15 habits of people with high mental toughness, according to psychology

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Mentally tough individuals are a dying breed. 

In modern societies where we’re all encouraged to be more sensitive and vulnerable, mentally tough people choose to focus on self-responsibility instead. 

They pick themselves up off the floor and keep going when other people are busy listing all the reasons that they can’t get up again or why the floor isn’t such a bad place to hang out for a while.

Like I said, mental toughness is rare. 

But we can all learn how to be much more mentally tough and succeed in every area of life by looking at the following habits of mentally tough individuals. 

1) They accept what they can’t change

Mentally resilient individuals accept what they can’t change and focus instead on what is changeable. 

Many things which seem unchangeable are actually potentially possible to change. Even gravity can be counteracted one day by anti-gravity technology, perhaps. 

However when it comes to things like worrying about mortality, somebody breaking up with them, or what others think of them, the mentally resilient individual does not waste their energy. 

These things are outside their control.

2) They bounce back from disappointment

When something highly disappointing happens, we all feel pain, frustration and sometimes confusion. 

But mentally tough individuals find a way to bounce back from disappointment without letting it define them. 

They find a way to take the disappointing experience and use it for something they actually want instead of focusing on what they did not get or on what went wrong.

3) They learn from setbacks and failure

Certain setbacks and failures are entirely out of our control and impersonal. 

Missing a meeting because of an accident on the way to the meeting, for example, or being cheated on by a partner who turns out to be untrustworthy. 

However, whenever possible, a mentally resilient person does their best to learn from disappointments and to avoid them occurring again in the future. 

They don’t want to waste their time or energy.

4) They’re grateful for their blessings 

Being grateful for blessings in life has become quite a cliche and can even become somewhat aggressive in people who are ostentatiously grateful. 

However the mentally resilient individual is not making a show about being grateful or blessed they actually are grateful. 

The benefits of this are various and include a definite sense of well-being and surplus that spills over into every other area of their life.

5) They stay calm under pressure 

When the pressure is on, many of us get lost and anxiety and worry. 

Our minds circle around and around like an erratic hawk searching for prey. 

However those who are mentally resilient do not pay attention to their monkey mind. They remain calm under pressure and focus on the task at hand instead of getting caught up in a mental loop.

6) They face problems proactively

When there is a problem, a certain amount of analysis and forethought is clearly useful. However this can quickly go too far and become counterproductive. 

The mentally resilient individual looks at a problem they are facing and does their best to come up with actionable steps and approaches. 

They minimize how much mental anxiety and analysis goes into something, because they are more interested in the solution to a problem than in deeply meditating on the problem itself.

7) They feed their self-esteem instead of their doubts

Everybody has doubts. The nature of life is a certain amount of uncertainty and risk. 

The difference in a mentally resilient individual is that they perform actions and use their time to feed a positive self image and boost their self-esteem rather than to indulge or fall prey to activities and patterns that lower their self-esteem. 

For example if they were given a choice to do something they’re great at around people they like or to answer their text from another friend who’s a riot to hang out with but also makes them feel shitty about themselves, they’d pick option one. 

They’d rather set themselves up for success.

8) They keep their mission in mind even in the downtimes 

Having a strong sense of purpose is irreplaceable. Those who are mentally resilient have certain smaller goals that pave the way to a larger goal. 

They have done significant inner work to find out what they want to accomplish in this world and why. 

They direct their time and energy to that, making sure to take plenty of breaks in between but still keeping the big picture in mind.

9) They’re optimistic even when the chips are down

Mentally resilient individuals do their best to see the silver lining even when the clouds are gray. 

They remain optimistic when the chips are down because they know that the world already has more than enough downers in it. 

This does not mean that they smile like a cheshire cat all the time even while the world is crumbling around them, but it does mean they are there with a cheerful word and reassurance even when other people are throwing their hands up and getting negative.

10) They have firm boundaries that they stick to 

Mentally resilient individuals focus on what they can control, as I have noted. This includes firm boundaries which they have for interpersonal relations and professional duties. 

No amount of pressure, shaming, manipulation or emotional puppetry will pull them in a direction they do not want to go. 

Their boundaries are real, and not just imaginary. Other people respect them for this reason.

11) They stay self-disciplined in the face of temptation

We all face temptation in various forms. Sometimes the most potent form of temptation is our own wandering attention and tendency to get lost in distractions. 

The mentally resilient person keeps his or her long-term goal in mind and does their best to not get lost in temporary distractions and temptations along the way. 

Of course, they sometimes do give in to temptations like everyone else, but the difference is that they don’t make a habit of it and they learn from their missteps.

12) They manage their schedule and time effectively

Self discipline isn’t easy for anyone. If it was, everyone would do it, given the enormous benefits. 

Mentally resilient people have made a habit out of disciplining themselves. 

They stick to a schedule, get up early, eat well and live their life in a way that is good for the long-term instead of just satisfying their short-term cravings.

13) They provide social support to those around them

Mentally resilient people are a great source of reassurance and confidence to those around them. 

They provide ongoing support to people in their careers and personal life, because they are rightly seen as a source of security and stability. 

The great thing about this is that the more they provide support to others the more the mentally resilient person is confirmed in their own mind and externally as a stable and trustworthy individual.

14) They channel difficult emotions instead of repressing them

Earlier I noted that mentally resilient people do not focus on their negative emotions or problems. 

This is true, however it does not mean that they repress or push away difficult emotions. They see the validity even in frustration, anger, depression or paranoia. And they use these difficult emotions as raw energy to channel into other pursuits. 

Paranoia and distrust, for example, could be highly useful in an investigatory or police role.

Anger could be very useful in activism. 

Depression could be very useful in developing more empathy for others.

15) They get stronger and wiser from heartbreak 

Perhaps the crowning achievement of the mentally resilient person is their ability to get stronger and wiser from heartbreak. 

This is the most difficult thing of all, because when you have lost in love and had your heart broken, how can you see any hope left? 

The mentally resilient person goes back to their heart and remembers their own value that comes before everything, even before the opinion or actions of the person they love. 

And centering themselves on this deep sense of value, they find a way to move on from the heartbreak and let the pain discipline and mature them.

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