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11 Active Ways to Build Mental Strength and Overcome Challenges

How to Build Mental Strength

Building your mental strength is just as important as building your physical strength. The best way to cope with the pressures and stress of everyday life is by boosting your mental strength.

The reason it is important to find your mental balance and strength is because it is connected to your body. There is a distinct connection between your emotional and physical health. If you are feeling lost or hopeless you can try these active ways to build your mental strength. You need to treat yourself holistically.

All people are not born with the same level of mental toughness. However, you can cultivate it to a level higher than what you are born with. Building your mental strength can help you in dealing with situations that create a lot of pressure. When you are mentally strong, you can learn not to let such situations overwhelm you.

Here are eleven active ways to build your mental strength.

11 Active Ways to Build Your Mental Strength

Control your mind

This is the most important step in building your mental toughness. If you don’t learn to control your mind, it will control you. When you let your mind control you, you simply accept the emotions and reactions that have been inputted earlier. These might not be the best or smartest strategies, but they had worked for you at some time in the past.

When you stop controlling your mind, it starts to take past reactions as the default reactions for similar situations. This can lead to feelings of anxiety, fear, and over-excitement during high-pressure moments. To make yourself mentally strong, you need to reprogram your mind. You need to control your focus and eliminate self-doubt and critique.

Smile, it can help you overcome physical pain

The old saying “grin and bear it” has been proven to be effective. Research has shown that you can feel significantly less discomfort if you smile. On the other hand, if you frown it can increase your pain.

Smiling can decrease your heart rate during stressful situations. Even if you don’t feel happier, it can make you feel significantly less pain. So, the next time you are faced with a painful situation you can try to think of a happy situation that makes you smile. This will help in reducing the pain.

Be Positive

It is very easy to become overly critical of yourself. When things become difficult you can become severely critical of your flaws and shortcomings. But this is possibly one of the worst things you can do for your mental happiness. Constant self-criticism is often the biggest issue that is faced by people with poor self-esteem.

One way to build your mental strength is to fight this urge to criticize yourself every time something goes wrong. Instead, try to make yourself promise yourself to have a more positive mindset for facing difficult situations. When you consciously make an effort to remove the negative thoughts from your mind, they are automatically replaced by positive ones. This can go a long way in helping you build your mental toughness and enjoy the present moment fully.

Go for walks frequently

Numerous studies have shown the positive links between physical exercise and mental health. Research shows that mental health issues can be effectively treated with the help of regular physical activity. Simple exercises such as walking daily for half an hour can give you immense benefits in building your mental stamina.

You don’t have to undergo rigorous training and cardio at the gym to build your mental toughness. All you need to do is walk for at least two hundred minutes a week. Studies have also shown that walking can be as beneficial as taking antidepressants.

There are also other emotional advantages of going for regular walks. Even if you aren’t depressed, you can enjoy these benefits while building your mental strength.

Find what motivates you

This is probably one of the biggest steps you need to take to build your mental toughness. Finding the reason that keeps you going will help you overcome all the negative thoughts that tell you to give up. During hard times it is always a good idea to look inside yourself and find the motivation that drives you.

Having a purpose that urges you to keep going will give you the mental strength you need to carry on. Even when the times get hard having your motivation burning in the back of your head will see you through.

Find the balance between positive and negative thoughts

Thinking positive thoughts is very important to build your mental strength. It allows you truly believe that good things will happen and that it’ll all work out. When you honestly look at the possible positive outcomes, chances are that you will work towards making them happen.

However, it is equally important to consider the negative thoughts. These allow you to anticipate things that can go wrong with your plans. Be it at work or in your personal life, you need to consider the chances of things not going according to plan. Negative thinking allows you to plan to deal with situations.

What you need is to find the balance between positive and negative thoughts. Excess of either can be damaging to your mental health.

  Read more here on → How to Stop Negative Thinking

Take deep breaths

Taking deep breaths for a few minutes every day can greatly help to improve your concentration. It can help increase your attention span as well. If you are involved in multitasking, it is a good idea to count the deep breaths that you take. Some people are generally more focused than others.

If you find yourself losing focus easily, taking deep breaths can help you in regaining your focus. It is especially helpful for people who have to multitask. Heavy multi-taskers are seen to have a much lower ability to perform tasks that need constant concentration. A good way to boost your focus and rejuvenate your concentration is to take a few deep breaths.

Focus only on things that you can control

Worrying about things that are beyond your control can cause you a great deal of stress and frustration. Focusing too much on the outcomes can also lead to distractions. You become unfocused on the tasks that you have to do. Ultimately it results in you not being able to give your best efforts. This in turn can cause you stress and start a cycle of self-criticism.

To stop this, you need to focus only on the things that you need to do at the present moment. Sure, you can have an idea of the outcome. However, don’t let that become more important than your duties. Focus on what you can directly control including your attitude and your approach to the task at hand.

Don’t focus too much on past failures

Failing in any of your past endeavors, whether personal or professional, can be hard. However, it is never the end of everything. One bad performance doesn’t mean that you will start to over-criticize yourself. Don’t let yourself become upset by the criticism that you receive from others on your poor performances.

Take notes from them and resolve to improve the flaws that you have identified. There is no need to be angry at yourself for one failed project or relationship. All you need to do is understand where you were lacking and work towards improving on them. Don’t dwell on the failures. Forget them immediately and start fresh on your next task.

Don’t let what other people think of you define who you are

Thinking too much about what other people think about you is only going to cause you stress and anxiety. The way to build your mental strength is to stop letting other people have power over you. Understand that you can’t always make the choices and decisions that are going to please everyone. This is alright.

The key to building mental strength is to focus on your passions and goals. Don’t focus on what other people are thinking or saying about you. This will make you lose sight of your goals and ultimately frustrate you. Take a break from social media and the constant need to be at par with your peers. It is okay to carry on with your pursuits without worrying about the opinion of others.

Balance your emotions with logic

If you want to be strong mentally, then you need to learn to balance your emotions with logic. Making decisions based solely on emotions is not always the rational thing to do. Emotions, especially strong emotions can cloud your thinking. That is why it is important to consider the logic behind your emotions when taking any decision.

Understand that your emotions can influence the way you think. When making decisions, it is best to balance emotions with logic. This will help you reach the best possible decisions. Take your emotions into account, but make sure you also sound them out with logical reasons. Doing this will help you build your mental strength.


Building mental strength is not limited to changing the way you think. Changes in your physical routine can also help you a great deal. Simple exercises like walking or yoga or even deep breathing can help you build your mental toughness. These can train your mind along with helping it to heal making you more emotionally sound. If you feel overwhelmed, it is best to seek professional help. You can choose to give therapy a try. It has been very effective for many people across the world to build their mental strength.


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