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How to be mentally strong: Become tough emotionally and mentally

Updated on June 27, 2013

How to be mentally and emotionally strong? Getting a strong and tough mindset is not a task that you can do, it is a habit that you must cultivate. Every self-help article or advice column talks about boosting self-confidence and self-esteem among other things to have a strong mindset. But those are generic words which have little practical impact. This post is a direct and no-nonsense approach to how you can become mentally strong and emotionally tough.

Worrying about a problem at hand? Just follow this two step approach to stop worrying and regaining your mental strength.
Worrying about a problem at hand? Just follow this two step approach to stop worrying and regaining your mental strength. | Source

1) Become worry-proof to be mentally strong: Adopt the No-Worrying approach

There isn't a single person in the world whose life is without problems whether he or she is poor, rich, sick or healthy. Everyone has some or the other issues that need to be dealt with and worrying is an unavoidable part of life.

It is good to think, analyze and find a solution to an issue in your life. But that is different from worrying because worrying does not usually have an identifiable solution. To become worry-proof, all you have to do is follow this easy two-step solution.

  • Can the problem be solved? If yes, then there is no point worrying about it because it can be solved.
  • Can the problem be solved? If no, then there is no point worrying about it because worrying will not solve the problem.

2) Hold yourself responsible for the good and the bad things that happen to you

One of the biggest weaknesses of people who don't have a tough mindset is their inability to take responsibility for their own life. This sounds harsh but it is true because some people always blame their misfortunes on other people or on the situation.

For example, suppose a shy guy tries to impress his crush but falls in the friend zone. He can curse his bad luck all he wants but the truth is that he could have avoided the friend zone easily if he had been open about his feelings.

Start taking responsibility for anything and everything that happens to you, whether it is failing in a test, being dumped your girlfriend or getting fired from a job. You will never develop a tough mindset by learning from life experiences if you keep thinking that you were victimized all the time.

3) Mistakes and setbacks should make you mentally stronger

Ask any successful person about the number of times he or she has made mistakes and the answer will be a number which is much more than from someone who is a failure. Mistakes and setbacks are a permanent part of life. They happen whether you are a teenager, adult or old and frail.

Understand your mistakes and by asking ask yourself these two questions.

  • How did it happen?
  • What can I do to stop it from happening again?

Do this for every small or big mistake you make. After many months, you will gradually find that you have become mentally stronger simply by understanding your mistakes and knowing how to avoid them in the future.

4) Complete everything: Don't leave any task in daily life unfinished

Becoming mentally strong is not something that can be done instantly. It is a habit that needs to be cultivated, starting from the little things that you do on a daily basis.

Never leave any task that you start half-finished. It can be a small task like sorting out your emails or a big task like finishing a project for school. Leaving things half-done will weaken mindset and you will start losing confidence in your own self.

Worrying about a problem even when it hasn't happened? Stop stressing out about fictitious problems because such stress will weaken you mentally and emotionally.
Worrying about a problem even when it hasn't happened? Stop stressing out about fictitious problems because such stress will weaken you mentally and emotionally.

5) Stop imagining problems and complications if they have not yet happened

Most forms of anxiety related stress arises from imagining problems that haven't even happened. This is the sort of unnecessary worrying that results in self-created complications in your own life.

Typical cases of unnecessary worrying happen when you start imagining and thinking about what will happen if something goes wrong, even if it hasn't gone wrong. If you have a habit of doing this, tell yourself to calm down and realize that silly assumptions in your head are causing unnecessary stress.

6) Don't let taunts get beneath your skin

People don't talk behind your back and taunt you on your face because they are mentally stronger than you. They do it because they are jealous of you or simply because they can't have what you have.

You will never become mentally strong if you allow taunts to get to you emotionally. It is hard to become thick skinned, especially in school and workplaces but it is something that has to be done. Don't be under the impression that people will stop taunting you as you grow older or change professions.

An easy way to become mentally tough from this perspective is to remind yourself that the words of another person have no direct impact on your life. Just because someone said you are stupid, does not make you stupid. Just because someone said that you are a failure, doesn't mean that you are a failure.

7) Don't deprive your mind and your body of sleep

Lack of sleep can make you feel tired from within. This lazy feeling wears you down and makes you mentally weak. This is the reason why you find yourself unable to concentrate in the morning after a big night out.

If you are the kind of person who keeps awake till late, try to go to sleep early for a change. You will wake up early without even having to depend on the alarm. You will also wake up with a fresh mindset.

This will help you avoid feeling lazy or depressed during the day. Feeling active from within is an integral part of having a tough mindset because it allows you to accomplish things easily.

8) Move on: Don't let your past define your future

Past is a funny thing because it helps you learn from your mistakes but it also tries to pull you down with bad memories. If you want to become mentally strong, you must adopt the former and let go of the latter.

Whether it is about your relationships, your grades, your performance at work or something about your personal life, you must stop worrying about your past and move on if you want to become tough mentally. For example, you should stop feeling guilty about your breakup, stop worrying about your past failures and stop stressing out about the blunders you made when you were immature.

