Given that May is Mental Health Month, it seems appropriate to offer some ways that we can help increase our mental strength. These ideas aren’t meant to address serious mental health issues, but instead offer ways to deal with everyday situations.
When thinking about all of the challenges that you might face, both big and small, she suggests that in each situation you “visualize the most optimistic and amazing outcome to the situation. Not just the “okay” outcome, but the best possible one you could imagine.”
She says that this exercise will build the” muscle of expecting the positive outcome and might even open up ideas for what more you might do to create that outcome of your dreams.”
Another idea is to develop new skills for both your brain and body. She said the activity doesn’t need to be difficult but just “something right above your level or just slightly outside of your comfort zone.”
The author of “Good Anxiety: Harnessing the Power of the Most Misunderstood Emotion", said that what she has found to be the most powerful way to combat anxiety is to consistently work on building your resilience and mental strength.
In another article on positive psychology, Michelle Ribeiro, a life coach who received her certification from the Centre for Applied Neuroscience, cites research done by Turner 2017 on the four C’s of mental Toughness.
This is the extent to which you feel you are in control of your life, including your emotions and sense of life purpose. The control component can be considered your self-esteem. To be high on the Control scale means to feel comfortable in your own skin and have a good sense of who you are.
You’re able to control your emotions — less likely to reveal your emotional state to others — and be less distracted by the emotions of others. To be low on the Control scale means you might feel like events happen to you and that you have no control or influence over what happens.
This is the extent of your personal focus and reliability. To be high on the Commitment scale is to be able to effectively set goals and consistently achieve them, without getting distracted. A high Commitment level indicates that you’re good at establishing routines and habits that cultivate success.
To be low on the Commitment scale indicates that you may find it difficult to set and prioritize goals, or adapt routines or habits indicative of success. You might also be easily distracted by other people or competing priorities.
Together, the Control and Commitment scales represent the Resilience part of the Mental Toughness definition. This makes sense because the ability to bounce back from setbacks requires a sense of knowing that you are in control of your life and can make a change. It also requires focus and the ability to establish habits and targets that will get you back on track to your chosen path.
This is the extent to which you are driven and adaptable. To be high on the Challenge scale means that you are driven to achieve your personal best, and you see challenges, change, and adversity as opportunities rather than threats; you are likely to be flexible and agile. To be low on the Challenge scale means that you might see change as a threat, and avoid novel or challenging situations out of fear of failure.
This is the extent to which you believe in your ability to be productive and capable; it is yourself-belief and the belief that you can influence others. To be high on the Confidence scale is to believe that you will successfully complete tasks, and to take setbacks in stride while maintaining routine and even strengthening your resolve.