6 Habits That Will Help You Build Mental Strong

physical fitness gets a lot of attention, and for good reason — good physical health can prevent conditions such as heart disease or diabetes, and help you maintain a long, independent life. But often neglected is mental fitness — having a healthy and strong mind to allow you to handle the challenges and opportunities that life puts in front of you.

A common thought is that the absence of a mental health disorder means that a person is mentally fit and emotionally well, but according to Rachel O’Neill, a licensed professional clinical counselor, that’s a dangerous misconception. “An individual can certainly experience periods of stress, discomfort, sadness, or anxiety without necessarily meeting criteria for a mental health disorder,” she said. “Mental wellness is a process, and just like physical health, it’s an ongoing process to maintain mental and emotional wellness.

So, what can you do to increase your mental fitness levels?

1. Focus on One Thing at a Time

Multitasking is worn as a badge of honor, but multitasking too much is not healthy. Practice being present. When you are taking a walk, take in your surroundings — the weather, the birds. When you are spending time with friends, really listen to what is being said. Turn off your phone and try to forget the running to-do lists in your head.

2. Practice gratitude

Rather than think they deserve better, mentally strong people recognize that they have more than they deserve. They’re thankful for anything — from the clean water they drink to the friends who show them compassion. Their gratitude helps them feel and do their best.

3. Set Aside Time to Move Your Body

“Physical and mental health go hand-in-hand and should not be considered separate, as poor mental health can lead to poor physical health and vice versa,” said Kimberly Leitch, a Talkspace therapist based in New York City.

4. Don’t Be Afraid to Reach Out for Help

Seeking help is often the first step towards getting and staying well, but it can be hard to know how to start or where to turn to. It’s common to feel unsure, and to wonder whether you should try to handle things on your own.

Remember that it’s okay to say “no” sometimes.

Mental fitness doesn’t have to take up a lot of your time. Spending a few minutes on it every day can help you feel better and think more clearly. Remember that relaxation is just as important in a mental workout as the more energetic activities, such as memory exercises or physical exercise.

5. Establish boundaries

Mentally strong people know that it’s important to build a life conducive to building mental strength. And the best way to do that is by establishing healthy boundaries.

They don’t apologize for protecting their time, money, and mental health. Whether that means politely declining an activity that isn’t a priority or saying no to a family member who asks to borrow money, they act according to their values.

6. Prove yourself wrong

Mentally strong people experience self-doubt just like everyone else. But they don’t believe everything they think.

Even when their brains tell them they can’t do something, they often put those thoughts to the test.

When strong individuals find themselves thinking they can’t succeed, they push themselves to try anyway. Every time they prove themselves wrong, they train their brains to see them as more competent and capable than before.

7. Build your mental muscles

Just as there are many exercises for becoming physically strong, there are many strategies for becoming mentally strong. These six habits can jumpstart your efforts toward becoming the strongest and best version of yourself.

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Observe, listen and relax then act

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