8 little habits that will make you mentally stronger, according to psychology

The mind is a powerful thing. It can either be your greatest ally or your worst enemy, depending on how you treat it. And according to psychology, there are certain habits that can help you make us stronger.

These are small, everyday habits. But don’t let their simplicity fool you. They can make a huge difference in how you handle stress, make decisions, and navigate life. What habits?

These eight. 

1) Mindful meditation

There’s a lot of chatter about mindfulness and meditation these days, but it’s more than just another wellness trend.

Research has shown that mindfulness can genuinely beef up your mental muscle. It’s like doing bicep curls, but for your brain.

Meditation can help you better manage stress, improve your memory, increase your ability to focus, and even boost your emotional intelligence. It’s a simple practice but powerful in its effects.

The best part is that you can start with just a few minutes each day. Take a moment to sit quietly, focus on your breath, and let your thoughts come and go without judgment.

By practicing mindful meditation regularly, you’re essentially training your brain to be stronger. So why not give it a try? 

2) Positive affirmations

I’ll admit it, I used to be a skeptic when it came to positive affirmations. The idea of saying nice things to myself in the mirror felt a bit silly, to be honest.

But then, I decided to give it a go. I started with simple phrases like “I am capable” or “I can handle whatever comes my way”.

And you know what? It worked.

Positive affirmations aren’t just feel-good mantras; they’re a psychological strategy. When you repeat positive statements about yourself, you’re reinforcing those beliefs in your mind. You’re challenging the negative self-talk that often holds us back.

Over time, these affirmations can change the way you think and feel about yourself, making you mentally stronger and more resilient. 

So now, every morning, I stand in front of my mirror and say my affirmations out loud. It’s become a habit that truly sets the tone for my day.

It’s not about pretending problems don’t exist but affirming that you have the strength to handle them. Give it a try; you might just surprise yourself.

3) Regular exercise

You’ve probably heard about the benefits of regular exercise for your physical health. But did you know it can also bolster your mental strength?

When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These are often referred to as “feel-good” hormones because they trigger positive feelings in the body. But, they do more than just make you feel good.

Endorphins also help combat stress and anxiety, making you more resilient to life’s challenges. This is why, after a good workout, you often feel a sense of calm and well-being.

In fact, a study conducted by Harvard University found that running for 15 minutes a day or walking for an hour might reduce the risk of depression by 26%.

So, whether it’s going for a brisk walk, doing yoga, or hitting the gym, regular physical activity is a sure-fire way to strengthen your mind. Start small and gradually increase your activity level. Your brain will thank you.

4) Embrace challenges

Challenges can be daunting. It’s all too easy to see them as threats or obstacles standing in the way of our goals. But what if we changed our perspective?

Experts suggest that embracing challenges, rather than evading them, can make us more resilient. Challenges are opportunities for growth, a chance to stretch our capabilities and learn something new.

When we face a challenge head-on, we’re exercising our problem-solving skills and building resilience. It’s like flexing a muscle – the more we use it, the stronger it gets.

The next time you encounter a challenge, instead of backing away, step up to it. See it as an opportunity to grow and become stronger. You might stumble, you might fall, but remember, each setback is a setup for a comeback. Embrace the challenge and let it shape you into a stronger individual.

5) Practice gratitude

In the hustle and bustle of life, it’s easy to overlook the good things. But taking the time to acknowledge and appreciate what you have can significantly strengthen your mental resilience.

Gratitude is more than just saying “thank you”. It’s a deep appreciation for the people and things in your life. It’s about recognizing the good, even in difficult times.

When you practice gratitude regularly, it shifts your focus from what’s lacking in your life to the abundance that’s already present. This shift in perspective fosters positivity and resilience, equipping you to better handle life’s ups and downs.

Every day may not be good, but there is something good in every day. Find it, acknowledge it, and cherish it.

6) Embrace vulnerability

For a long time, I saw vulnerability as a weakness. I thought I needed to have it all together, all the time. But I’ve come to realize that embracing vulnerability is actually a sign of strength.

Vulnerability is about showing up and being seen. It’s about being honest about your feelings and experiences, even when they’re uncomfortable or painful.

When we embrace our vulnerability, we start to accept our flaws and imperfections. We learn to give ourselves grace and compassion. And in doing so, we cultivate mental strength.

As put by renowned author and researcher Brené Brown, “Vulnerability is not about winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome.”

It’s not an easy journey, trust me. But it’s one that’s worth embarking on.

7) Limit screen time

In today’s digital world, we’re constantly connected. Our phones, tablets, and laptops have become extensions of ourselves. While technology has its benefits, excessive screen time can take a toll on our mental health.

Research has shown a correlation between excessive screen time and poor mental health. It’s not just about the time we spend staring at screens but also how it affects our sleep, relationships, and overall wellbeing.

Setting boundaries on your screen time can help you regain control. Consider designating certain times of the day as ‘tech-free’ periods. Use this time to engage in activities that relax and rejuvenate you, like reading a book or taking a walk.

8) Cultivate self-compassion

If there’s one habit that can truly make you mentally stronger, it’s cultivating self-compassion.

Self-compassion is about treating yourself with the same kindness and understanding you would offer to a friend. It’s recognizing that everyone makes mistakes, and it’s okay to not be perfect.

When we’re hard on ourselves, we add unnecessary stress and pressure to our lives. But when we practice self-compassion, we create a safe space for growth and self-improvement.

Remember, it’s okay to not have all the answers. It’s okay to struggle. It’s okay to be you. Be gentle with yourself, give yourself grace, and watch your mental strength soar.

Final thoughts

Building mental strength isn’t about pushing yourself to the brink or adopting an invincible persona. It’s about nurturing your mind, embracing vulnerability, and cultivating habits that foster resilience.

Remember the power of mindful meditation, the effectiveness of positive affirmations, and the potential of gratitude in transforming your mental landscape. Consider limiting screen time, embracing challenges, and, above all, practicing self-compassion.

These habits aren’t just psychologically proven strategies; they’re stepping stones toward becoming a stronger version of yourself.

So, let these habits guide you in your journey towards mental strength. Take one step at a time, knowing that every step counts. 

Ava Sinclair

Ava Sinclair is a former competitive athlete who transitioned into the world of wellness and mindfulness. Her journey through the highs and lows of competitive sports has given her a unique perspective on resilience and mental toughness. Ava’s writing reflects her belief in the power of small, daily habits to create lasting change.

People who outgrow their friends as they get older often display these 8 subtle behaviors

7 behaviors that signal you’re dealing with an emotionally draining person, according to psychology