We have all been there at one time or another. Everything is going well … At work, at home and in our everyday lives. You feel healthy, your partner loves you, the family is well, you are stable financially. Then suddenly, life throws you a curve ball. Things begin to fall to pieces … You then feel this strong desire to scream at the top of your lungs. Life begins its never-ending cycle of disappointments and achievements. We always presume that each of us are capable of getting back up every time life kicks us to the ground, that is far from reality. Sometimes it really hurts being in a situation that you have no control of, and making decisions that seem completely unfair to you will definitely find their way into your life. Regardless of the tough issues that you may face, it’s getting back up and moving forward that counts the most when you need to deal with hardship. You have to develop – ‘Mental Toughness’.
Mental toughness involves learning to be able to adapt to life’s misfortunes and setbacks. When you have mental toughness, you harness inner strength which helps you rebound from setbacks or challenges. When you lack this important attribute, you will begin to dwell on problems, feel victimized, become overwhelmed or turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as substance abuse.
Being mentally tough involves the ability to roll with the punches. When stress, adversity or trauma strikes, you still experience anger, grief and pain, but you’re able to keep functioning – both physically and psychologically. The aspect of being mentally tough is not about just ‘toughing’ it out, being stoic or going alone. In fact, being able to reach out to others for support is a key component of being mentally tough. When you are going through a dark time in your life, you will find out who your ‘true’ friends are. Never forget that and always realize how special those people truly are.
In life, whatever the circumstances … Always look up. Be proud of who you are.
Developing mental toughness offers protection from various mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety. Being mentally tough can also help offset factors that increase the risk of mental health conditions, such as lack of social support, being bullied or previous trauma. This can also help improve your ability to cope.
How can you develop mental toughness?
These tips may help you … They have definitely helped me …
– Get connected … Building strong, positive relationships with loved ones and friends can provide you with needed support and acceptance in both good times and bad. Try and establish other important connections by doing volunteer work or getting involved in your community. It is also good for the soul.
– Make every day meaningful … Do something that gives you a sense of accomplishment and purpose everyday. Set goals to help you look toward to the future with meaning.
– Learn from experience … Think back on how you’ve coped with hardships in the past. Consider the skills and strategies that helped you through rough times. You might even write about past experiences in a journal to help you identify both positive and negative behavior patterns – and guide your behavior in the future. It is always therapeutic to get the negativity off of your chest.
– Remain optimistic … You can’t change what has happened in the past, but you can always look toward the future. Accepting and even anticipating change makes it easier to adapt and view new challenges with less anxiety.
– Take care of yourself … Tend to your own needs and feelings, both physically and emotionally. Participate in activities and hobbies that you enjoy. Include physical activity in your daily routine. There is truth in the statement – “A healthy body equals a healthy mind.” Physical fitness has saved my sanity and my life – many times. Get plenty of sleep. Eat a healthy diet. To restore an inner sense of peace or calm, practice stress management and relaxation techniques, such as yoga or meditation.
– Be proactive … Don’t ignore your problems or try to wish them away. Instead, figure out what needs to be done, make a plan and take action. Although it can take time to recover from a major setback, traumatic event or loss, know that your situation can improve if you actively work at it.
Life can indeed be quite challenging. You never know what it will present to you … To quote Jim Morrison of the Doors: “No one here gets out alive”… Always look at experiences – both good and bad – as education in life. You will always have good days and sometimes you will have bad days. Develop the skills of mental toughness to help you cope with those moments of negativity. It takes time and practice. Rely on your loved one’s and friends that are there for you in good and in bad. Be there for them as they are for you … Always ‘Believe In Yourself’ … You will get through it. Remind yourself that you are not alone. When you begin to open up after you feel that the world has been closing in on you, you will discover how many others have faced the same challenges …We all have a purpose. We are all survivor’s … Remember this, ‘Picking Up The Pieces’ is really not that bad. Take it one step at a time. Stay positive. We learn from our experiences. They make us stronger. They develop our ‘Mental Toughness’ …