way of what they really want.
Find your motivation
“Viktor Frankl endured the terrors of the concentration camps in World War II, only to return home and find that he had lost his wife and family.
“During his time in the camps, he discovered that those who had a purpose to keep on going outlasted those who seemed to have given up. He himself kept a burning desire to see his wife and family again, and that kept him going.”
Balance positive and negative thinking
“Positive thinking is important because when you believe good things will happen, you tend to work towards making them happen, and you also notice good things happening.
“Negative thinking is also important, because it allows you to anticipate what could go wrong, and plan how to deal with them.”
Be kind and compassionate
“By being kinder to yourself and others, you reduce the number of negative emotions in your life. By reducing negative emotions, it opens up a space for positive emotions to flourish.”
Take things ‘one brick at a time’
“Mental toughness refers to people who have gone through tough times, and tough times can be overwhelming. How do those who have made it through do it? They take it one brick at a time
While keeping their eyes on the final goal, they break down this goal into smaller, achievable steps, so that they don’t feel overwhelmed.”
Take responsibility for things you can control, accept what you can’t
“It should come as no surprise that mentally strong people take responsibility for their lives, but they don’t take responsibility for everything. That would drive anyone crazy.
“Instead, they accept that there are things outside of their control. The weather, the market, other people. If they try to take responsibility for those it would just be futile.”
Stop taking everything personally
“Much of what happens in life is completely impersonal yet the need to reference oneself in nearly every situation is a deeply ingrained habit. If you step back and see that much of what goes on has nothing to do with you, it can free you from this trap of over-personalizing, which leads to suffering.”
Don’t ‘need’ – want
“We all want to be liked. We all want approval. Problems arise when we start needing it- when we cannot function without it.
“Mentally strong people want everything everyone else on this planet wants. They just don't need it.”
Ask for help when in need
“Being strong doesn't mean that you won't need help. It means when you do, you acknowledge it, and ask for help.”
Don’t succumb to self-pity
“Self-pity eats away mental energy and keeps you emotionally drained forever. It also adds to your current misery for something that happened in the past.”
See the past as valuable training and nothing more.
“Don't spend a lot of time dwelling on the past. Instead, write down what you’ve learned, objectives, and how to avoid pitfalls in the future. This usually works much better than wallowing. It is a great resilience tactic as well.”
Balance emotions with logic.
“Mentally strong people understand how their emotions can influence their thinking. In an effort to make the best decisions possible, they balance their emotions with logic.”
Article by Elsa Vulliamy 2015