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Feeling mentally weak? Explore how to become stronger mentally. Build an invincible mind, focus on mental toughness training and conquer life's challenges

How to Become Stronger Mentally

Jan 15, 2024

By Will Moore

“Don’t mess with me, pork chop, what day is this?” Sometimes it’s easy to feel like you’re in a Groundhog Day situation. 

Never seen it? It follows Phil Connors (played by the great Bill Murray) as he is forced to relive one day over and over (and over) again. Sure, I Got You Babe by Sonny and Cher is fun at first, but I think I’d hate it after a couple of replays, just like poor Phil.

Especially since this guy was estimated to be stuck in his time loop for 33 years and 350 days! 

As we move towards a brighter future, the monotony of daily routines may have left you feeling like you're caught in an endless loop, reminiscent of the movie "Groundhog Day." Although it's been a trying period, it's not lasted 33 years, thankfully!

Fostering mental resilience and nurturing our mental wellness have become vital during these demanding times. Despite a glimmer of normalcy on the horizon, the disruption in our daily lives has led many to neglect their self-care routines. Instead of engaging in regular activities, many have transformed into homebodies, endlessly browsing through Netflix.

It's completely understandable to react this way to such a significant disruption in our lives. The shift from active social lives to a more stagnant existence has eroded both our good and bad habits, leaving us in a limbo where even thinking about self-care seems daunting. Without our usual routines, what strategies can we employ to toughen up mentally?

In this context, learning how to toughen up and become mentally stronger involves recognizing the power of adaptability and resilience. It's about finding new ways to engage in self-care and mental strengthening exercises, even when traditional paths seem blocked.

How to Become Stronger Mentally?

Oh my friends, have I got something for you? It’s time to change your sweatpants—actually keep those on, I guess—and put on your sneakers because we are about to put in some work. 

Don’t feel comfortable going to a gym or playing team sports yet? There are still so many ways for you to get some exercise. Anything that gets you moving is beneficial to your well-being. 

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For example, riding a bike and running are both great self-care activities. Why exercise? Well, not only is physical movement good for your health, you’ll also feel so accomplished after a period of such hardship. 

Engaging in self-care activities and focusing on mental toughness training is essential for maintaining mental wellness and building mental strength. Alongside physical exercise, it's important to prioritize activities that foster positive thinking, develop mental muscle, and promote a healthy mindset.

Plus, engaging in self-care activities and physical exercise can help alleviate negative emotions and promote a positive mindset. These activities will also teach you how to toughen up!

Your physical health and emotional health are connected. You need both to truly succeed in life!

Being A Growth-Owner Starts with Being Active

So, what's the first step towards becoming mentally strong? or understanding how to become stronger mentally.

According to the CDC, physical activity is one of the best things you can do to stay healthy.  Especially with COVID-19 at large, with risks that come from cardiovascular disease and diabetes, exercise has never been more fundamental. Much like wearing a mask and washing your hands, physical activity will help you protect yourself while boosting your momentum!

Being active not only enhances our physical strength but also contributes to our mental fitness and overall well-being. Exercise is known to boost mental toughness, help combat negative thoughts and emotions, and promote a positive outlook.

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Even those of you who are gym aficionados may have found some difficulty in sticking to your workout habits. Being limited because of the pandemic has certainly made it harder to follow through on exercise (especially when the couch looks so inviting). 

But thankfully, as our country starts to heal, things are getting more normal with every day. But, there’s no need to wait! You can practice self-care activities by going out, or by staying in the comfort of your own home—and your body will definitely thank you for it. 

Own your physical health by looking for self-care activities that you actually like to do. But be sure to take it easy at first, your body needs to get used to breaking a sweat again. If you want to level up in life, you need to take things one step at a time to get back into your success habits.

Sure, exercise may look a bit different—I’ve been doing push-ups with my kids on my back—but it still helps build positive momentum all the same. This little workout has become something fun that gets my body active and boosts my health during this crazy time. 

Phil from Groundhog Day took over 33 years to realize that he didn’t have to have a victim culture mindset, but when he broke out of his loop he was finally a growth-owner. 

Thankfully, we aren’t stuck in a time loop—at least I don’t think we are. We can use our days to practice healthy self-care activities that help us grow, wayyyyyy faster than Phil.  

Three Tips to Jump-Start Your Self-Care Activities: 

So, I know what you’re thinking: “Where do I start?” Well my friends, here’s how the journey to become mentally tough starts:

  • Get up off the couch and turn off Netflix. The first step to habit formation and getting those success habits back is by making a change. I know it’s hard right now, but you’ve got this! 

  • Next, gamify your life. What does this mean? Let your technology work FOR you instead of against you! Use social media as a reward for exercise to build up your positivity and overall health. 

  • The last step is to find some form of exercise you really enjoy. Whether it be rollerblading, playing Just Dance in your living room, or taking a walk. A perfect daily routine for healthy body and mind is very important. Just find a way to get moving!

Any form of movement that gets you up and you enjoy counts, so don’t feel pressure to exercise in the “correct” way. The best part about self-care activities is that there is no one correct way to do it. I will recommend making a morning routine checklist or follow a clear habit journal that can help you to plan your day accordingly.

