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How to Increase your Mental Toughness

How can I increase my mental toughness?

How do I build resiliency? 

I have so many unfinished projects, I want to develop mental strength, fortitude, perseverance so I can complete each of my goals.

How do I mature in impulse control, self-discipline, and self-control?

I am tired of giving up when things get tough and when life gets busy. 

I feel stuck. I want to stick to my commitments and to see them through to the end.

I want breakthrough in my life.


Clinical terms related to this topic of mental toughness are: Frustration tolerance, coping skills, coping mechanisms, distress tolerance, stress management.


1. Develop a strong connection between mind and body.

Check in with your body often. Scan your body from head to toe asking yourself, "What information is my body telling me?". You may be tired and need to rest, hungry and need to eat, thirsty and need to hydrate, sore and need to stretch, weak and out of shape and need to exercise, or have extra energy to burn off.

Develop the habit of taking relaxing deep breaths to manage your breathing.

Practice engaging mindfully with your five senses.

This biofeedback will give you a productive relationship with your body to work at peak efficiency.


2. Pace yourself at the ideal intensity level.

If you go too hard, you will eventually burn yourself out.

If you don't put in enough effort, you will be disinterested, lack motivation, and be easily distracted.

Find an ideal amount of focus and energy to exert on the task to stay focused, in the zone, and in a flow state, so you can work consistently for long periods of time.


3. Check your mindset.

Identity any negative thoughts ("I can't do this. I'm going to fail. What's the point."). Reframe these negative things with more balanced thoughts. E.g., "I can do this. It's going to be hard, but it's going to be worth it."

Take the time to write down your goals.


4. Fuel your motivation.

Initiate and engage with small steps towards your goal.

Connect with your why for each of your goals.


5. Take breaks

Rome wasn't built in a day.

Take regular breaks to catch your breath. Recharge. Reset.

Assess your progress during your breaks.


6. Transcendent

Helping others and focusing on something/someone outside of yourself can increase your drive to engage with your life. Volunteer at a soup kitchen, homeless shelter, non-profit organization, hospital, nursing home, library, animal shelter. Donate food and clothes. Spend time out in nature. Practice empathy. Do something nice for someone.


7. Externalize your feelings

Don't bottle up your feelings. Share with your friends and family how you are feeling: both positive and negative emotions. Listen to music or engage with arts to express how you feel.


8. Manage your energy levels.

Monitor your energy levels throughout the day. When you are feeling low energy fuel up by eating, drinking, or get up and move your body to get your energy flowing.


9. Do hard things.

Make a list of tasks and goals and rank them by difficulty. Make sure you have a balance of easy and difficult tasks to continue building your mental toughness.


10. Celebrate your accomplishments.

Take a moment to acknowledge the work it took to complete a task. Enjoy the feeling of completion, arrival, being finished. You can anticipate this feeling when you are working on your next goal.


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