How to Be Stronger Mentally: Tips for Getting Through Hard Times
With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, you might be experiencing some of the toughest times of your life. Social isolation, loss of work and income, and health concerns can all contribute to a loss of strength. As humans, we often turn to adopting bad and addictive behaviors during challenging times.
But we don’t always have to. We can learn how to stay strong even when times get tough. You can turn your negative thinking or experience into a source of mental strength with our top tips for getting through hard times. Read on to learn how to be stronger mentally.
How to Stay Strong: There Is No “Right” Way
Life is always going to throw you losses and wins. You should always remember that there is no right way to deal with tough times and there is no quick fix. There are just suggestions and possibilities of what might work if you put in the effort because getting through any difficult period takes intentionality. You have to work towards getting better.
It all starts from the mind. If you train your mind to positively tackle difficult situations, you can increase your mental strength. Understanding the problem you’re face and the cause of your distress is half of the equation. The other part is taking action to create healthy habits to build your mental strength.
Habits to Help You Build a Strong Mind
- Keep a journal. Keeping a daily journal helps you get clarity on your thoughts and emotions. You don’t have to put much thought into what you’re writing. You just have to put pen to paper. You’ll be amazed at the outcome. You may find it helps you monitor, remember, and control the progression of your negative thoughts.
- Normalize talking about your issues. Talking to someone is an ideal way to get through emotional wounds. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), social support is good for your psychological health. Whether it’s with a friend or therapist, talking about your issues can help build mental strength.
- Exercise often. Regular exercise helps you build muscle mass, physical strength, and generally feel good about yourself, all of which help develop your mental strength. Physical activity is also a good source of stress relief. You could exercise by jogging, walking, resistance training, or swimming and find which positively impacts you the most.
- Sleep right. Sleeping is vital to our being. It’s a basic human need and starving your body of sleep can weaken your mind. According to research by the CDC on 273,695 adults, those who slept for more than six hours were two-and-a-half times less likely to suffer from mental distress than those who slept less than six hours.
- Meditate. Meditation is the process of observing your thought processes. It involves mindfully focusing on the present moment to train awareness and still your mind. Meditation can help bring mental and emotional clarity and a state of calm, relieve stress, and can even reduce anxiety and depression when practiced regularly.
10 Tips for Getting Through Tough Times
You’ve learned that certain habits could help you build a stronger mind. But, how do you get your mind to the stage where it can cultivate a positive response even during unprecedented times? Our 10 tips for getting through difficult times can help you get started.
1. Don’t blame yourself
The worst thing you can do when you’re trying to get through a difficult period is to blame yourself. You have to silence that critical voice in your head. Negative thinking like this doesn’t help. You can always learn from your mistakes and do better next time.
2. Don’t avoid your problems
It’s easy to procrastinate dealing with the issues in your life. While that seems like an easy option, it’s never the right one when your problems are out there waiting for you. Get going, face the issues in your life head-on with honesty and courage.
3. Find positive coping mechanisms
Positive coping mechanisms like exercise, journaling, and meditation provide long-term benefits. Being honest with yourself about your feelings and confronting problems head-on is healthier than turning to drugs or alcohol. Alcohol provides short-lived relief, but in reality, it acts as a depressant and can leave you feeling worse than before.
4. Remind yourself it’s a phase, not your whole life
Your whole life shouldn’t be defined by one mistake or negative event. You can always learn from yesterday’s experiences. Take a deep breath and remember this whenever you feel your emotional strength giving out.
5. Reiterate affirmative words
Normalize saying positive words to yourself and others. It can serve as a buffer against negative feelings and social pressure. Wake up to an uplifting playlist every morning or customize your reading or podcast list to include self-help books. It is a wonderful way to push out the negativity in your head and strengthen your mental stamina.
6. Focus on the silver lining
There’s always a silver lining. Every bad experience is an opportunity to learn and grow. Practice gratitude to help build a resilient mind. Look for alternative options for your life like learning a new skill or exploring a career change.
7. Reassess your relationships and network
Whether you’re trying to process a negative situation or improve in your career, it helps if you don’t have to deal with negative people telling you that change is pointless or impossible. Sometimes it is necessary to consider the people in your life and weed out those who drain your energy.
8. Cry it out
Crying isn’t a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of strength. Sometimes a good cry is all you need to get through a bad day. Don’t let social norms dictate your emotional awareness and growth. Let the pain out. Process your hurt, dry your eyes, and try again tomorrow.
9. Don’t let the fear creep in
Don’t allow fear of failing or fear of the unknown to make you miss out on what could have been a wonderful opportunity to create a healthy life. Whether it’s enrolling in a coding bootcamp, asking your boss for a promotion, or working on that great idea for an app. Give yourself the best chance of success by taking an app development course to build your skills and confidence.
10. Seek professional help
When it gets more than you can handle, seek professional help. Getting advice or treatment from a professional will always be the best way to solve an emotional health issue. They are experts out there to help you. It can be expensive to see a mental health professional, but federal alternatives like SAMHSA or the Michigan Stay Well Program can help reduce the burden.
Being Strong Is Hard, But You’re Not Alone
Getting through a physical, mental, or financial crisis can be rough but you don’t have to do it alone. There are people out there going through something similar who would like to talk or listen to you. You have to resist the urge to hide behind your problems.
If you don’t feel that you have a strong personal network, online forums like the Mental Health Forum and Inspire can help you work through your issues. Productive behavior like taking an online mental health course can be a way to strengthen your mind. Sharing your personal experience with others can create a sense of connection that will help you realize you’re not alone.
How to Stay Strong FAQ
Mentally strong people take several productive actions to help themselves get through difficult situations but one of the most noteworthy things they do is recognize that they have a problem and try their best to get the right kind of treatment. If you want to become a mentally strong person you have to be willing to face your truth, no matter how harsh.
You know you’re mentally strong when you don’t let negative situations define your response. You can control your reactions to things and you don’t let single events define you. You also don’t turn to addictive behaviors to get through hard times. These are the attributes of a strong person. A truly strong person navigates difficult situations even in the face of challenges.
Yes, anybody can learn to become strong. All it takes is the intention. Once you make up your mind to build resilience in the face of obstacles, you’re several steps closer to achieving your goals. To get started with building your mental and emotional health, read this article. You’ll find great tips and sources that can help you overcome even the toughest times. Also, check out the best podcasts on mental health as well as the best mental health apps.
There are several reasons why you might be feeling emotionally weak. It might be because you’re stressed, depressed, confused, broke, overworked, not sleeping right, or exhausted. Feeling emotionally weak is normal. The right approach is to find out what triggers your emotional weakness so you can work through it.