A lot of us find that we make resolutions and goals at the beginning of the year, only to have given them up before January is even over. Quite often, this is the result of a lack of mental strength. The good news is that this is a muscle that you can work out and build up, and this will help you keep your resolutions.
Label your emotions
Do you ever feel as though you can’t quite work out how you are feeling? This is actually quite common, however, by putting a name to your emotions can help you understand them and decrease their intensity. Being aware of your emotions, and the way they influence the choices that you make is a great way to be sure that you are not making irrational decisions that are solely based on your feelings.
Keep track of your coping mechanisms
Some people will eat when they are anxious, or drink alcohol when they feel low. Keeping track of what you do when you are struggling with your emotions will help you make healthier choices. A lot of strategies and habits that we have when we feel certain ways are unhealthy and only provide temporary relief. Look to change these habits to healthier methods of coping, such as meditation, exercising, and crafting.
Give up your bad mental habits
If you often feel sorry for yourself, or get jealous and resent the success of others, you are robbing yourself of mental strength. This is like running on a treadmill but eating a cheeseburger at the same time. These are habits that you must try to break in order to increase your mental strength. Replace them with healthier alternatives. For example, instead of being jealous, get motivated. Change your bad habits into good ones and see how your mental state changes.
Work on unhealthy thought patterns
Once you tune into your thoughts, you will be able to identify unhealthy thought patterns. For example, you may think things like, “I am useless” or “I can’t do anything”. Constantly thinking like this will convince you this is true and will negatively impact your mental strength. We often talk ourselves out of taking any risks, even if the payoff will be worth it, or convincing ourselves that we have no control over anything. Once you are aware of these thoughts, you can help change them, and spin them more positively. For example “This is a challenge that gives me the opportunity to shine.” Think about the way you talk to yourself and change it to be more positive.
Practise positive action
Make an effort to practice daily gratitude. Whether you write them down or reflect before you go to sleep, thinking about the things that you are grateful for is a great way to increase your mental strength. Keep your body healthy too, as we often underestimate the effect that this will have on our mental state. Make sure you get plenty of sleep, exercise regularly and eat well to allow your brain and body to be at its very best.
It is not going to be easy to make these changes, and it will be a process that takes some time. You are likely to have setbacks, but don’t let these stop you. If you work at it, you can become mentally strong, and you will reap the rewards for years to come.