Much like building physical strength, building mental strength takes practice and exercise. Building mental fitness is the key to improving self-discipline, grit, and gratification. Ready to start building your mental strength? Keep reading for 15 tips to get you started!
15 Ways to Work Out Your Mental Muscle
- Write down what you are grateful for: every day write down three things you are grateful for that happened that day. Gratitude journals have a multitude of benefits including better sleep and reduced stressed!
- Reflect on and deal with your feelings: label your emotions accurately and openly and cope with your feelings in a healthy way. Instead of treating sadness with a milkshake, talk to whoever may be causing you to feel that way. Reflect on how they make you feel and how they change your thinking and behavior.
- Give up one bad habit: give up habits that make you feel “bad” one a time. It is overwhelming to give up many bad habits at once so make a priority of what you would like to give up first and celebrate successes when your habits are broken!
- Delay gratification: instant gratification is becoming a societal norm with our constant connectedness to others. However, those who can delay gratification are more successful in the long run. Waiting for success later on, rather than celebrating a small victory, will quickly build your mental strength.
- Say “no” or “yes”: learn to say “no” to things that do not serve you and “yes” to things that scare you. It may be hard at first but will soon become easy to set and push your own boundaries as appropriate.
- Practice positive self-talk: if you are constantly criticizing yourself internally you are creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. Negative thoughts set you up for failure and positive thoughts set you up for success. Talk to yourself the way you would talk to a friend!
- Don’t be afraid of pain: blood, sweat, and tears are the foundation of success. Don’t be afraid of being uncomfortable – building mental strength will take effort and may sometimes be physically or mentally uncomfortable – sit in the discomfort and reflect on your success when you push back barriers.
- Make your bed: start your day off right by making your bed. People who make their bed are happier, more organized, and have more productive days. Flex your mental muscle first thing in the morning by straightening your sheets!
- Practice 20 minutes of self-care: the self-care movement is continually on the rise, but self-care shouldn’t happen when you are already stressed – it should happen daily! Take 20 minutes a day to practice some mindful self-care.
- Practice physical fitness: a great way to work on your mental fitness is to work on your physical fitness. Physical health and mental health are provably linked so take 30 minutes out of your day to get your sweat on.
- Get 8 hours of sleep: just like kids, when adults become too tired their cognitive skills decrease. Make sleep a priority to help keep your mental health strong, your stress hormones down, and your decision-making skills up.
- Eat nutritiously: nutrition fuels the body and the mind. Eating a balanced diet full of whole foods and macro balanced will ensure your brain is getting fed to function properly.
- Cut down your social media time: social media provides a “highlight reel” and leads to comparisons and feelings of inadequacy. Cut your social media time down to improve your mental health.
- Visualize your goals: some us may remember the hit documentary “The Secret;” the big secret was the law of attraction. Visualizing your goals will help you get there faster and overcome challenges along the way.
- Budget finances and time for fun: every month budget your time and your money to include something fun. Give your mental health something to look forward to and work for, then reflect on what steps you took to get there.
Do you actively build your mental strength? If not, start today!