Ways to Gain Mental Strength Part 2

I would like to continue my conversation on mental strength from my last post Ways to Gain Mental Strength. I stated that I will make another post on some other ways I have found online and through my own experience. As I mentioned, there are plenty of ways to gain mental strength. I will discuss a couple more habits that can be helpful. Through experience and practice you can learn to develop more of these habits to build on your mental strength and health.

  • Write positive aspects of every challenge-I really liked this one when I saw it. We tend to put more focus on the negative, but there could be a lesson learned, a better opportunity, a new way to learn, or maybe it can help you inspire others, and create a new path for you. There can be something there if you look for it, and change your perspective.
  • Practice 30 minutes of self-careGive yourself space to pamper yourself. To make yourself feel good. Remember, you can’t be your best to others, if you don’t treat yourself right first.
  • Say nice things to yourself-This may seem ridiculous or embarrassing to do, but starting with saying nice things to yourself, even small things, can help build self-kindness and compassion, to eventually love and confidence.
  • Practice more gratitude and less complaining-I mentioned many times that complaining solves nothing, and creates more negativity. Working on being more grateful can do wonders. I try my best to focus my energy on the good things in my life when I find myself getting into a negative space. It has helped my mental health vastly.
  • Accept adversity and challenges-It is important to recognize that challenges will arise. Being able to overcome obstacles and keep moving takes strength. It is tough, but you’ll get through it. This is something you want to remind yourself. This is all part of life experiences.
  • Learn to be alone-Some like more alone time, than others. There are some who really need to be around others, but we all need space from time to time. It doesn’t have to be a long period, but you got to allow yourself to think and feel for yourself. Giving yourself that space leads to more self understanding and awareness. Self soothing and reflection are very important, no one can truly help you, but yourself. Getting to know yourself better leads to a better mindset.
  • Practice self love-Once a person is able to love themselves. It is very hard to break that person down and deter them. They know who they are. They know what they want. They stand strong, and go after what can give them a better life.
  • Getting power over your emotions-Okay, you can’t control your emotions, but the power is how you handle them. Allow yourself to feel it. Give yourself space to let it out in a healthy way. Understand it is part of being human. Push through. Figure out ways to move forward, whatever way works best for you. Just try not to let the emotions consume you.
  • Seeing the other side-Having the ability to empathize and seeing others perspective helps build a stronger mindset.
  • Eat healthierStudies and research has shown that an unhealthy diet can lead to higher rates of low moods, depression and anxiety. Feeding your body with the right nutrients can help build mental strength and clarity.
  • Meditate-This cultivates inner peace, mental sharpness and clarity. When your mind is clear. There is much potential.
  • Be mindful-Practicing mindfulness had definitely played a part in being more mentally strong as an individual. Once you start being mindful, all of the other things above start to come into play. For me, it starts at learning to be present.

I can list many other things that can help one to become a mentally strong individual. There is a plethora of habits and practices out there. There are plenty of practices, but sometimes difficult for people to put into practice. It is all about awareness of where you are right now, and what can be done to improve your mindset, situation and circumstances.

Seeing the Other Side

I think it is important, now more than ever, that we learn to see the other side. What I mean by this is being able to understand opposing, or different view points of others. Calling others with opposing views, or others you don’t understand harsh words is a simple solution to a more complex situation. People tend to prefer the easy way, make assumptions, make baseless claims, call others names. This type of behavior and language creates barriers, it cultivates hate, division, anger etc,.

Strength, maturity and wisdom is being able to push away your view points, and learn to hear the opposing view points to be able to come to an understanding. I always try to get outside of my bubble, challenge myself, and look further. It is okay to agree to disagree. We all come from different environments and backgrounds. Having the opportunity to listen and see the other side can build a world of compassion, kindness and peace. You can’t understand someone, unless you hear them out. I mean how many times have you made assumptions to find out the truth, and realize you made a mistake with that assumption? I know I have many times. It is comforting to be in our bubble, but we got to challenge ourselves to see the other side. Pushing away different view points does not help you grow. It keeps you stagnant in a perpetual world of ignorancy.

