Being able to survive hardships, and doing so without losing your mind or giving up, is difficult. It is emotionally, mentally, and often physically, hard on you.
You can probably think of at least one person who has endured more than you’d ever want to, yet he or she held it together, with grace and poise. You may assume that he or she is mentally tougher than you. That’s not really the case. That strong person just thinks differently, and therefore, makes his or her struggles easier to cope with. You can learn how too. It’s not as difficult as you assume either, it’s only a matter of adapting new mentalities and good habits. Here’s how you can become smarter about how you deal with difficult times:
1. Mentally Strong people know that self pity gets you ‘stuck’. There are stages to grief. To be mentally smarter (and therefore strong) you need to go through your emotions. Don’t try to walk away from them, because that only prolongs the healing process. You don’t have to express your feelings to other people if you’re uncomfortable with that. It’s okay to hide in the coat closet and cry alone. But cry, feel that pain, and don’t shy away from it, just because it’s uncomfortable.
2. Mentally Strong people know that they are in control. Know that other people don’t control you. You don’t *have* to do anything. Quit saying “I have to do/go/visit/work on _____”. Because you don’t. Pardon my language, but you don’t have to do jack shit. Sure, there are sometimes coincidences to not doing certain things, but YOU have the decision and the power to make your choice. Don’t give other people that power. Which moves me to my third point.
[ Read: An Open Letter to my Dad’s Murderer ]
[ Read: Its not the Darkest Before Dawn ]
3. Mentally Strong People see other people as different, yet equal. No one is better or worse than you. You also have to stop putting other people down. Perfect Jillian from Facebook with the massive house, photogenic family, and rewarding career- is not your enemy. Quit hoping for her failure. It’s hurting you way more than it’s hurting her. If you want to be a stronger, better person, you’ve got to stop drinking poison and hoping it’ll effect your opponents. When you realize Jillian isn’t your enemy, you can start taking notes and understanding why she is the way she is. Then, you can begin improving yourself, based upon what you’ve learned about her habits.
4. Mentally Strong people know that hard work doesn’t automatically grant them success. Bad times don’t earn you equally good times. You aren’t owed anything. Life isn’t fair. Seriously. That ties in nicely with point #5.
5. Mentally Strong people know that they are responsible for creating their own happinesses. See point #2 about being in control of your life. Somehow mental illnesses are being glorified and even popular right now. Yes, we should discuss mental health, but don’t let mental illnesses be your excuse you fall to when you don’t feel like fixing your bad habits. It’s easier to say “I have depression” than it is to say “I need to change some habits of my life”. I know depression and other mental disorders aren’t easy, but don’t let them be your crutch. Sometimes you have to get out of bed (even when it’s the hardest thing in the world) and force yourself to make some little changes. Keeping this up will result in a new life, and a different brain with healthier habits.
I used to believe that God only gives people challenges that they can overcome. Perhaps some people are mentally stronger than others, and that’s why they have greater obstacles than others do. I suppose I still believe this, but I also believe that there is more to it than just that.
Mentally Strong people after a life crisis, do all the steps I listed above. They aren’t stuck on throwing a pity party for one. They get up, and they keep going. When these people refuse to let their lives be stationary, they make themselves more susceptible to the world’s chaos. For example: If your boyfriend breaks up with you, and you hide in your room, mourning the relationship, you won’t meet another great guy. You’ll be stuck on your ex until the end of time. But- if you make the choice to get up and try again, you may find love again. You also may endure another heartbreak. But if the risk of another breakup is worth the chance for real love, you’ll get out there, try again, and live life to the fullest. And isn’t that what life is all about?
That’s all for me! What traits and strategies do you think all mentally Strong people possess? How did YOU overcome your heartbreaks and crises? Comment below, and as always, thanks for reading!