Mentally strong people stand out in the midst of a crisis.
They stay calm and centered, and are able to make swift decisions when the same kind of pressure breaks down others.
Are they simply born that way?
Probably. But many mentally strong people are the way they are because of the things they do day in and day out.
If you’re open to learning, here are 12 things mentally strong people do every single day.
1) They practice self-compassion
As human beings, every single day, we may make mistakes.
But rather than spiraling down into self-pity or attacking one’s self with harsh criticism and shaming, the mentally strong person pours on the self-compassion.
They talk to themselves only as they would to a good friend and remind themselves that no matter what, every person is deserving of kindness.
When life doesn’t go as planned and they fail, they remind themselves that across the globe, people are experiencing different kinds and levels of failures, too.
This way, they’d feel less isolated and feel more motivated to carry on.
2) They allow themselves to make mistakes
Mentally strong people give space to themselves to make mistakes, especially when they are doing something new and challenging.
This is why they give themselves lead time for difficult tasks and take the perspective that making mistakes doesn’t diminish their worth as a human being.
While they are quick to take responsibility for their errors, mentally strong people don’t waste time and energy hurting themselves emotionally and psychologically by putting themselves down.
When things don’t go as planned, they move into a better feeling place to correct their mistakes and take the next step forward.
3) They take a step towards their fears
Mentally strong people take care to avoid the analysis-paralysis of fear, hesitation and self-doubt with the forward motion of stepping into the unknown.
While others are content to stay with the familiar, mentally strong people continue stepping outside of their comfort zone and in the process, they expand it.
It’s not that they don’t have fears. They just know that without facing it, it becomes bigger in proportion to their goals and dreams.
So rather than avoiding it, they take conscious deliberate action, one step at a time, and leap when they are ready.
4) They develop their sense of humor
“A well-developed sense of humor is the pole that adds balance to your steps as you walk the tightrope of life” -William Arthur Ward
One of the best practices of mentally strong people is developing their sense of humor so that they can find it even in the smallest of things and in the toughest of times.
It allows them to see life through a relaxed and optimistic perspective, and diffuses a lot of the narrow-minded thinking that is induced by stress.
Whether it’s exchanging jokes with their colleagues and family, or rewatching a clip of their favorite comedian, the secret weapon of mentally strong people through tough times is laughter.
5) They use their love for others as their primary motivator
Mentally strong people live on the premise of care—for one’s self, for others, and the world around them. And they use it as their drive to become stronger each day.
If they know a family member or friend is going through something, they’ll set aside their own worries.
They make time to have coffee or dinner with them, send them a “pick-me-up” treat to make their day better, or invite them on a relaxing trip to unwind.
By focusing on others instead of just themselves, the mentally strong person becomes even stronger day by day because they have a bigger purpose.
6) They appreciate and express gratitude
Mentally strong people live with a perspective of gratitude and appreciation for the people around them.
Most people begin to develop a sense of entitlement, but mentally strong people see the world through eyes that appreciate.
They are grateful for even the smallest gestures and remember to say a sincere ‘thank you’ in different ways.
While other people get numbed out or begin to take things for granted, the mentally strong person consciously keeps their eyes open and counts their blessings.
7) They remember their priorities
While it’s hard enough to juggle multiple things, mentally strong people stay centered by remembering their priorities.
When push comes to shove and difficult choices need to be made, their ideals and principles in life will rise to the forefront.
So if their top priority is family, you will see that their daily life and habits revolve around it—whether they are at work or on vacation.
Even while on vacation, they will make time to buy special trinkets for their family back home and make time for calls. And while at work, they will balance their desire to succeed with spending time with their family.
8) They keep their sense of exploration
A sense of exploration keeps mentally strong people from being stagnant and stuck in old ways, habits, and preconceived biases.
They keep abreast of developments in their careers, and even in their fields of interest and hobbies.
If they enjoy music, they might learn a new instrument. And even if they are at the top of their field, they continue to take workshops to learn and grow.
A genuine sense of exploration keeps their mind alert, energized, and agile to respond to challenges life throws their way.
9) They make time for solitude
Whether it’s taking 20 minutes to meditate in the morning, or simply taking a coffee break writing in their journal, mentally strong people make time for solitude.
Time alone helps mentally strong people hear their own thoughts, feel through their own needs, and see things from a different perspective.
When they observe themselves being irritable, distracted, or fatigued, they breathe deeply and pause.
They take this as a sign to detach from the real world and pamper themselves until they feel better. They’d take a leisurely walk to be with themselves instead of powering through tasks.
And if there’s something that they have to think through properly, they’d sit alone at a cafe instead of talking about it with everyone they know. They know that some things are better solved alone.
10) They cultivate connections
While mentally strong people are often perceived as lone wolves, they actually draw strength from the meaningful relationships they’ve cultivated through the years.
More than quantity though, they focus on the quality.
Mentally strong people cultivate connections that create a positive loop around them, preventing them from feelings of isolation, anxiety, and depression.
They check in on friends and family, and keep them in their monthly calendars even when work life is filled to the brim.
It makes them feel connected through the ups and downs of life and also gives them new perspectives and opportunities to co-create and collaborate with others.
11) They ask for help and support
While most people expect mentally strong people to be the type to never ask for support, the opposite is actually true.
People who know how to ask for help and support are developing their capacity to deal with rejection and losses.
At the same time, it increases their productivity and creativity with fresh insights and ideas.
They also deepen their social connections when they ask for help and support as it allows their circles to share resources, and feel acknowledged for their wisdom and expertise.
Mentally strong people also give themselves and others the opportunity to feel good because being supported feels awesome.
12) They know their limits
Mentally strong people keep track of their well-being, their capacities, growth zones, and strengths. This is because they are wired or trained for self-sustainability.
While they will work hard to achieve goals, they will make time to rest and recharge because they see the long-term and understand the perils of burning out.
They accurately gauge their psychological, emotional, and physical capacity to do things and understand that these are all correlated.
For instance, they know that if they don’t take care of their sleep and their meal times, their capacity to stay focused may be affected.
They also know how to say no graciously when they have reached capacity.
Self-care is a must to be mentally strong, and setting limitations is definitely the best form of self-care there is.
These times of uncertainty have tested the mental strength of most people and we can now clearly see what we are made of.
But if you find yourself mentally weak, remember that just like a muscle, you can improve with just a few simple changes in your habits and practices.
Take inspiration from the 12 things mentally strong people do every single day, and before you know it, you’ll be one of them.