Assumptions are our way of understanding others and the world around us, but it doesn’t mean it is based on facts. It is through our own bias, and those are not facts. We got to open ourselves up to others view point. Judging and criticizing others for different view points is self-centered on the individual’s part. Your way does not mean it is the right way, and they are wrong. We do not think the same. Someone from the city will think differently, than someone from the countryside.

Instead of the harsh rhetoric towards others, which will get you no where. I mean, think about it, would you want to come to an understanding when someone is belittling you? The best way is treat others with kindness, hear them out, and open yourself up to a different world. You may come to realize they have a point in their views. You don’t have to agree, but learning to understand goes a long way. It creates less friction, anger, and tenseness in one’s life. I found so much peace in awareness and understanding of opposing views. I hope you all can to.

I really like the image below. It shows that there can be no right or wrong, just different ways of seeing things.

Maria Koromila on Twitter: "Understanding different perspectives matters  #communication #change #behavioralinsights… "

Take A Step Back to be Mindful

The past couple days have been a bit stressful. I have been glued to the screen, seen a bit too much negativity, but I also did see hope for a better tomorrow. I thought today will be a nice day to take a break from it, and get back to being more mindful. It has been really nice these days, so I took the opportunity to step outside for some fresh air, and view the beautiful scenery around me. This walk, along with doing a bit of running, yoga, and some journaling helped put me in a better place mentally and physically.

There will be times when you step away from mindfulness practices, but you can always step back, and reclaim your peace of mind. Journal to get your thoughts out, and confront them. Take a walk outside to get fresh air, and see the beauty of this world. Exercise to get some movement, and strengthen your body, and to increase our feel-good hormones(dopamine, serotonin, endorphins). Practice yoga to stretch and relax the body & mind. Meditate to calm the mind and gain clarity. Work on your goals, and be productive to gain a sense of accomplishment.

If you are feeling a bit stressed or down. Just remember that a bit of mindfulness can help bring you back to a better place mentally and physically. You may fall off track, but it will always be there when you need it. Giving yourself space to be present, and giving yourself space to focus on you is truly important, and something we should remember to do. I allowed too many of others opinions to consume my mind. Time to give my thoughts a time to shine. Always remember to look within yourself.

Ways to Gain Mental Strength

Mental Strength is the capacity of an individual to deal effectively with stressors, pressures and challenges and perform to the best of their ability, irrespective of the circumstances in which they find themselves (Clough, 2002).

Building mental strength is fundamental to living your best life. Just as we go to the gym and lift weights in order to build our physical muscles, we must also develop our mental health through the use of mental tools and techniques.

Optimal mental health helps us to live a life that we love, have meaningful social connections, and positive self-esteem. It also aids in our ability to take risks, try new things, and cope with any difficult situations that life may throw at us.”(PositivePsychology.com).

Being mentally strong is important for us to thrive in this world. It helps build confidence. It helps us cope with struggles, It helps us live a more fulfilling life. It also helps us find inner peace. It allows us to live a more satisfying life. It is important to find habits to help build one’s mental strength. There are plenty of ways to do so. I will list and discuss 9 ways described by Vlogger Clinical Psychologist Julia Kristina. I found her ways to be intriguing and helpful. I will link her video below if you like to look more into it. I will also make a part two of this with some habits I found online that seemed helpful, and from my own experience with gaining mental strength. I will first describe the 9 habits from Julia. I will incorporate my own ideas to what she mentions of course. I really liked her ideas, so I wanted to post them here.

  • Compassionate self-talk

How do you talk to yourself? That is an important question to think about. Is it mostly negative, self-defeating, self-blaming, or critical? Do you always put yourself down? Think about it, would you say these things to someone else? Why must you be so hard on yourself? Treat yourself with the same respect as you do to others. Try to tell yourself more nice things. Try to see more positive things in one self. Learn to pick yourself up, rather than bring you down. How you speak to yourself is very important in how one can gain mental strength. If you can’t pick yourself up, and motivate oneself, no one can. Try to tell yourself things that can help you and build you up. “I can do better next time,” I made a mistake, but that is part of being human, I can learn from this,” “I am a wonderful human being,” “I may not be good at this, but I am great at other things.” Try kinder, more encouraging language to oneself. It can only help you become stronger mentally.

