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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Self Improvement

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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. 

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. 

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.

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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RELATED IDEAS

How bad habits hurt us

Researchers have found envying your friends' perfect life feed on social media leads to depression.

"Why do they have all the luck?" may make us feel better in the moment but hurts our mental strength.

3 kinds of destructive beliefs that hurts mental strength

  1. Unhealthy beliefs about ourselves. Sad is ok but self-pity is not. Magnifying the misfortune keeps us stuck, focused on the problem instead of the solution.
  2. Unhealthy beliefs about others. Giving away the control of our life to others by prioritizing the "I have to" tasks. You are in control of your response and your choices.
  3. Unhealthy beliefs about the world. It's a bad habit to believe enough hard work makes us deserve success - it's not 'how much', but 'how' that matters more here.

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IDEAS

Staying mentally strong and healthy

Prevention is the best medicine. It is really difficult to pull out of negative spirals once we've fallen into them.

  • It's hard to pull out of a major depressive episode once we're in the habit of beating ourselves up.
  • It's hard to stop worrying once we've started imagining all the worst possible outcomes.

Not that pulling out of these problems is impossible. It isn't. But it can be a struggle. Life can be much better if we can creatively avoid these negative cycles in the first place.

Self-compassion

Self-compassion means that in times of pain or suffering, you treat yourself like you would treat a good friend — in an empathetic, balanced, non-judgmental way. It doesn’t mean that you’re soft or spoiled, it just means taking a balanced view of your mistakes and failures.

I see little evidence that being hard on yourself improves either your success or happiness in the long run. If anything, people who are successful probably got there despite their lack of self-compassion, not because of it.

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