Tough times don’t last; tough people do. It’s a popular phrase that a lot of people use. It’s got a great message and surely works wonders for those stuck in the middle of a tough period in their lives. But how do you become one of these ‘tough people’? Being mentally strong is easier said than done, and ever more so when you find yourself in a rut.
Mental strength allows you to face fears and helps you go out of your comfort zone. It develops resilience and perseverance and helps you find ways to navigate challenging situations. How can you be mentally strong in the midst of a tough time? Let’s find out below.
Strategy 1: Focus on things you can control
When times get tough, you’ll often feel that you’re being overwhelmed by things out of your control. Not only does focusing on these things pointless (since there’s literally nothing you can do about them), it drains your energy and makes things feel harder than they are.
When you focus on the things you can control, you give yourself the opportunity to feel like you’re on top of things which can help you feel calm, empowered and positive. It also reduces the time you’re worrying about things you can’t control.
So how can you spend more time on things you can control? Here are some example activities:
- Spend time doing a hobby
- Spend quality time with friends and family
- Spend time properly relaxing
- Clean your room
- Make goals to look forward to
Strategy 2: Avoid harmful coping mechanisms
When people are faced with a challenging situation, they usually turn to coping mechanisms to help them, well, cope. Coping mechanisms can be either harmful or helpful and it’s important to identify which of these two types your coping mechanisms are.
How do you deal with difficult situations? Do you turn to alcohol or other harmful substances when you’re feeling pressured or stressed out? Or maybe you’re the type to sink into inactivity, procrastination and lethargy? While these may help you feel a little better, those feelings are fleeting and oftentimes will make you feel even worse afterwards.
Instead, try engaging in some positive coping mechanisms such as yoga, journal writing or meditation.
Strategy 3: Ask for help
Sometimes it’s hard to ask for help in the middle of a tough situation. Our pride and ego might get in the way, or you might feel embarrassed or ashamed about talking about your struggles. But when you have someone trustworthy to talk to, it can often lead to good things. Mentally tough people don’t waste time trying to go about things on their own. They look for help and lean on others when life throws a curveball at them.
The key thing to remember is to choose someone you either absolutely trust like a very close friend – or go to someone who is professionally trained to talk about tough topics, such as a therapist or a professional helpline.
Strategy 4: Adapt, don’t resist to change
Change is a huge trigger for stress, fear and nervousness – and there’s no problem with feeling this way. After all, it’s a normal and human response. We can’t predict the future and how change will affect our lives.
Change isn’t always a bad thing either, it can be sometimes necessary. When you are dealing with the unknown and change, it’s better to adapt to it rather than waste time and energy resisting the change.
Adapting to change is easier said than done, so here are some practices and methods you can do to work and cope with change:
- Improve your understanding of the change that is happening by researching and asking questions.
- Start setting routines and plans to help you ease into the new situations and circumstances change might bring.
- Learn more about what’s actually changing and how you can deal with it.
Strategy 5: Embrace a positivity mindset
Nothing shows that you are a mentally strong person than a confident mindset and positive self-talk. And there’s nothing worse than the opposite – negative self-talk. Negative self-talk will make an already hard situation even harder to deal with.
Instead of talking yourself down, embrace a mindset that is receptive to feedback, brims with confidence and is willing to make mistakes and grow. It may take some time to build a positive mindset and mental toughness, but there are ways to start cultivating them include:
- Identify moments of negative self-talk
- Remind yourself of your wins and positive aspects of yourself
- Set small, achievable goals for yourself
- Spend time with positive people
Strategy 6: Meditation and mindfulness
Mindfulness is the ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing. It’s also the practice of not being overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going around us. It’s a trait that all mentally strong people have.
Being present is a fundamental aspect of combating fear and anxiety. Since anxiety is concerned with problems in the future, being present literally takes you and your mind away from those thoughts.
Meditation is a key part of mindfulness and helps to cultivate and grow that trait. Meditation routines are not limited to sitting down with your legs crossed either, it can be done as you walk or before you go to bed. Here are some meditation practices that you can try today.
Don’t let hard times drag you down!
Hard times are inevitable and everybody goes through them. The difference between mentally strong people and those who aren’t is that they don’t back away from them and often come out the other side as stronger people. Hopefully these 6 strategies have helped you flex and work out your mental strength for those tough times ahead.
Want more articles that improve your mental health and your overall well being? Mentally strong people are always learning more so head on over to the OSIM Wellness Blog where you’ll find just that!