Did you know that 50 percent of athletic performance comes down to mental toughness rather than physical skills or attributes? Increasing mental toughness is a key component to living a successful and healthy life, but it takes a journey to reach a place where your mental toughness is at the pinnacle.
The ability to overcome self-doubt and negative thoughts will serve you well in anything that you pursue. There is a reason why many successful people are mentally strong and resilient. Successful people see obstacles as a challenge rather than a detriment.
The good news is that you’ve found a great article to learn more about how to improve mental toughness in your everyday life and the benefits that taking these steps will provide. Keep reading for more tips for better mental toughness today!
Take Cold Showers
It might not sound pleasant, but taking cold showers is a great way to kickstart your mind and your body in preparation for the day ahead. Many people with a high level of mental toughness can stand being in uncomfortable situations for long periods of time. Cold showers are one of the easiest ways to get acclimated to being uncomfortable.
The science behind cold showers shows that they increase endocrine production in your body. It provides a major boost to your immune system and it helps with blood circulation. If you’re looking for a way to start building your mental toughness then a cold shower once each day is a great place to start.
Experience Hunger Pangs
It’s easy to give into your instincts and eat as soon as you start feeling hunger pangs, but it’s a bad approach if you want to improve mental toughness. Hunger pangs have a tendency to make people feel uncomfortable, but withstanding the urge to grab a snack when you’re hungry will help your body get used to being uncomfortable.
Set a timer and try to resist the urge to eat for at least five minutes. You’ll not only start increasing mental toughness but you’ll also grow your patience. The ability to tolerate being hungry for a few extra minutes will make it easier to deal with challenging situations elsewhere in life.
Do Things That You Don’t Want to Do
Doing things that you don’t want to do will also help you build up your mental toughness. Things, like cleaning up around the house or getting a workout in might not be at the top of your list of things you want to do, but doing them, will improve your discipline and show you that you can get through less than ideal things.
The best approach to use with this strategy is to set a timer for 10 minutes during the activity. Once the 10-minute mark arrives you can decide if you want to continue with the task or call it a day. Odds are that you’ll continue with the activity as most people find that the hardest part is getting started.
Workout Without the Help of Music
There is no doubt that listening to your favorite music will help you get a better workout. That said, one of the best ways to improve mental toughness is to get a good workout without the help of music. Working out even with the help of music will push you both mentally and physically.
Where listening to music hurts you is that it helps to distract your mind from what your body is going through. If you have no music then you’ll have to face being uncomfortable during your workout since you’re much more present. Leave your iPhone or mobile device behind for your next workout or turn it off to start your journey toward becoming more mentally strong.
Sit and Feel Your Feelings
Many people make the mistake of thinking that negative feelings and emotions are bad. Feeling them isn’t pleasant, but allowing yourself to sit with them and absorb them will do wonders when you start learning about what is mental toughness.
Any time that you notice yourself feeling angry, anxious, sad, or resentful it’s always good to stop what you’re doing and sit with those feelings for a minute. Many people choose to distract themselves with their phones, social media, video games, and worse.
The best approach to take if you’re dedicated to increasing your mental toughness is to find a comfortable place to sit or lie down and dive into those different feelings. After sitting or lying down you can start to focus on your body and any areas that feature tightness. A great yoga practice is to dive into those physical feelings and be present with them.
Sitting with your emotions takes a strong will and a lot of discipline. If you can start practicing this you’ll find that you’ll improve mental toughness at a rapid rate.
Take Deep Breaths
Taking deep breaths is another practice that you can trace back to yoga. It’s up to you to decide if you want to do this as part of formal meditation or if you want to do it on an “as needed” basis. Taking deep breaths is a great way to control your thoughts and feelings when you’re going through a difficult or traumatic time.
The deep breaths that you take will allow you to reduce the amounts of cortisol in your brain. Cortisol is what causes you to feel tight and stressed, and reducing the cortisol will give you the feeling that you’re decompressing.
If you feel yourself starting to get overwhelmed you should take a few minutes to slow down and take some deep breaths. It’s one of the oldest tricks in the book when it comes to achieving better mental toughness.
Find Emotional Stability
Emotional stability is another big key for anyone that is trying to grow their mental toughness. If you want to have a successful and happy life then you’ll need to learn how to make difficult decisions while facing a fair amount of pressure. Having emotional stability will help you keep an even keel even in the trickiest situations.
One great way to find emotional stability is to read books on emotional intelligence. These books will give you a better understanding of your strengths and weaknesses while also helping you maintain a calm and rational mind. You’ll have an easier time performing at your best even when you’re not feeling the greatest.
Having perspective on the bigger picture is another key part of increasing mental toughness. Your mental toughness is what allows you to move on with a positive attitude even when it feels like the entire world is against you. You will also have an easier time seeing where the troubles that you’re facing rank in the grand scheme of things.
Managing your troubles will help you keep your eye on the grand prize and move forward with conviction. Your perspective is arguably the most important thing that you should try to manage if you want to take your mental toughness up a notch.
Another important piece of the puzzle that is mental toughness is the ability to prepare for things in the future. It’s much easier to overcome setbacks when you’ve taken the time to prepare for situations like that. Having the right tools and resources at your disposal will make it much easier to overcome unexpected obstacles and challenges in your path.
Maintain Your Patience
The journey that comes with increasing your mental toughness is a long one, and if you want to be successful then you need to remain patient with yourself. You’re going to slip up and have times where you give into doubt or pain. These setbacks don’t mean that you’re not growing and moving in a positive direction.
All things that are worthwhile require effort, endurance, and a positive attitude. Remember to view your journey and yourself as a work in progress.
Acceptance in Life
One of the worst things that you can do for your mental health and your mental toughness is to cling to the things that are outside of your control. You’re sure to encounter a number of things that are outside of your control in your personal and professional life.
The biggest thing that you should focus on isn’t the thing that is outside of your control but rather your attitude and your approach to these setbacks. If you maintain a positive attitude and a willingness to overcome then you’ll have a much easier time improving your mental strength.
Start Boosting Your Mental Toughness Today
Your mental toughness is often the biggest indicator of success and mental health in personal as well as professional settings. Little things like taking cold showers and waiting to eat when hungry will help you improve mental toughness by putting you in uncomfortable situations. You can also start increasing mental toughness by using breathing exercises and learning about emotional intelligence.
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