5 Easy Ways To Develop Mental Strength

5 Easy Ways To Develop Mental Strength

The five habits that mentally strong people do every day to reach their long and short-term goals.
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Do you ever wonder how people can run marathons and not go completely insane? How college students can write an eight-page paper in a couple of hours, and still manage to not fail? Or even accomplish what seems like a million things in one day? These people all have one thing in common: Mental strength. A lot of us don’t have as much mental strength as others because we have to train our minds to adapt to the obstacles of everyday life such as school, life events, activities, and socializing with others. Here are five habits that mentally strong people do everyday:

1. They strive to fulfill their purpose

Fulfilling a goal takes time. Mentally strong people understand this and channel their focus to the “big” picture. They look at long and short-term goals, and adjust as they track their progress. Taking on each day is a victory in itself, especially when it’s a tough one (we’ve all had those!). Knowing that you've believed in yourself enough to set goals requires self-worth, and you gain many attributes along the way like resilience, communication, and team building. Those life skills are important to the foundation of becoming a healthy, happy, and productive individual.

2. The desire to grow stronger

Mentally tough people are never satisfied with where they are because they’re continually striving to be a better version of themselves. It's the kind of perspective that can drive an individual to challenge themselves. Having the motivation and determination to reach for their goals are what makes it easier for your mind to crush those daily mental obstacles.

3. They have limits and boundaries

These types of people accept responsibility for how they think, behave, and interact with those around them. They don’t give others who are emotionally or physically superior the ability to knock them down on a good or bad day. They can control their emotions and set aside time to feel those feelings if they choose to. After all, it's not healthy to bottle up feelings! Eventually, they seep into your day.

4. Self-Love

People make mistakes -- it's human nature. To have self-respect, a positive self-image, and unconditional self-acceptance is an important part of a healthy mind. Needless to say, it doesn't mean for you to be arrogant, conceited, or think that you are better than anyone else. It means having a healthy regard for yourself and knowing that you are a worthy human being. Nobody is perfect, so why stress? Learn from it and keep moving forward.

5. A Vision

Mentally strong individuals set daily goals for themselves, no matter how small or big. Long-term goals are great, but they’re easy to lose sight of. However, when long-term goals are reinforced by daily goals and milestones, pushing closer to your dreams becomes far easier. Daily goals allow us to act on the micro while focusing on the macro. These can be anything from getting up in the morning to eating healthy or even exercise!

Mental strength takes time to develop, it doesn't happen overnight! People aren't born mentally stronger than others, either. At the end of the day, it's never a competition to see who's better. It's about who has stayed true to their beliefs and values as an individual today and wants to be a better version of themselves tomorrow.

Cover Image Credit: Candace Jones

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If You've Ever Been Called Overly-Emotional Or Too Sensitive, This Is For You

Despite what they have told you, it's a gift.
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Emotional: a word used often nowadays to insult someone for their sensitivity towards a multitude of things.

If you cry happy tears, you're emotional. If you express (even if it's in a healthy way) that something is bothering you, you're sensitive. If your hormones are in a funk and you just happen to be sad one day, you're emotional AND sensitive.

Let me tell you something that goes against everything people have probably ever told you. Being emotional and being sensitive are very, very good things. It's a gift. Your ability to empathize, sympathize, and sensitize yourself to your own situation and to others' situations is a true gift that many people don't possess, therefore many people do not understand.

Never let someone's negativity toward this gift of yours get you down. We are all guilty of bashing something that is unfamiliar to us: something that is different. But take pride in knowing God granted this special gift to you because He believes you will use it to make a difference someday, somehow.

This gift of yours was meant to be utilized. It would not be a part of you if you were not meant to use it. Because of this gift, you will change someone's life someday. You might be the only person that takes a little extra time to listen to someone's struggle when the rest of the world turns their backs. In a world where a six-figure income is a significant determinant in the career someone pursues, you might be one of the few who decides to donate your time for no income at all. You might be the first friend someone thinks to call when they get good news, simply because they know you will be happy for them. You might be an incredible mother who takes too much time to nurture and raise beautiful children who will one day change the world.

To feel everything with every single part of your being is a truly wonderful thing. You love harder. You smile bigger. You feel more. What a beautiful thing! Could you imagine being the opposite of these things? Insensitive and emotionless?? Both are unhealthy, both aren't nearly as satisfying, and neither will get you anywhere worth going in life.

Imagine how much richer your life is because you love other's so hard. It might mean more heartache, but the reward is always worth the risk. Imagine how much richer your life is because you are overly appreciative of the beauty a simple sunset brings. Imagine how much richer your life is because you can be moved to tears by the lessons of someone else's story.

Embrace every part of who you are and be just that 100%. There will be people who criticize you for the size of your heart. Feel sorry for them. There are people who are dishonest. There are people who are manipulative. There are people who are downright malicious. And the one thing people say to put you down is "you feel too much." Hmm..

Sounds like more of a compliment to me. Just sayin'.

Cover Image Credit: We Heart It

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How To Practice Self-Care In College

Due dates. Finals. Papers. Here's some advice on how to not go completely crazy during these stressful four years.

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Being a senior in college, I know how stressful and demanding school can be. Here are a couple tips on how to stay mentally and physically healthy during these four hectic years of our lives.

Trade your morning coffee for a glass of water. 

Instead of turning on that keurig as soon as you wake up, grab a cold glass of water. I'm telling you, it really jump-starts your morning. Bring a water bottle to class and fill it up throughout the day, too. Obviously, I still drink coffee because I basically can't function without it, but make sure to incorporate a lot of water as well. I've found that I'm more focused and awake the more water that I drink.

Eat breakfast.

I usually start with a bowl of oatmeal filled with whatever you want – blueberries, walnuts, cinnamon, and honey are usually my go-to. It's crucial to eat breakfast because it gives you energy for the rest of the day. You're basically fasting for 8 hours (let's be real, it's probably less than that) through the night, so you're stomach is empty and ready to go as soon as you wake up. If you're tight on time, grab a protein bar. I personally like the Think Thin chocolate mint protein bar, it's plant based and tastes like a dessert, so win-win.

Practice yoga.

I know, people in the world write about how amazing yoga is in their blog, but it's true. I randomly decided to take yoga in college, and it honestly changed my whole outlook on it. It's both mentally and physically rewarding; it keeps you in shape while at the same time helping your mental health. I highly recommend taking a yoga class, or even just looking up some yoga poses on YouTube and practicing at home.

Meditate.

I recently downloaded an app called Simple Habit, and it reminds me every day at a certain time to mediate for 5 minutes. Just taking that small amount of time out of your busy day to clear your head makes such a huge impact on your mental health.

Read more.

Put down that 5,000-page biology book for a few minutes and read something actually enjoyable. Recently, I've been reading To All The Boys I've Loved Before because I'm 13 years old. I think it's important to take some time to read something for entertainment and your own pleasure rather than always reading books for school. Not only does reading improve your cognitive skills and widens your vocab and can help you relax.

Write in a journal. 

I've always had a journal since I was probably in elementary school. Although I don't use my Girl Tech password journal anymore, I still like to write in a journal sometimes just to get my thoughts on paper. It helps me to reflect on my day and make sense of everything. It's kind of like free therapy. Also, I think it would be cool to go back five, ten, even fifty years from now and read my old journals and see how my mind has changed over time.

I can admit that I wasn't the best at self-care when I first started college. It took me a while to figure out how important it is to take care of yourself in order to stay sane and be healthy. It's hard to prioritize our own health especially when we're used to prioritizing school, work and everything else in between. Just making a few small positive changes in your daily routine can make all the difference.

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