What is the power of your mental strength?
Life is a field of sports. You’ll continuously be tested both physical and mental. And oftentimes, your mental toughness determines your success. Nothing comes easy. But before blaming your personal attributes (intelligence, height, physical strength), there’s something you need to know.
Mental strength is as vital as physical strength. Athletes in any form of sports know this. It is not always a question of how strong an athlete physically, but how mentally tough she/he is. Because at the end, the one who has the toughest mind wins.
But how can you build mental strength? This can be tough. But don’t worry, the process is similar to building a physical muscle. You just need to go the gym every day and lift weights. It’s not instant, it needs a sustainable amount of effort.
Fortunately, building mental muscle is not hard as you think. You don’t need to lift heavy weights or go to the gym every day. All you need is a few minutes a day and you’ll achieve mental strength.
Three exercises that build mental strength
If you’re an athlete, an employee or a person who easily loses focus, here’s what you need:
1. Practice Gratitude
Yes, instead of focusing on bad happenings in your life, focus your attention on good things. Studies show that being grateful boosts happiness.
Become grateful by identifying a few things that you think important to you. It could be a social support from your family and friends, fresh free air, or a cup of coffee. Being thankful for having simple things that bring joy to you is a good start of practicing gratitude.
Being grateful can not only make you happy but also restructures your brain. Some studies found that by practicing gratitude, you can change your brain’s functioning. Practice gratitude by recognizing valuable things in your life. Make a list of them. And don’t forget to say thanks before going to sleep.
2. Practice Mindfulness
In the modern world, putting your attention and consciousness in one spot is difficult. But remaining focus on the present is not impossible. Mindfulness is a process of making your conscious mind aware of what is currently happening in you. It is a practice that ancient people had enjoyed in the past.
Mindfulness is more than paying attention to the present. It has multiple significant positive effects on your body and mind. In fact, a study shows that mindfulness helps control negative emotion and stress.
But like anything in life, achieving mindfulness does not come easily. It requires regular practice. Find time to listen to your body sensations. Close your eyes, feel the air that’s coming in and out of your nose, and hear the sound of your own breathing. Hear your feelings and thoughts that speak to you.
At first, it is hard. But with constant practice, everything will flow smoothly. Soon enough you’ll learn to enjoy being attentive to your own feelings.
3. Practice the Process of Becoming
Developing mental toughness involves believing in the process of becoming. To be a champion, you need to practice to think like a champion. It sounds weird, right? But it’s not.
A study found that our action has a huge impact on our brain’s functioning. Smiling for instance, without being genuinely happy can reduce stress. So if you act like a successful one, your mind responds to that behavioral cue that leads to the concrete reality.
The toughest athlete has the toughest mental state. S/he is trained to respond to negative situations with vigor and resiliency.
It’s time to put everything in action
Mental strength is an art that everyone can master. Developing mental toughness can’t be easy, but if you are determined, you can have it. The key ingredient of all of these is practice. The more you practice, the more you become acquainted with the process, and the more you realize your dream of becoming the toughest of all.