How mentally strong are you? Mental strength is a measure of how resilient and confident an individual can remain under stressors, pressures, and challenges in order to perform to the best of their ability. Unlike physical strength, it can be hard to recognize as there aren’t any concrete milestones or tests. With this in mind, it can be especially challenging to realize what makes you mentally weak. Various mindset, habit, and lifestyle mistakes could be harming your mental strength without you even noticing. To become mentally stronger, the first step is to recognize and identify what you can improve upon, so here are 6 habits that make you mentally weak!
1. Having a negative mindset
Sounds self-explanatory, right? However, you might be surprised by how many people surround themselves in negativity without realizing it. From the people you socialize with to how you approach a situation; negativity can seep into your life from anywhere. How often do you complain? When something goes wrong, do you spiral into thinking worst-case scenarios? Do your friends bring you down with backhanded compliments and attention-seeking behavior? By asking yourself questions like these, you could realize just how much negativity is really in your life. While unpleasant to hear sometimes, one of the best ways to stay mentally strong is to remember that things go wrong, and all we can do is make the best of our given situation. Complaining about how unfair the world is or how miserable you may be isn’t going to improve the circumstances, so why dwell on the bad things in life when you can make an effort to be positive?
2. Not expressing yourself
Do you have an outlet to express your emotions? Whether it be journaling or simply talking to a loved one, having a healthy way to cope with your emotions is one of the most important things in life. After all, emotions serve to guide you and dictate what you want and don’t want. If you don’t listen and accept how you feel, you may end up ignoring a warning sign, which can lead to various unfavorable outcomes. Being connecting with your emotions is often stigmatized as weak or too sensitive, but in reality, it is one of the biggest signs of mental strength and resilience.
3. Fantasizing instead of visualizing
Are you a daydreamer? Do you fantasize about doing great things, but the second it comes to taking action, have no idea where to start? Visualization is envisioning the future. However, unlike fantasizing, it involves setting clear short- and long-term goals, plans, and routines. While fantasizing is a good place to start, if you don’t visualize, your plans become unclear, which might lead to you losing motivation. With only an end goal in mind without any direction, you’re also much more likely to feel intimidated and as if your objectives are too daunting. Instead, the key to staying mentally strong is making plans, goals, and healthy habits to reach your ambitions.
4. Not making time for personal relationships
When was the last time you talked to your friends and family? While staying connected during a pandemic is difficult, it’s more important than ever now. Without one, you may become isolated, which could lead to low motivation, tiredness, or a feeling of not being able to count on anyone. Emotionally strong people realize that everyone needs a support system to stay balanced and connected, no matter how independent or introverted they may be.
5. Trying to control everything
Do you have your whole life mapped out? You may expect people to act a certain way or always expect things to go the way you planned. However, trying to control everything around you will likely end up harming you in the long run. If you become too set on one path, you could become close-minded and miss opportunities simply because you weren’t looking. You may also end up becoming less emotionally flexible, meaning if anything goes wrong, you’re more likely to fall apart than adapt. In reality, life is unpredictable and chaotic, and people are so complex that you cannot count on them acting a certain way. The bottom line is a key part of mental strength is accepting that you cannot foresee everything, no matter how scary that sounds.
6. Worrying about what others say and do
Do you seek other’s approval and validation? Do you compare yourself to others? While these are common insecurities, they may make you emotionally weak. When you live for the sake of pleasing other people, you could end up losing sight of your own personal life and ambitions. Similarly, if you constantly compare yourself to others, you’ll probably be constantly stressed and unhappy. Instead, try to become more secure and self-assured. While it’s hard to put into practice, realizing that you’re unique and amazing just the way you are, no matter what others say or do, is one of the biggest signs of emotional strength.
The first step in becoming mentally stronger is recognizing your weaknesses. No matter how daunting they may be, as long as you take it one day at a time, you’re sure to make progress. While the journey won’t be linear or necessarily easy, don’t give up! Mental strength is all about resilience and trying your best.
Did you relate to any of these habits? If so, which ones? What are you going to do to try and improve? Feel free to comment down below your story, suggestions, or feedback!
- Sanford. (2019, June 13). Examining how people’s emotions are influenced by others. Stanford News. https://news.stanford.edu/2019/06/13/examining-peoples-emotions-influenced-others/.
- Patel, J. (2019, February 12). Consequences of Repression of Emotion: Physical Health, Mental Health and General Well Being. Pen Access Pub. https://openaccesspub.org/ijpr/article/999.
- Dunn, E. (2014). Social Interactions and Well-Being: The Surprising Power of Weak Ties, 2014. SAGE Journals. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0146167214529799.