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If you are a newcomer to exercise make sure not to strain yourself, take it slow and you’re sure to succeed. You can continue to challenge yourself as you go, such as by increasing your speed on the treadmill, or walking an extra mile. 

As you embark on your journey of self-care activities, don't hesitate to seek additional support from a licensed mental health professional. Joining online communities, like my Facebook group, or consulting with a professional can provide valuable insights and guidance for enhancing mental resilience and well-being.

Of course, you can also join my FaceBook group to get even more exercise tips and ideas for self-care activities. As Olivia Newton John would say, Let’s Get Physical to get answer to the most asked question how to become stronger mentally!

Happy moving!

How to Toughen Up?

Toughening up isn't just about gritting your teeth; it’s about cultivating resilience and mental strength. Start by setting boundaries and saying no when necessary. Embrace challenges as opportunities to learn and grow.

Understand the benefits of self reflection and practice self-discipline by sticking to routines and commitments, even when they're tough. Keep your body strong with regular exercise, which fortifies mental stamina as well. Learn to manage stress with techniques like mindfulness or meditation. Surround yourself with supportive, encouraging people who push you to be your best. Lastly, reflect on your failures—they're invaluable lessons, not setbacks. Step by step, build the toughness to face life head-on!

The Path to Toughening Up

Building resilience and toughness is less about brute force and more about developing healthy habits while curbing addictive behaviors. It is important to understand the concept of habits vs addictions. To start, focus on forming habits that enhance your well-being and mental strength. Prioritize consistent exercise, which not only toughens the body but also the mind by releasing stress and improving mood.

Consciously replace addictive behaviors that sap your strength, like excessive screen time or negative thinking, with positive actions. For example, swap out an hour of mindless scrolling for an hour of reading or a mindfulness and meditation practice. This shift not only frees up energy but also fosters a stronger, more disciplined mindset.

Cultivate a habit of daily reflection to monitor progress and setbacks. This can be done through journaling or meditative practices, allowing you to learn from mistakes and celebrate successes. Such self-awareness is crucial in recognizing addictive patterns and transforming them into empowering habits.

In your social interactions, develop the habit of seeking constructive feedback and deep meaningful connections, rather than the fleeting comfort of superficial relationships or pleasing everyone, which can be addictive and draining.

By consciously choosing habits over addictions, you toughen up by gaining control over your actions, thoughts, and emotions, paving the way for a resilient and robust character.

Mental Toughness Training: Building Resilience in Challenging Times

Understanding Mental Toughness

Mental toughness is the ability to stay strong and persevere through challenging situations. It's about developing resilience and maintaining a positive mindset despite adversity. Therefore, it is important to focus on mental toughness training.

The Importance of Physical Exercise

Physical exercise is a cornerstone of mental toughness. According to the CDC, physical activity not only improves physical health but also boosts mental resilience. Engaging in activities like running, biking, or even home workouts can significantly impact mental well-being and help you achieve long term health goals. Exercise helps in combating negative self talk, reducing stress, and promoting a positive outlook on life.

Adapting to New Routines

The pandemic has forced many to abandon their regular routines, leading to a sense of monotony and stagnation. To break free from this loop, it's essential to establish new, healthy routines. This includes finding enjoyable physical activities, setting aside time for self-care, and integrating positive habits into daily life. Whether it's rollerblading, dancing in your living room, or taking a walk, finding movement that you enjoy is key.

Developing a Growth Mindset

Building mental toughness involves embracing a growth mindset. This means viewing challenges as opportunities for learning and growth rather than insurmountable obstacles. Practicing self-discipline, sticking to routines, and reflecting on both successes and failures are crucial components of this mindset.

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Self-reflection, through journaling or meditation, helps in recognizing patterns and making conscious improvements.

Overcoming Addictive Behaviors

Mental toughness also requires addressing and overcoming addictive behaviors that hinder progress. Replacing negative habits like excessive screen time or negative thinking with positive actions can free up mental and emotional energy. For example, substituting an hour of mindless scrolling with an hour of reading or mindfulness practice can significantly enhance mental strength. You can read more on How long does it take to break an addiction.

Building a Support System

Surrounding yourself with supportive and encouraging people is vital for developing mental toughness. Constructive feedback and meaningful connections provide motivation and a sense of community. Joining online communities or seeking guidance from a licensed mental health professional can offer additional support and resources.

How To Become Stronger Mentally: Final Thoughts

In a nutshell, developing mental toughness and taking proper mental toughness training helps you navigate through challenging times. It equips us with the resilience and determination needed to conquer obstacles and thrive in the face of adversity.

By making self-care activities and mental well-being a priority, we empower ourselves to overcome negative emotions, build a positive mindset, and seek the support we need.

So, let's remember that in the midst of uncertainty, our mental toughness is a guiding force, helping us face challenges head-on and emerge mentally stronger on the other side.

Keep It Up

Want to know where you stand in the five values of life tied to happiness (Your 5 Cores), take this Core Values Quiz to get your core score in the five values of life.

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Will Moore is a gamification, habits and happiness expert.

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