How To Be Mentally Strong In Hard Times
Tough times are inevitable, and we all have to deal with them – be it health issues, financial crises, or family problems. This is a time when your mental strength is tested based on your ability to deal with triggers, pressure, and stress and deal effectively. So, it is important to be resilient, especially when the situation is out of your control.
Without mental strength, inevitably, life challenges will grind you down – filling you with negative emotions such as fear, anxiety, and self-doubt. And the more you experience these feelings and act upon them, the more circumstances seem to just turn against you. When you can improve your skill to navigate difficult times, you not only grow as a person but improve the way you experience life and its challenges. Here’s How To Be Mentally Strong.
Number 1 – Accept What Cannot Be Changed, As they say, change is the only constant thing in life. Therefore, in some circumstances, some goals can not stay realistic or attainable. That said, doubling down on frustrations and saying to yourself, “Why me?” is just a waste of your time and energy. It is very important to have the ability to accept what cannot change – especially during difficult times.
To clarify, acceptance does not equal agreement. It simply means that you accept that some events may be beyond your control. It does not mean that you allow them to control you. Remember, things can always be worse, so try not to blow things out of proportion. Instead, keep a long-term perspective in mind. Ask yourself: will this problem affect main a day? A month? How about a year?
Number 2 – Focus On What You CAN Control There’s probably a lot more beyond your control than you would want. Being frustrated at that fact deprives you of the richness of the present: its rewards and its challenges. Instead, it leaves you feeling dejected, sad, and bleak by focusing on your lack of control and all the negatives.
Drawing your attention back to the present is harder, but it’s much more rewarding. It helps you focus on that which can help you – because you will be changing the things you can. Make a list of everything that you can control about a tough situation – and then focus your energy there.
Number 3 – Stay Positive Staying positive in the face of a challenge can be a small but crucial way to deal with life’s ups and downs. A positive attitude puts you in the best possible position to succeed in the end: a position of strength and hope – two things that can make you stronger in the process. When situations, lives, and even the world seems to fall apart around us, we have two choices:
We can give in to negative thoughts and negative people, or we can remind ourselves that these bad times won’t last forever – there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel. This doesn’t mean that you will be upbeat and happy-go-lucky at the worst of times.
This kind of behavior, when not genuine and used as a coping mechanism, can be just as destructive as negativity. We all have good days and we have bad days. What’s important is being able and willing to pick up the pieces and move forward.
Number 4 – Prioritize Self-Care Self-care is vital in tough situations. If you are not strong, whole, and healthy yourself, you cannot possibly help others. Of course, self-care can take many forms. For example, for you, it may be preparing nutritious meals.
But if circumstances beyond your control force you to go through this routine, you can simply have a protein bar, some fruit, or another healthy snack. Just because we do not have time for our habits, does not mean we cannot take care of ourselves.
Exercise and a consistent sleeping pattern are also important aspects of self-care. After all, if you are sleep deprived and in bad shape, it does not matter how mentally tough you are.
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Number 5 – Get Creative Sometimes the solution can be hard to see- even when it’s right in front of your eyes. And at other times, you run into a clear dead-end. But creative thinking can solve almost any problem. Thinking your way out of a situation in an unexpected way is a valuable skill – even if times aren’t so tough. Yes, sometimes, there is no immediate solution, and you just have to deal with the situation.
But that’s when creatively finding alternatives can be so helpful. For example, many people have a second job to earn extra money – especially in times of financial hardships. A so-called “side hustle” or “side gig” can help tremendously. Thanks to the internet and increasingly flexible‘work-from-home’ options, earning extra money to help make ends meet is now easier than ever.
Number 6 – Learn From Difficult Experiences Challenging times are a given. Is a given option for choosing them to learn, so that we can cope better next time? When things come down, analyze what you can do differently. It’s an excellent way to learn from the situation – as long as you refrain from dwelling on it.
This approach will help you ‘if and when a similar situation arises. You will be able to deal with it more effectively. Furthermore, you will be better equipped to avoid it from happening again.
Number 7 – It is important to make necessary changes from difficult times, but the act of this lesson is not in vain. If you’ve learned that you have to change something, just do it.
The last thing you want is to be in the same situation over and over again – only because you have not acted to prevent it. If the change is something that’s out of your control, for the time being, take note of it, so you can take the necessary steps when the time calls for it.
Number 8 – Practice Gratitude Life isn’t always easy, and there are times when you face unforeseen circumstances. But rather than focus on the negatives, be grateful for what you do have in your life. Practicing gratitude is a choice that can bring immeasurable rewards. When feeling triggered, stressed, and generally negative about life, one valuable self-actualization exercise is to name three things you are grateful for.
Often the first three things that come to mind are the most important to you. Going a bit further, write out everything you feel fortunate to have, and every experience that has taught you a valuable lesson. Hard times aren’t so hard when you start to appreciate just how much in your life is going right.
Number 9 – Learn To Forgive Resentment is one of the most destructive emotions we can harbor. It is particularly toxic because it starts with very little, but after some time, it grows to consume us. Then anger takes hold – and from that, there is no retreat. You must understand that continually dwelling upon your faults is a recipe for disaster.
At the same time, endlessly faulting others for theirs is just as bad. Getting through life is difficult enough without taking on the burden of resentment. It will only weigh you down. Real growth and strength come from letting go. You can deal with these negative feelings in a much better way: through forgiveness – of others, and most importantly, of yourself.
Number 10 – Building Your Community During tough times, having a network of positive people around you is important for your mental strength. Surround yourself with people who are loving, caring, honest, and available – such as family, friends, work colleagues, or support networks.
A little love from a spouse can go a long way to patching up a rough day; friends can care for you when maybe you don’t have the energy to; your family’s honesty can help reveal the simple truth to you.
This exchange of compassion and honesty is vital to our mental health. If you’re able to find a community of like-minded people who happen to be going through the same troubles you are, it will also help you better cope with your situation.
It’s easy to feel mentally strong when everything seems to be going right. But often, true mental strength is most apparent in the midst of a crisis. And while some people can bounce back from hardships and setbacks quickly and resiliently, others find it much more difficult.
When life knocks YOU down, how do you handle it? Are you ready to pick yourself up and adapt to the situation? Or do you find yourself completely overwhelmed? Share your experiences below – perhaps they can be helpful to others reading this post as well.
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