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5 Powerful Exercises To Increase Your Mental Strength

https://www.forbes.com/sites/groupthink/2013/12/03/5-powerful-exercises-to-increase-your-mental-strength/

forbes.com

5 Powerful Exercises To Increase Your Mental Strength
The following guest post is by Amy Morin, a licensed clinical social worker in Lincoln, Maine. In addition to working as a psychotherapist, she is also an adjunct college psychology instructor and she serves as About.com's Parenting Teens expert. Psychology often discusses mental health -- but what's not often discussed is a clear definition of mental strength.

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Evaluate Your Core Beliefs

Evaluate Your Core Beliefs

Over time we all develop core beliefs based on our experiences about ourselves and the world. Whether you’re aware of them or not, they influence your thoughts, behaviors and emotions.

Identify and evaluate your core beliefs to ensure yours aren’t inaccurate and unproductive, or even harmful. Look for beliefs that are black and white, and then find exceptions to the rule. 

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Use Your Mental Energy Wisely

Use Your Mental Energy Wisely

Ruminating about things you can’t control drains mental energy quickly, leaving you less energy for what you can control. The more you practice expending your mental energy wisely, the more it will become a habit.

Save your mental energy for productive tasks, such as solving problems or setting goals. 

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Replace Negative Thoughts With Productive Ones

Replace Negative Thoughts With Productive Ones

Exaggerated, negative thoughts, can spiral out of control and influence your behavior if you don’t catch them.

Replace overly negative thoughts with productive and realistic ones. Changing your thoughts requires constant monitoring, but the process can be instrumental in helping you become your best self.

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Practice Tolerating Discomfort

Practice Tolerating Discomfort

Mental strength requires you to accept and be acutely aware of your emotions so you can respond better and consciously.

Mental strength also involves an understanding of when it makes sense to behave contrary to your emotions and enduring the discomfort that comes with it. Practice behaving like the person you’d like to become.

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Reflect On Your Progress Daily

Reflect On Your Progress Daily

Developing mental strength is a work in progress. Reflecting upon your progress can reinforce your ability to reach your definition of success while living according to your values.

At the end of each day, ask yourself what you’ve learned about your thoughts, emotions and behavior. Consider what you hope to improve upon tomorrow.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Write Everything Down

When you suddenly have an idea while you are in the middle of something else, write it down. It will clear your mind. It is a catch-all for the light bulb moments.

Financial Awareness

Know exactly where you spend your money. Create a system for tracking profit and loss, and returns on investment. 

De-clutter

De-clutter your work and living space. It encourages a de-cluttered mind.

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Anxiety is rewarding

Each time we worry and nothing bad happens, our mind connects worry with preventing harm:

Worry → nothing bad happens.

And the takeaway is, "It's a good thing I worried."&nbs...

Beliefs about worry

  • If I worry, I'll never have a bad surprise.
  • It's safer if I worry. We believe that the act of worrying itself somehow lowers the likelihood of a dreaded outcome. 
  • I show I care by worrying. We need to distinguish between caring about a situation and worrying needlessly and fruitlessly about it. 
  • Worrying motivates me. We need to differentiate between unproductive worry and productive concern and problem solving.
  • Worrying helps me solve problems. Extreme worry is more likely to interfere with problem-solving. 

Tools to assist us with worry

  • Calm the nervous system with guided muscle relaxation, meditation, and exercise. 
  • Notice when you're worrying and any beliefs that reinforce worry.  Awareness of the process gives us more choice in how we respond.
  • Embrace uncertainty. Most of the things we care about in life involve uncertainty. It takes considerable practice to begin to embrace it.
  • Live in the present. Practice focusing your attention on the present in everyday activities like taking a shower, walking, or talking with a friend, as well as in more formal practices like meditation or yoga.
  • When we face our fears head-on, they tend to diminish. Deliberately accept what you're afraid of: "It's possible I'll miss my flight." 

Habits define your energy levels

Habits define your energy levels

Tine is not the basis for productivity. Energy is.

Having all the time in the world won’t help you if you’re exhausted for most of it. Having good habits help in keeping yo...

Sleep is the foundation of our energy

Poor sleep means you will start to underperform.

Research says 7-8 hours are pretty much mandatory if you’re going to stay cognitively sharp in the long-run.

Napping benefits

Even if it may feel lazy, napping has a range of cognitive benefits.

This is particularly true if you’re doing a lot of learning since the short burst of sleep can help with memory.