3 Ways to Expand Our Mental Strength
Mental strength isn’t about being smart, it is about outsmarting our lesser instincts and conceptions to overcome the harmful aspects of the negative mind state, and building mental strength can be a lot more ambiguous and abstruse of an idea than some people see. Now some facets of mental health are more severe than others, but building mental strength is useful to anyone.
There’s a lot of confusion over the steps you can take to develop mental strength, even though most of us have some sort of grasp of what it means to truly have it. While there are lots of exercises that can help you become mentally strong, we can easily forget about some of the most basic and every day obstacles we face and how to break through those self-imposed barriers to become more mentally and emotionally resilient.
Here are the 3 ways to expand our mental strength:
- Talk to Yourself
Yes… I said it. Talk to yourself. In a good way, ya know.
We all have an internal rhetoric going on at basically every waking moment. Our conscience helps us make decisions, our subconscious triggers memories and beliefs that convince us how to handle ourselves in certain situations, and all the while the ego chatters on somewhere in there trying to influence it all.
Scientists at the Laboratory of Neuro Imaging have estimated we have about 70,000 thoughts per day. So based on that suggestion we all have 70,000 opportunities to either make ourselves mentally stronger, or tear ourselves down with negative self-talk.
Our thoughts have a definitive impact on how we feel and how we behave. The inner monologue has a tendency to become a self-fulfilling prophecy. I think, therefore I am. The energy I create in my minds voice becomes my reality.
So we tend to alter our behavior, whether we know it or not, in a way that makes those predictions come true.
So a huge way to expand our mental strength is to steer clear of negative self-talk and put more empowering ideas into our inner monologue. When you notice yourself thinking something like, “I’m not enough” or “I can’t get better,” remind yourself that your thoughts aren’t necessarily true, and speak more love and happiness into your heart.
- Devote Yourself to Development
This one is pretty simple. Don’t self-destruct, devote yourself to development. Devote yourself to productive and positive behaviors instead of engaging in actions that will place you in compromising positions.
Most people have a few unproductive habits that they indulge in on a regular basis, and a lot of them seem pretty minor, but they do nothing to expand your mental strength. Things like:
- Constantly feeling sorry for yourself
- Complaining all the time
- People pleasing to seek approval
- Abusing your relationships
Self-destructive habits can make even our best efforts to improve become counterproductive.
In our lives we have a choice on where to direct the energy we are granted, so devoting those resources to the things that put love in your heart and fulfill your life. Doing things that mentally strong people don’t do will tire you out and slow your progress. Give yourself the edge with consistent constructive and useful action, and your mental strength will align itself with your actions.
- Create Emotional Awareness
Don’t get me wrong, sometimes it is OK to not be OK… that is the beauty or the duality of life and all that we are.
I have had some trouble with this myself recently, trust me, it’s not always easy. But one of the quickest ways we can weaken ourselves mentally is by letting our emotions dictate our lives.
Staying stuck in those negative vibes can be a dangerous and self-destructive thing. Sadness breeds self-pity, anger breeds bitter resentment and mild anxiety breeds unfounded and debilitating fear if we let it control us.
A lot of our problems as people are rooted in the desire to avoid discomfort, even at great costs to our potential. Avoiding emotional discomfort is not only impossible when you really think about it; it is also usually just a short-term solution that creates long-term problems.
Emotional awareness is about understanding how deeply your emotions impact your life. Once we become aware of our emotions and their true nature, we can choose to be in control of our emotions so they don’t undermine who we really are. When we try to smother our emotional growth, we deprive ourselves of the fullest versions of ourselves.
Practice enduring your discomfort. It is hard, but it is worth it. The more we exercise it the more confidence we can gain in our ability to accept new challenges and overcome the next obstacle. Mental strength and emotional awareness are like two sides to the same coin.
For the Addict/Alcoholic
Mental strength is in everyone, and we all have the same capacity to accomplish great feats with our mental strength.
Just like building physical muscle, developing mental strength requires dedication and hard work. It doesn’t happen overnight, and it does not grow the same for everyone, some of us have to work harder at it for the results we desire.
For the addict or alcoholic, mental strength doesn’t mean we can out-think our addiction. It doesn’t mean our mental strength alone will save us from ourselves. But mental strength can be developed as part of a program of action in our recovery that protects us from the things that hurt us most, including ourselves.
Our greatest potential in life, with every aspect of our life, lies in our ability to learn how to build mental strength and utilize it on a physical, emotional, and spiritual plane. Holistic healing and recovery is all based off of building this foundation and escaping addiction. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-777-9588.