  • Learn to observe thoughts

Your thoughts don’t define you. They are not based on reality. Thoughts are stories of the mind. We should try to remember this. Try not to allow them to dictate our feelings and behaviors. Just try to say to yourself, “Oh, I have this thought, or that one,” but those thoughts do not define you, others, or a certain situation. Just observe and move on. When we can observe thoughts more, and not allow them to sip into reality. We find more peace and a stronger sense of mental clarity.

  • Accept life for what it is

This is something I have mentioned a lot, but it is so important for your peace of mind and happiness to accept life for what it is, imperfect, difficult, full of struggles, most good things don’t come easy, most things aren’t handed to you, loss happens, endings happen. If you refuse to be aware of this, or accept it. Life will be much harder, and more miserable. Julia Kristina mentioned something that really resonated with me, she states, we say “why me?, but why not me?” Bad things can happen to all of us, no one is exempt. No one is invincible. Try to let go of the why me’s, life is not fair talk. It gets you no where, except miserable. Life is the way it is, but it also has plenty of positives and good to focus on as well. Things aren’t black and white.

  • Make Choices for oneself

The choices we make should mainly be for ourselves, our growth, and our happiness. We may have to sacrifice ourselves at times, but we shouldn’t all the time. Try not to make choices to please others. The majority of the things you think you have to do. You probably don’t really have to do. Try to let go of the guilt, and if there is a little guilt, so be it. There are times I feel a little guilty for the choices I make, but overall I am satisfied with the choice, because it was a choice I wanted to make. I didn’t do it to please someone else. Allow yourself to have choices with more confidence and less guilt. Being able to make choices for yourself without worries of the outcome is a helpful skill to build mental strength. When you allow yourself to make the choices you want. You gain a certain freedom from it.

  • Get out of comfort zone

You got to stop the wishing and waiting game, and just do it. The more you think about it, the less likely you will do it. A little bit of discomfort is good for you. It means you are moving towards growth. The fear and discomfort is from change/something new, but once you get past it, it will subside. The feeling of overcoming your fears will be very rewarding. Are you going to let fear control you, or do you want to take control? Fear will always be there. It is up to you what you do about it. Once you are able to face your fears. It will make you a much stronger individual mentally.

  • Accept failures/mistakes/bad decisions

One failure doesn’t make you a failure. Be proud that you took a chance, and put yourself out there. Now you know, and won’t have to wonder what if. Putting yourself out there, allowing yourself to possibly fail builds courage. I once had a job that didn’t work out, did I see it as a failure, no, did I learn from it, yes. Failures, mistakes, and bad decisions are learning tools for the future. No one is perfect, try not to beat yourself up for these things, if you do that, you may never learn from it. Accepting these things leaves space to grow, and cultivate mental strength. Once you accept, and get through the hurdle. It will be easier for you to put yourself out there. If you fail, you fail, but there is always an opportunity to flourish, and that will bring such a rewarding feeling to oneself.

  • Learn not to give up easily

Now there are times when things may get too stressful, or if it infringes on your mental well-being, than it is okay to quit, but most of the time people quit, because it may be harder than one thought, one may intimidated, scared, or one may think they aren’t good enough. You also may quit, because things aren’t moving faster than you thought it would. It is important to keep pushing, and not look for a smooth/easy ride. It will be hard at first, but once you get over the initial phases, things will get better and easier. Quitting may create comfort, but that isn’t always the answer. It is always best to push yourself if it is going to better yourself, and help you grow.

