Since this article is written during the times of COVID-19 pandemic, for all recreational or professional athletes, days of training in a gym full of people are gone. Bodyweight exercises along the headphones and music are the option that remains as most of the people are limited to the rooms of their apartments. However, besides maintaining and developing body fitness this situation is the perfect opportunity to focus on the matter regarding how to train your psychology and engage in a process of mental strengthening.
Building Strong Mindset
The question of achieving mental strength is suitable for every occasion. Regardless of what we are facing up against, whether it is COVID-19, marriage falling apart or a hard day at work, a tough mindset is a desirable tool to have at your disposal. Despite that fact, people teach muscles to lift heavier weights, impact stronger punches, train brains to develop the ability to memorize data and adopt patterns intended for solving problems but omit to invest time and effort to achieve mental strength and dictate the stream and nature of their thoughts. In advance to precise instructions is an important note about incoming content which has nothing to do with commercialized laws of attraction or other modern magic stuff that are being widespread over the last decades.
How to Make Mind Though?
The same principles are present in the foundation of physical training achievements – repetition over long periods of time. No strength or skill comes overnight. It takes time and dedication to improve but it is those first few steps that are considered for hardest ones. When it comes to mental training the biggest enemy of being dedicated is that your head follows you where ever you go which makes you believe that you can start any second you chose and therefore postpone it. The first step of mental toughness is adopting “now” to be the right time for action.
Integrating Present Time Into Instinct
Adopting “now” implies integrating the present time into reflex for action. You don’t start by forcing your thoughts to change and keep trying to kill uncontrollable mental streams overflowing your effort to stop them. The first step is facing the easier enemy situated in little physical inconveniences such as the urge to light one more cigarette, remain in bed for five more minutes or take another cookie. This statement does not mean that you should take no cookie or stay longer in bed. Or instantly stop smoking. This only means that you should be able to follow your now and after having it in your thoughts follow it with your actions. Be free to give your self extra minutes for stretching under the blanket. But after having a clear thought that you need to get up, do it. The goal is to disallow inconveniences to dictate your actions and change your plans. A few days of implementing such behavior are a good beginning for developing the habit of engaging out of your comfort zones. Cold showers are also good practice. The next step is diving in your mind structure and beginning the long-term process of reconfiguring it.
Developing a Mindset
There are three components that should be understood and improved when it comes to the development of the mindset:
- Awareness – being aware of yourself and reality that surrounds you.
- Meditation – understanding that sometimes you need to plug yourself off and rest from everything.
- Confrontation – learning to develop or use already present tools that will strengthen your mind and raise your chances to be more successful in overcoming all kinds of obstacles.
Awareness – Know Yourself
Explaining the concept of awareness is the part that is going to implement a brief but precise demystification of attraction laws and fairy tales of positive thinking. The mindset that is tough and capable of effectively finding solutions for problems is featured by the ability to create objective estimates of dangers and opportunities present in real circumstances so that the individual could adapt. The world we live in has laws that don’t mind what you think. Gravity will pull you down even if you firmly believe that you are Superman and have the ability to fly. Besides being aware of circumstances that are surrounding him/her, an individual should work on self-awareness. This implies deep self-analysis in which a person will try to be honest and objective towards self as much as possible. Knowing your virtues and flaws will help you make plans that will induce the outcomes of activities to be in the service of your sake. Another important thing is to learn and accept your limits. However, accepting limits does not mean bending to them and giving up, but acquiring the indicator on which points you should take different turns and continue your journey in different directions.
Meditation – Learning How to Release Yourself
Sitting with your legs crossed and eyes closed while attempting to connect with the universe is one form of meditation. However, in this case, the concept of meditation should be understood in a broader manner. There is a great story told by a famous psychologist who compared people’s psychology with a glass of water. According to him, similar to glass and water, there is only a certain amount of stress we are capable of receiving. What breaks us the most is not the tension itself but our constant focus on it.
Whether this glass is full or not, if you always hold it and never put it down, your hand will start hurting. Eventually, it is going to get numb, and then who knows what else is will happen. However, all of it can be avoided just by putting the glass down.