Physical health is as important as mental health. Being physically strong and fit will help you to become mentally stronger.
Physical health is as important as mental health. Being physically strong and fit will help you to become mentally stronger.

9) Be physically fit to get mentally strong

The mind controls the body and you need a strong mind to have a strong body. But that does not mean that you can overlook your physical fitness completely. Physical fitness affects mental health substantially too.

Physical fitness from this perspective does not mean having a six-pack or a model-sized figure. It simply means that you should be giving your body enough exercise and maintaining overall health levels by eating good food.

There is no need to cut back on all the junk food completely or turn into a fitness freak by working out every day for a couple of hours. All you need to do is maintain a good balance and a healthy lifestyle.

10) Be verbally bold when you are right: If you want to say it, say it

How many times do you find yourself wondering 'Oh I wish I had said that to him' or 'How I wish I had given her a good reply to her taunt'? Don't let such regrets bother you by not being afraid of speaking out when you think you are right.

Think before you say something and if you feel that you are right, don't shy away from making your point. Put this habit into practice in your personal life with your partner, at school with your friends and teachers, and at work with your colleagues and bosses.

You will find it difficult to speak up in the beginning. But gradually your psyche will start toughening up and you will be able to speak your heart out with ease.

11) Stop assuming what other people might be thinking

Most part of social anxiety arises from assumptions made about what other people are thinking about. Wrong assumptions can make you feel mentally weak and overpowered without any reason.

Overcome this by not making any baseless assumptions about what other people will say and how they will behave. You will find yourself in stronger frame of mind to deal with social situations if you manage to control the assumptions that you make.

12) Control your emotions: Don't show your emotions to everyone

Being expressive and full of emotion in daily life is a good quality that few people have. But this can backfire in certain situations. Bringing your real emotions to the forefront can set you back in case of arguments or discussions where you are trying to make a point for your own advantage.

For example, hiding your emotions may help you clinch a deal while negotiating with a customer at work. Or holding back your emotions may help you to remain strong when someone is bad mouthing you at school.

Controlling your emotions will not only help you to put up a facade, but also allow you to be in control of your mindset. Regular practice in everyday life will make you feel more confident about being emotionally strong and stable.

Being rigid will frustrate you and weaken your mindset.
Being rigid will frustrate you and weaken your mindset.

13) Don't be rigid: Be accommodating and flexible to things and people

Becoming strong mentally does not mean that you have to become rigid. In fact if you want to have a strong mindset, you will have to be more accommodating and flexible. You must become more tolerant of the things and people around you.

For example, don't let your guy's silly bad habits irritate your easily. If the bus is late and you are getting late for a meeting at work, just relax because stressing is not going to make the bus go any faster. Don't get frustrated if your computer breaks down, just think about how you can get it fixed.

If you let every little annoyance in your life affect your mindset, you will never come out of having a weak mental and emotional balance.

14) Spend more time with friends who like you for what you are

Friends who make fun of you and friends who are bullies pray on your weak mindset all the time. They take advantage of your emotional instability and make you do things that you don't want to do.

Avoid this and take a step back if you think that your friends are treating you the same way. Stop hanging out with them and spend more time with people who like you for who you are. For example, if you think that you are a cool geeky nerdy guy, don't try to be someone else just so that you can hang out with people who don't like geeks.

15) Learn from a person who you admire

Do you know a person who you really admire because he or she is mentally and emotionally very strong? Then observe that person's behavior in different situations and take mental notes about how he or she reacts when problems arise.

Don't aim too high by picking a famous business person or a celebrity. Pick someone who interacts with you on a daily basis. He or she can be your boss, intelligent classmate, efficient work colleague or a teammate who always scores the highest in every game.

16) Start being successful in everything you do

The biggest reward of success is not money or fame. The biggest reward of success is high self-confidence and high self-esteem. Both of these have a direct impact on strengthening you mentally and emotionally.

Don't just rely on one single dream of becoming a billionaire as your benchmark of success. Break up your definition of success into smaller parts. Treat every achievement as success and introspect on what you did to make something happen. Success can be an achievement as small as learning a chord on the piano and as big as clinching a million dollar deal for your company.

Help others - It will make you feel strong from within.
Help others - It will make you feel strong from within.

17) Help others at every opportunity you get

The joy of helping others can have a very positive impact on your mental and emotional balance. It will make you feel stronger because you will know from inside that you have the ability to make a difference in someone's life or bring a smile on someone's face.

Help can be in any form including monetary assistance, career guidance, relationship advice or even something as simple as teaching an old man how to send an email. It will give you a sense of self-worth which will strengthen your overall mindset.

18) Make a mental self-image and work towards achieving it

Any problem in life becomes easier when you have a goal to work towards. To become mentally strong, you should form an image of yourself in your mind. Think about how you want to be seen and what you want other people to think about you.

Self-image involves everything about your personality and behavior including your posture, body language, dressing style, the way you work and many other elements. Work on this self-image so that you can become the person that you are and toughen up your mental outlook.


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