  • Learn not to look for immediate results/shortcuts

It would nice if things were handed to us, but we got to do the work. Fast results the majority of the time don’t give us the best result. You got to put in the work. You got to realize it takes time to reach your goals, or achieve the things you want. If you try to take the shortcut. You most likely won’t get where you need to go. If you do the work, even taking small steps at a time, you will eventually get where you need to go. The work can be hard and long, but if you take the small steps to get there. You will eventually reach your goals. It takes patience. It takes determination. It takes the awareness to understand that things don’t come fast and easy. Once you are able to cultivate this skill. This can help build your mental strength and perserverance.

  • Cultivate healthy boundaries

This is about learning to say no. This is about setting healthy boundaries for yourself, and the people around you. Having a sense of self, knowing your wants, or dislikes, and what you want from yourself and others. You don’t want to be tossed around in life by yourself, or from others. You want to learn to stand tall and strong. Learning what you want out of life, and not allowing others to dictate what you want to do. Its okay to say no, it is okay to feel a bit of guilt, but remember this is your life. You have the freedom to choose what you want to do with it for the most part. If you don’t want to do something, don’t. You may disappoint someone, but you are not responsible for someone else’s happiness. You are responsible for your own.

I am not saying be selfish, and never do anything for anyone, or not do things for someone if they need you. I am saying if you truly don’t want to do something, and it is something you dread, and it doesn’t create a happy atmosphere for you, or maybe there are times you just want to do your own thing, or just don’t want to do it. It is okay to say no. Saying yes all the times seeps happiness away from yourself. It can make life more stressful. It gives you less freedom. Learning to take a stand and say no, helps build healthier boundaries. You don’t want others to walk all over you. Appreciate yourself. Appreciate your wants. Doing this is another step to building mental strength.

I think these habits above are great habits to build mental strength. It can also help one find more happiness and inner peace in one’s life. I have implemented all of these habits and it has done wonders for my anxiety and mental health overall.

Sources:

Mindset Phases

We will go through phases in our life journey. We will have phases of motivation, creativity and productivity. We will also have phases of laziness, unproductivity, lack of motivation, or creativity. We can’t be on at all times. It is okay to have lazy days. Don’t beat yourself up over it. I can get caught up in mindless activities from time to time, and not be as mindful as I usually can be. That is okay. As long as you always find your way back. Even during those times, you can always try to find a bit of time for mindfulness, or take baby actions towards some type of productive work, so you don’t feel completely unaccomplished, or lazy.

Just remember that these phases will always happen, and there is nothing wrong with some lazy time. That time is just preparing you for some more creativity. It is giving you the rest to become more productive in the future. Phases are all art of the human experience. Learn to ride along with it, rather than fight against it. You will eventually get back on track. Accept all that comes your way. Learn from the low phases. Give yourself a rest. Enjoy some mindless activities. This will give you the energy to get back on track to the high phases.

Finding Joy & Peace

Whatever can spark joy and happiness in your life, however small it is, look for ways to implement them into your daily life. I think it is important to find joy and peace in life however way you possibly can.

As I mention in other posts, work has been a struggle lately. I am exhausted, tired and overwhelmed from work. I don’t always look forward to going, or look forward to the work day weeks. I also don’t want these feelings about work to spill into my everyday life, the times I am away from work. I don’t want negative thoughts and feelings to pervade my life, so I try to find ways to bring some enjoyment to my life.

One thing I enjoy is drinking a cup of Dunkin coffee before work. Coffee gives me energy. It also puts me in a better mood. This helps get me through the work day, and actually makes me look forward to Mondays and Fridays(those are the days I get coffee). It is a nice little treat before work. Any little thing that can bring happiness is all that matters.

I also have been into buying plants. I truly enjoy having them around my room. Just looking at them, brings me joy. I usually go to a plant nursery on Saturdays to pick new ones out. I really enjoy just looking around seeing all the pretty plants around me, and picking the ones that I like. I truly enjoy being surrounded by plants at home. Coming home after an exhausting day to my lovely plants is something that brings life back to me.

