Perhaps as children, we can fantasize that mental strength is not necessary for living. However, each of us can pinpoint a moment or three when we realized life was unpredictable and out of our control. Strangely, there is one, multi-armed cause for difficulty in life – maladaptive behaviors and thoughts. As children we are taught how to view and interact in the world. As adults, we continue to utilize skills learned in childhood, but in most cases, the tools no longer fit. As we become autonomous people, expanding our knowledge and skillsets allows us to evolve into adults who feel the ups and downs of life while remaining in control through adaptive behavior.
Mental strength comes from choosing adaptive thoughts and actions. As adults, we can become individuals who live in reality and abundance without giving heed to negative thoughts. Here are a few tools for strengthening your mental health game thus allowing abundance, high self esteem, and true enjoyment of life to take place.
- Nurture curiosity. Have you ever wondered how to make metal art, replace a breaker, or lay flooring? Why not take a class or ask an experienced friend to show you the ropes? Maybe you have always had an interest in science or physics. Whether you complete a degree or read a few books, your world and thoughts open significantly when you learn new things.
- Develop mindfulness. Mindfulness is a practice that keeps you in your body and the moment. Mindfulness is a direct line to your intuition and helps you stand strong like a thousand year old tree.
- Show respect. Respect for self and others is key to mental strength. Realize that there are hundreds of billions of realities existing within every second. When you act on your reality only, you negate the fact that others have their own reality. Before you step out with your beliefs, take time to understand and respect the different beliefs of others. Additionally, show respect for yourself when faced with toxic people. It is not necessary for you to suffer due to the mental health issues of others. Paradoxically, not enabling the maladaptive behaviors of others is a sign of respect (provided the other people are capable of engaging in adaptive behavior). Finally, practice taking good care of yourself, putting healthy food into your body, and engaging in positive self talk.
- Focus on integrity. When we participate in behavior that goes against our values, our integrity suffers. As humans, we are designed to behave according to our moral compass. Mismatched values and behaviors cause stress, anger, and a lack of abundance. If your values and integrity become out of alignment, you can forgive yourself, make amends, and begin again. When values and actions are exist in opposition for an extended period of time, addiction and/or mental health conditions can result.
- Accept delayed gratification. All of us want to see the results we have been working towards. Whether it is having children, getting a new job, moving past addiction, or completing a degree, we want to experience results. In many cases, results take a while to come and/or look significantly different from what we expected. Having experienced a plethora of challenges, loss, and disappointments in life, I can safely say, it is okay. Show up in life in a way that feels authentic and genuine to you. The universe is abundant and your effort will not be in vain!
All the best to you!