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Building your Mental Strength

Updated: Jan 21, 2020

Life can be tough but there are lots of ways to make sure that you are prepared to deal with whatever life throws at you. Here are some of our ideas for building resilience.

We take care of our bodies so that we can carry out the physical tasks that we face in our day to day life, from getting out of bed in the morning to running a marathon and everything in between!

But what about mental strength? How can we build our capacity to adapt and cope with the ups and downs of life and give ourselves the best chance to deal with things when they get really tough. As humans we’re hardwired to be able to cope with all sorts of things that happen to us in our lives and we have a natural strength that kicks in when we need it. Sometimes we surprise ourselves and can cope with so much more than we ever thought we could. We call this mental strength resilience.

However, resilience is something that we can all build and nurture within ourselves and can increase our ability to cope when life throws challenges our way but also in our day to day lives.

Here are some of our thoughts on how to build resilience and cope when the going gets tough.

1. Take each day as it comes.

Sometimes thinking too far ahead or trying to deal with everything that is going on in your life at once can get overwhelming. Try focusing on the here and now. Break things down into manageable chunks and focus on getting through each day or hour. Give yourself small achievable goals and reward yourself when you complete them. Getting through tough times happens minute by minute, you are doing it already, just keep going.

2. Change is part of life. Learn to embrace it.

Or at least accept it! Change can feel scary and uncertain but it can be a really positive thing. It is also a given. Life is full of change and no matter how much we try to prevent it, change will happen. Try to be curious and open to it. Sometimes things don’t work out as planned and things can happen in life that bring about changes that you didn’t expect or want. However, change also brings about new opportunities. As much as we might crave security and predictability life doesn’t always work like this, by being open to change (and expecting it!) we can grow our adaptability and resilience.

3. Learn to trust yourself and your ability to cope.

You have an incredible ability to cope with all sorts of things that life throws at you and you are probably much stronger than you realise. Have faith in yourself and practice trusting yourself and the decisions you make. You have the ability to solve all sorts of problems and challenges, build your confidence to tap into this. You are your best guide!

Thinking about potential change or things that could happen can also lead to anxiety and unhelpful thinking. We never know what is around the corner, if you can, try to spend as much time as possible each day in the present moment and notice when you find yourself slipping into worrying or thinking a lot about the future. We’ll talk a bit more about this below.

4. Practice Self-Care!