One thing that helps keep me at peace is doing meditation before going to work. I try to do a session to calm my mind and body, before I head into the craziness of work. It definitely helps calm me down more. It helps me handle the stressors of work much better. I still get stressed, but not as stressed if I didn’t meditate. It also puts me in a more positive, happier mood going into work. As I mention in my last post, I also try to take deep breaths whenever I feel overwhelmed as well. This also helps.

Some things in life can be stressful and difficult, but not everything in life is that way. There will be times of joy and peace that you can embrace and enjoy when it arrives. It is all about making the time to do so. Be in the moment. We allow our minds to be preoccupied with the bad parts of our lives. We forget to take time to enjoy the good moments.

I work majority of the time. We spend most of our time at work. I get how being at a job you don’t enjoy can be a bummer, but we can’t allow our feelings towards work, or any difficult part in our lives pervade our mind into a negative place. Now I actually don’t dislike my job. It just gets overwhelming. All jobs have stressful parts to it. If you don’t enjoy your work, than it may be time to get out of your comfort zone, and look else where, because as I mentioned, your job makes up most of your life. It can be hard to enjoy life, if you don’t enjoy what you do.

We should try to strive to find joy and peace in life when we can. It is important for our mental health and well-being. It can be something little, something big, or in between. Just find something that can lift you up, and help keep you in the moment. To appreciate and embrace the joys and peaceful moments in life.

Years go by fast, months go by fast, weeks go by fast, and so do days. We are already near the new year. We try to rush by the days(I do this as well), but maybe we can use everyday to find some joy and peace in it. Maybe we can learn from the difficulties of that day as well. We should learn to embrace each day, and take the moments of that day in as much as we can, because sooner, rather than later, the years will have passed by and you truly haven’t lived, or enjoyed life as much as you wanted. Be mindful of the moments in life. Enjoy, find peace, and live as fully as you can.

Mindful Reminder(Dealing With Bad Moments)

I read this yesterday in my mindfulness book. This passage really resonated with me. Work has been frustrating, exhausting, and annoying these past couple day. It is very easy for me to fall into a negative state.

With practicing mindfulness, I have been able to be aware of my emotions, thoughts, feelings and actions in the moment. I realized these feelings of annoyance and frustration will pass. The day will eventually end, and I will feel better. I decided to take deep breaths every once in awhile. I also took breaks, and told myself to take things step by step, and not do too much. I accepted that the work day will suck. Some moments suck in life. There is no perfection in life. You will get good and bad moments, and moments in between.

All of this really helped me stay grounded and sane. I still felt annoyed, but I did my best to stay as calm and relaxed as I can. I did my best not to take my anger out on others(I did have a bit of an attitude, it happens, I am human, I am not perfect), because these feelings are mine, and it is not anyone else’s fault. I will still able to engage and laugh with my coworkers as much as I could, which I probably wouldn’t have been able to do before.

I realize negative emotions will arise every once in awhile. I can’t stop that. We can’t control our feelings. I do realize we can control how we deal with it. It was a tough day. It sucked. There will be bad days. We just got to try our best to manage those bad days in a calmer and more mindful manner. Just remember it will pass. It is okay to give in to emotions. Just be mindful, take deep breaths, take breaks, and be conscious of your actions.

Doing all this can help reduce the amount of negative emotions one feels at the moment. You can go from being very annoyed and lashing out on others, to just annoyed and coping with it, to just slightly annoyed with a bit of mindful practice. But also, don’t beat yourself up if you give in to these emotions and lash out. You are human. Be kind to yourself, but also remember to be kind to others. Just continue to work on improving how you cope with negative emotions and bad moments in life.

My Mindful Morning

It has been so long, since I had a mindful morning to focus on myself. I just wanted to talk about my mindful morning, and how having these mindful mornings can be very relaxing, therapeutic and peaceful for oneself.

I woke up around 6:30 A.M. It was still dark outside. I truly enjoy waking up, before the sun rises. There is something so peaceful about being up at that time. It feels like a nice head start to the day. I took that time to check my plants and water them. I always enjoy doing that. Then I decided to do my weekly grocery shopping. I like to go early, before it gets too packed. I like my peace.

