Mental strength refers to the ability to deal with life’s challenges and troubles. It is the ability to persist in the face of adversity and to bounce back from setbacks. Mental strength is a key component of physical strength, as it takes physical strength to perform physical activities, but it also takes mental strength to push through difficult workouts and to maintain a fitness routine.

We all need mental strength from time to time. Some people are naturally strong in this regard and can handle almost any situation with confidence. Others, however, require a little help from outside sources. We all have our ups and downs. Some days are harder than others, and it’s easy to get down on ourselves when things don’t go our way. This is a natural response, but it doesn’t help us to improve mental strength.

The human mind is a powerful tool, which can help you achieve a lot in life. But when your mind is tired, it is unable to think clearly and make good decisions. And when this happens you may end up making decisions that you would regret in the future. This is why it is crucial to improve mental strength. In this article, we will look at some of the best exercises that can aid in developing mental strength.

Mental strength exercises can be performed individually, with a partner, or in a group setting. They can be performed at the gym, at home, or anywhere that has a set of stairs or a set of weights. They can be as simple or as complex as you want them to be. They can also be adapted to meet your needs or abilities.

Below listed are 10 mental strengthening exercises that you can perform to improve your mental strength

  • Perform things that you don’t want to do (for 10 minutes)

When you’re dreading something – like working out or finishing your assignment- try telling yourself that you only have to do it for 10 minutes. If you don’t want to continue after ten minutes, you can stop. However, it is very unlikely that you would discontinue the task once you begin with it since starting is usually the difficult part. According to psychotherapist and editor-in-chief of Verywell Mind Amy Morin, “Starting something you don’t want to do trains your brain to know that it doesn’t need to respond to your feelings. Your strength lies in your ability to act even when you aren’t motivated.

  • Breathe deeply

Deep breathing plays a crucial role in developing mental toughness, whether as part of formal meditation or on an as-needed basis. By regulating your thoughts, feelings, and, well, breathing, you can cope with difficult circumstances more effectively. Caroline Leaf, a cognitive neuroscientist, and host of the Clean Up The Mental Mess podcast says that deep breathing helps reduce cortisol levels in the brain and body that limit cognition.

  • Talk to someone

There is a difference between “being strong” and “acting tough.” Acting tough means pretending everything is fine. Real strength comes from recognizing you don’t know everything. Although it can feel uncomfortable, talking to someone is a great way to improve your mental toughness. Be sure to reach out to your friends and family regularly and keep in touch. “A close friend or family member can give you a different perspective on what you’re experiencing,

  • Accept your mistakes

A mentally tough person never tries to pretend that their mistakes didn’t happen – the default position when something has gone wrong. As opposed to simply admitting their mistake, many people attempt (unsuccessfully) to defend their position. Eventually, this would only worsen the situation and relationships by loss of trust. People with mental toughness accept full responsibility for their actions, rather than being embarrassed to admit mistakes.

  • Practice gratitude

According to Amy Morin, “Studies show grateful people enjoy a host of benefits, such as a boost in immunity, better quality sleep, and more mental strength,”. Think about the world through a different perspective – a critical part of becoming mentally stronger. Make reflecting on what you appreciate a habit – either in the morning or at night.

  • Reflect on your feelings

You might be tempted to grab your phone to check Instagram or  your email or to rant or go out the next time you feel lonely, mad, anxious, sad, scared, or jealous. Stop right there and sit down instead and try to close your eyes and  to calm down your mind. Think about the happy moments you have had throughout the day or in the past with the specific person. Try to divert your thoughts and get rid of the negative energy. Do not try to figure out what emotions you’re experiencing or what thoughts are swirling around in your head.

  • Practice tolerating discomfort

Having good mental strength doesn’t mean you don’t experience emotions. It expects you to truly become aware of your emotions, feelings, and thoughts so that you can lead a successful life by making the best decisions for yourself. You don’t need to overpower or control your emotions, instead let them naturally flow. Understand the reason behind the way you are feeling and try to think about positive ways to deal with it. Not every time you would be in your comfort zone, life gives you an opportunity to face uncomfortable situations to improve your mental strength.

  • Meditate daily for 10-20 minutes

Meditation provides you with energy and can therefore increase your mental strength. Having energy allows you to make better decisions. Thus you will be able to exert more willpower when you meditate. Forgiveness allows you to move forward faster. The faster you forgive, the less stress and negative emotions will stifle you.

  • Replace negative thoughts with productive ones

Have you ever thought about why negative thoughts appear in our minds instead of productive ones? Because it is easier to think that way. It is more comfortable to be grumpy and upset about the different problems going on in our life than to reflect upon ways to deal with such problems. So next time a negative thought passes through your mind, turn it into a productive thought. Focus on the positive side of the problem instead of the negative side.

  • Keep track on your progress

As you begin with the new journey of strengthening your mental health, keep a track of your progress. Ensure to follow the above exercises. List down your goals, ambitions, and monitor them on a weekly basis. Note down your improvements, achievements, and also areas where you need improvement. Shortlist the exercises that are more beneficial for you, and shift your focus to them from those that aren’t helpful.