Even if you are dealing with a mental health issue, you can still be strong mentally. But to be healthy mentally, you have to build up your mental strength.
Mental Health vs. Mental Strength
Mental health deals with your social well–being and how you feel about yourself. Your environment, life experiences, interaction with others, and physical health are all involved.
In turn, mental strength is your ability to handle challenges, stressors, and pressure. It requires you to balance your emotions and rational thinking. It helps you to make informed decisions that guide your behavior. When you are operating at optimal levels, you can perform at your best.
The advantages of improving your mental health and strength include:
- Setting realistic goals
- Enhanced happiness
- More resilient to stress
- Improved performance
- Making better and sound decisions
- Handling life’s challenges and stresses
- More confidence in your self-worth and abilities
- Accepting your strengths and weaknesses
- Creating a sense of meaning and purpose
Building mental strength is an integral part of living your best life. Furthermore, you can develop your mental health and strength using tools and techniques. These four tools can aid you in exercising your mental muscles:
- Keeping a gratitude journal
- Practicing deep breathing exercises
- A (favorite) hobby
- Motivational videos
A Gratitude Journal
A gratitude journal activates and strengthens positive thoughts and feelings. Learn more about yourself as you write and focus more on what matters to you. You’ll get a better perspective on what you have instead of what you don’t. Not to mention, it will lower your stress levels and improve your overall health. Use a notebook or download a gratitude journal app to get started.
I practice gratitude every day. Whether it’s by praying or writing what I’m thankful for in a notebook. When I write my positive thoughts, I get to focus on what I have versus what I lack.
Showing gratitude is a positive thoughts reinforcer and stress reliever. I find my thoughts are more defined, and my happiness improves with each word. Being grateful helps me to see the light at the end of the tunnel. So far, I’ve logged over 250 blessings (and counting). The air I breathe, opening my eyes, and running my mouth is only the beginning.
Deep Breathing Exercises
Deep breathing help reduce anxiety, asthma and ease tension in your body and mind. Your abdominal muscles strengthen, and adrenal fatigue lessens. Practiced correctly, it boasts many health benefits. And this exercise only takes a few minutes each day.
It is as simple as lying down on your back and placing a book on your abdomen. You can choose from many apps, such as Breathe2Relax, to assist you. They will do the counting for you as you inhale and exhale.
The goal of this muscle-building exercise is to breathe from your diaphragm. As you breathe in and breathe out, your belly rises and falls. If you’ve ever paid attention to the way how babies breathe, it’s the same concept. This way of breathing is healthier, heavier, and more efficient. Have you noticed that you’ve been breathing from your upper chest? Known as shallow breathing, it is not only unhealthy but is lighter and less efficient.
I have practiced deep breathing many times and try to make it a regular part of my routine. I have noticed that my anxiety and stress levels have decreased when I focus on each breath. It calms my nerves and stops overthinking by helping me to be more focused.
I’ve also tried various breathing apps and even bought a breathing device. The Breather Respiratory Muscle Training Device is the one I use; it costs about $45. I use it to strengthen and activate the muscles for swallowing, breathing, and speech. You can use it sitting up, standing up, or lying down.
A (Favorite) Hobby
Hobbies will engage your mind when you are doing something that you love. It gives you a break from the stress in your life and allows you to explore your talents. You can even earn extra income from doing what brings you enjoyment.
My favorite hobby has always been writing. It is the one part of my life I am the most consistent with; it is my gift. I write every day without fail and without thinking about it. I’ve noticed that I am calmer and better focused when I write. My self-confidence has improved over the years, and I no longer compare myself to others.
Plus, I don’t worry too much about what other people think about me anymore. Whenever I am going through the motions, I write a poem or two and publish them on my poetry blog. Not only that, but I stepped out of my comfort zone and have started using my talent to earn extra income. I’ve finally branched out into the freelance writing world (hence this article).
Listening to and watching motivational videos is another positive outlet I use. Whenever I am down, I watch a few inspirational videos to get back on my feet. Within a few minutes, I am ready to conquer the world again, and landing among the stars is back within reach. They remind me I exist in a world of endless possibilities.
These videos keep me engaged and inspire me to want to be the best version of myself. They help me focus more on my strengths and less on my weaknesses. I have gained more confidence, and I’m not so caught up in other people’s opinions of me anymore. I have even managed to step out of my comfort zone more. I am reminded that I am unique for a reason far more significant than I will ever understand.
Today we talked about four great tools you can try to improve your mental health and strength. They all offer many health benefits, and you can experience great results in a matter of minutes.
These four techniques include keeping a gratitude journal to log your meaningful moments. How motivational videos can encourage you to be the best version of yourself. Do you have a favorite hobby? It can help you explore your talents and even generate extra income. Finally, practicing deep breathing strengthens your abdominal muscles to help you breathe better.
When you have optimal mental health, it encourages you to live a life you love and enjoy. It better equips you to be mentally healthy. The benefits far outweigh the losses. You can cope better with difficult situations, take risks, and try new things. You will feel happier and experience less stress too. Social interactions become more meaningful, and your self-esteem improves.
To be healthy mentally, you have to build up your mental strength. Thus, building up your mental strength is an integral part of living your best life. When you are operating at optimal levels, you can then perform at your best.
How helpful was this article? What does it take to be mentally healthy? Can you have a mental illness and still be strong mentally? What are your thoughts? Please like, share, or leave a comment.
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