The same rules apply to stress and its impact on us. We can’t be focused on problems all of the time. Sometimes, we have to release ourselves from the presence of tension. And that is what meditation means. As it was already said, sitting with legs crossed and eyes closed is one way to do it. But meditation could also be a slow walk over the coast or through the forest. Listening to music, watching a movie, riding a bike or baking your favorite cookies. It is of high importance to learn and adopt the behavioral pattern which will allow you to release yourself from worries and distance yourself from the constant stress. This will allow you to rest and return fresh and with the new ideas to solve problems that have burdened you for a longer period of time. To put it in a simpler manner, we must learn how to rest.
Confrontation – Face Your Problems and Try to Find Solution
Meditation can’t last forever. Sooner or later we are going to face what burdens us. That means the tension, as well as the pressure, will get back. However, due to having rest, we will have acquired additional strength before that happens. Regardless, there is a possibility that even with that we will feel crushed and incapable of overcoming obstacles. Streams of negative thoughts might sprawl over our minds and enchain us in place. Strong fears could emerge from our subconscious deeps and conquer us. Yet these kinds of outcomes are all-natural. It is why we commit to mental training in the first place. This is where mastering the skill of confrontation takes place.
Fears and Dark Thoughts – Products of Mind
All fears and streams of negative thoughts are products of your psychology. On the other hand, dangers, failures, and severe consequences are very real and a person with a tough mindset will never negate these facts. Becoming better in the process of confrontation means learning to distinguish the products of mind from circumstances of reality and act according to the laws and nature of obstacles you attempt to overcome. This requires eliminating fear which can decrease our performances and damage everything we are doing. As for the negative thoughts, its good having one of them around. But only as a reminder on the fact that things could go wrong. However, it is important to remember that the future is one which means there will only be one outcome. It is irrational to live dozens of negative outcomes in your thoughts and have them drain your energy while you can do so much to achieve positive results. Unfortunately, it’s not so easy to gain control over yourself. It is a long-term process that takes place on a daily basis.
Take Spiders and Transform Thoughts
Training is very simple. Set a goal to face your fear. It does not have to be something of great significance or importance. Start with little things. If you fear spiders which have no poison that can hurt you, try taking them in your hand. If you can’t, for the beginning it is enough to get close to them. Keep repeating the process until you have taken a spider in your hand. The important thing to understand is that it’s not your goal to make fear disappear but to win a battle against it. We all have different natures and strong repulsions towards some things are normal. You don’t have to take a spider in your hand for the rest of your life. Once is more than enough. Gathering experiences of leaving comfort zones and victories over fears as arguments to boost self-confidence are what matters. When it comes to negative thoughts, the same thing applies – break them. Switch them with an image of a different outcome.
Different Outcome vs Positive Outcome
The right way of fighting streams of negative thoughts is with the concept of a different outcome. Many people will say that a negative thought should be switched by a positive one. That is called a delusion. It’s not our goal to help people get delusional but successful which is why the connection with reality is a necessity. Not all outcomes are going to be positive. Sometimes the crash is inevitable. Rather than switching mental images of negative outcomes with a positive thought try imagining yourself as a strong person successfully handling consequences. You can go even further. Imagine yourself as a person who is always finding ways and incrementally overcoming obstacles to the final goal. But don’t do it too much. Your main focus and the biggest part of energy must be reserved for seeking real solutions. Positive thoughts, when taking place of negative ones, are there to give you boost so you can solve your problems, not to do it for you. Overthinking can lead to exhaustion even when directed into everything you want and hope for. That is why you should be focused on planning and implementing actions.
Tools You Can Use For Help
Sometimes, you won’t be able to do things on your own. There are always people and instruments that can provide you the aid. In the case of mental training, you can visit a psychologist and have a talk. If you are religious prayers can be excellent ways to affect thoughts and fight fears. Support of people close to you is also very important. Knowing that your loved ones stand behind you can be the source of great strength and courage.
Mental training is a great challenge. But the prizes are enormous. It is important to remember that achieving a tough mindset is a long-term process that takes place on a daily basis. It is best to start with little things and incrementally reach big ones.