Once I go home, I wrote my next blog entry. After that, I decided to read my mindful morning book. It has been forever, since I read that. I was happy to read it again, because it gives me reminders of how to live mindfully, and it also sparks some inspiration.

After that, I did some meditation. It is always hard for me to do meditation, so I am happy I have an app that I now can log in my meditation sessions. I put to do one a day, so now this motivates me to do a session, it gives me accountability. I have now been able to keep up with it. I enjoy meditating, but getting into the habit of doing it has been my struggle. I think this app accountability will help.

After gaining clarity from that session. I decided to journal and write my thoughts for the morning. It was nice to get my thoughts out there. I always feel better writing my thoughts down on paper. It is really relaxing and therapeutic.

Once I finished that, I decided to put my headphones on and listen to some music. I have been wanting to practice my voice for awhile. I don’t use it enough anymore, and I like to sing how I used to, so I sang some tunes, while listening to it. I liked being able to work on my vocals, while listening to some great music. I really need to do this practice everyday. After that, I did some searching for some new material for my next blog post.

All in all, this was a very relaxing and productive morning. I absolutely enjoyed it. A mindful morning for yourself is really important for your peace of mind. It is nice to take time for yourself without the distractions of the world coming at you. Just you, your thoughts and life around you. Being present and enjoying the moment in front of you.

The Art of Letting Go

It is called an art, because it takes a certain skill to be able to do this. Letting go is not easy for us humans to do. We love to attach to things. For us to find inner peace and have a healthy mindset it is important to let go. In the Buddhist practice, they state attachment creates suffering. Attachment allows us to hold on to things longer then we should.

We hold on to good, or bad memories, past relationships, people, expectations, things, past experiences, ideas and many other things. It is hard to move on, especially if we focus on only the good parts of these stories, and cling on to them. It is perfectly fine and healthy to look back on the past to learn, to see how far we come, to look back on the experiences we had, and the people in our lives. It start to affect us negatively when we yearn to go back, and want things how it was.

We like comfort. What we know brings us comfort. Good times brings us comfort. It can be hard to let go when things in your life at the moment aren’t the greatest. These times, it can be easy to want things they way they were. We must remember that inner peace comes from being in the moment. The past is gone, and the future hasn’t arrived yet. Both are illusions. We must learn to create joy in the present, so we don’t have to look to the past or future. If you can’t find joy, acceptance is powerful. Accept what is, and see what you can learn from being in the moment. Tough times can always spark up creativity and inspiration. It may suck now, but you can always work on making things better, rather than wallowing in self despair, which serves you no purpose.

We must remember that life is always changing. We are always evolving. Nothing stays the same. When we learn to accept this reality. We learn to live life more peacefully. If you continue to cling on to the past, people, things, etc,…It can create misery and suffering. Just think about how continuously looking to the past has served you?

Resisting changes leads to suffering. Wanting things to be comfortable all the time leads to suffering. Wanting to experience only good things leads to suffering. Let go of the idea that life should be a certain way. Let go of the control you think you have over others and life situations. Life is the way it is, always changing, with its struggles, and with its bad moments. Life is hard. Life is not perfect. Once you come to this realization. You will find peace and freedom, and the ability to let go with much more ease. I won’t say letting go will ever be easy, but your ability to handle letting go can get better with this realization, awareness and mindful practice.

Mindfulness Reminder

I saw this quote in my mindfulness book. I thought it was a lovely and powerful quote about mindfulness. I wanted to share it and say something about it.

It is important to be reminded of what mindfulness is, even with years of mindfulness practice. I sometimes get lost in mindlessness. I really love the quote above. Its all about learning to live in the present, so one can find inner peace and calmness. Living in the past creates sadness, frustration, guilt, regret and sorrow. Living in the future creates stress, tension, anxiety and worry. We can always use the past as a tool to learn and grow, and we can use the future to set goals for ourselves, but clinging to the past or future should be avoided for your mental health and peace of mind.