Being resilient isn’t something you’re born with – mental strength is a characteristic you can actively improve through changing the way you think and act. We all know people who seem to cope with anything life throws at them; chances are, they’ve got certain habits, traits and coping strategies that can be learnt by anyone to become mentally strong. So how can you become more resilient? Here are a few tips to get started...
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1. Identify your emotions and improve your emotional intelligence (EQ)
One of the key aspects of being mentally strong is the ability to fully understand your negative emotions and then use them productively. Statistically, 90% of top performers have a high EQ, but only 36% of the 1000 people studied could recognise their emotions effectively. So, next time you feel angry, happy, sad or scared – acknowledge your feelings and pay attention to how they affect your choices. This awareness will help you to stop making emotion-based decisions.
2. Neutralise negative thoughts and people
Mentally strong people don’t let negative thoughts or toxic people affect them. They’re able to keep their feelings in check and approach situations more rationally, as well as being able to see things from all sides and find common ground. Try to replace negative thought patterns like ‘I can’t do this’ or ‘Others are better than I am’ with more productive themes of encouragement and perseverance.
3. Say no
It can be hard to have the confidence to say no – but it helps to relieve a lot of stress, as you’re managing expectations and allowing yourself the time needed to fulfil existing commitments. Mentally strong people put themselves in control and are able to say no to themselves to avoid impulsive actions.
4. Be flexible to change
The fear of change can threaten your happiness and success, leading you to miss out on opportunities because you’re afraid of the unknown. By being prepared and open to change, you’re better able to capitalise on chances that arise from it. Mentally strong people embrace taking risks and challenges because of their flexibility, constantly pushing themselves out of their comfort zones.
5. Live a healthy lifestyle
A strong mind needs to be supported by a healthy lifestyle. Exercise boosts confidence and self-esteem, while a good night’s sleep helps preserve focus, memory and self-control. Simple lifestyle changes can help balance your state of mind more than you realise. Consider limiting your daily caffeine intake, for example, as this stimulates a release of adrenaline that then, in turn, triggers your fight-or-flight response, causing you to make imbalanced decisions.
6. Have a realistic timeline
A lot of people have dreams and goals that end up getting stuck in the pipeline, with a ‘someday’ target which doesn’t mean anything. Instead, a realistic timeline places the dream into actuality – but it has to be viable to avoid setting yourself up for failure. Mentally strong people will recognise their limitations and set themselves an achievable goal, even if it’s two years in the future.
7. Stay positive
It can be hard to stay motivated when it seems like everything is going wrong. To overcome difficulties, strong-willed people focus their energy on staying positive and accepting that they can only change what’s in their control. A positive mindset encourages you to believe in yourself and motivates you to push through any obstacles because of the strong belief that things will get better.
Over time, if you put your mind to embodying these principles and habits, you’ll become more resilient and adaptive to challenges. Have you got any tips of your own to become mentally stronger? Tweet us @OregaOffices.