Live your Best Life with these Habits of Mentally Strong People

mental strength, man in hoodie with arms crodded, eyes down, against chalkboard drawing of muscled arms

Building mental strength is fundamental to living your best life.

It’s how a mentally strong person thinks that helps them live the life they want. It takes work to achieve mental strength – a lot of conscious self-examination and self-improvement.  Before we act, we think. Our thinking has to change before our actions can.

Mental strength involves developing daily habits that build mental muscle. It also involves giving up bad habits or poor ways of thinking, that hold you back.

With that in mind, this is a list of the mindset traits and habits of mentally strong people. We are all works in progress so please be kind to yourself and take these as reminders or guides rather than criticisms.

What You Do as a Mentally Strong Person –

You practice gratitude.

Being thankful for what you have is one of the key ingredients to both happiness and mental wellbeing.

You can balance emotions and logic.

This helps you sort out wants from needs and make better decisions. We were given a head and a heart for a reason – so we can tap into both and balance feelings with reason for the best possible outcomes.

You are an optimist, and also a realist.

You stay centred and face facts rather than denying them, but you also look for the positives.

You spend time productively.  

You focus on the important tasks at hand rather than being lured by the many distractions of the world. You avoid procrastinating and do what needs to be done.

You face your fears,

especially those that hold you back. It can be so tempting to avoid going through any pain or discomfort, but growth only happens outside of our comfort zone. You are brave enough to face the challenges that stretch you and push through your fears.

one man reaching down to help another man up to to the top of a mountain at sunset

You adapt to changes easily.

You are not afraid of change. The only constant in life is change – it’s better to embrace it, and look for the positives in it, rather than fight the inevitable.

You celebrate other people’s success.

Rather than feeling jealous, you realise someone doing well does not diminish your success; it is something to be celebrated and aspired to.

You are always ready to learn.

Nearly everything is a learning experience, and you gain some kind of new knowledge every day. Meeting a new person or having a new experience is another opportunity to learn. You like to Improve your skills – so as to better yourself and serve others better.

You are kind but not weak.

Some people mistake kindness for weakness, but true kindness takes strength. True kindness isn’t saying yes to things that you really want to say no to – that’s being a people pleaser and being weak

You are honest with yourself and others.

Your actions match your words, you walk your talk. You live an authentic life – what you see is what you get.

You have patience.

Some relationships, some plans, some dreams take time to come to fruition. You know triumph is worth waiting for and working towards rather than seeking instant gratification in all things.

You take responsibility for your own actions.

This is one of the biggest things you can do, and you will have to keep doing it your whole life. When you make a mistake, you own it, learn from it and move on. You don’t try and blame other people or environmental factors for your choices and actions. At the end of the day, it was your choice, your decision.

You see difficulties as challenges,

and challenges as opportunities. You like to solve problems. Every obstacle is a chance to learn and grow, and maybe do things or go in a direction you hadn’t considered before.

You focus on what you know and do best.

In a world of endless possibilities, it can be very easy to be distracted by ‘sparkly ball syndrome’. However, the most effective and successful people are those who dedicate their time, effort and resources into what they do best, rather than being pulled in lots of different directions.

You take care of yourself.

Self-care is an essential part of strong mental health. You pay attention to your own needs and feelings, and engage in activities that bring you joy and relaxation. Regular physical exercise is an important form of self-care too.

a pretty girl with two piles of food in front of her, she has to choose between healthy fruit and vegetables or candy bars

You know yourself.

You know your strengths and weaknesses. You work to your strengths but are mindful of your weaknesses and work on improving them (or pay someone else to do what you aren’t good at).

You pick yourself up after failure,

rather than give up.  Falling down isn’t the end of the road when you believe you are on the right track to your success. You dust yourself off, learn, recalibrate and get going again.

You let go of the past. Some people hold onto the hurts of the past and relive those hurts over and over again even when the original hurt was long ago. If you want to stop getting burned, then take your hand off the stove – stop reliving the hurt in your head and realise you can be free of it if you simply let it go.

You recognise that you are making progress.

You take stock of where you started, where you are now, and where you are going. You review the areas where you are doing well, and the areas that you need to improve in and take steps to do so.

You value WHO you are.

Not what material possessions you have or what you have achieved. You realise that being the best YOU is the greatest goal of all. You know your values – and live and make decisions according to your values.

a hand writes the word 'values in red marker

What you don’t do …

You don’t let little things worry you.

You know it’s a waste of energy to get upset about things that don’t really matter.  

You don’t seek constant approval or validation from others.

Mentally strong people don’t feel the need to people please and have the courage to express their own opinion even when they know others don’t agree.

You don’t feel sorry for yourself.

Disappointments are part of life. Life isn’t always fair. You know some things are beyond your control, but your attitude is within your control. You choose not to focus on negative thoughts.

You don’t give up your personal power.

Sometimes we can be tempted to give in to others and let them control us because we don’t like conflict and want to keep the peace. Unfortunately, this just teaches the other person that they have power over us. A mentally strong person stays in control of their emotions and acts rather than reacts to a difficult situation.

You don’t take things personally.

Some people like being a victim so look to have their feelings hurt at every opportunity. A mentally strong person does the opposite – you realise that other people’s actions are a reflection of them, and not about you. When you realise you can’t change others, you focus more on your own actions and being the best person you can be.

You don’t worry about the future.

The future rarely turns out how we anticipate it. You can keep the future in mind without worrying about it because you realise the best way to the future that you desire is focussing on your actions NOW.

You don’t spend time wishing and hoping.

We wish and hope that we will win the Lottery, marry a millionaire, be rescued from a bad relationship. Wishing and hoping are the opposite of action. They don’t get us anywhere and take us away from facing what we must do to have the future we want.

Mental strength helps you appreciate the good in life while being resilient and learning from the more challenging times.

Optimal mental health helps us to live a life that we love, have meaningful social connections, and enjoy a positive self-image. It also aids in our ability to take risks, try new things, and cope with the difficult situations that life will inevitably throw at us.

We are all able to become mentally stronger, the key is to keep practicing and exercising your mental muscles so that good choices, good ways of thinking, become a habit. Use these Do’s and Don’ts as a gentle reminder to help you on your journey of improving your mental health and wellbeing. YOU are worth it!

If you have some more habits to add to this list – either Do’s or Dont’s – please comment. I’d love to hear from you.

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