How to Increase Mental Toughness


Mental toughness is the ability to persevere against all odds, perform the best that you can, and maintain focus to complete the task at hand. Mental toughness is used by athletes during competitions and can be used to obtain an overall healthier lifestyle.

Increasing Mental Toughness

  • Make a list of everything that went wrong in the past when you've failed and use this as a basis to improve the next time. Ask yourself what thoughts and emotions you were having and what steps you could take to improve. Part of increasing mental toughness involves learning from past mistakes instead of dwelling on them.

  • Focus your mind on the present situation and the task that needs completed. Avoid any distracting thoughts about stressful events, past circumstances, or even future events. Every time your mind wanders, bring your focus back to the present situation and place all your energy into achieving success.

  • Keep a positive attitude by using positive self-talk and thinking techniques, such as "I" statements. For example, when you're faced with a challenge say to yourself, "I will succeed by doing my very best!" Increasing your mental toughness in the present and future involves avoiding negative thoughts that foster anxiety and doubt and staying positive through challenges and adversities.

  • Hold positive images in your mind to help you succeed and increase your mental toughness. For example, athletes use this technique by visually imagining themselves winning the competition. When focusing on the present task, imagine yourself succeeding and how you'll feel when it actually happens.

  • Use meditation techniques on a regular basis by listening to a relaxing, meditative CD or staying quiet in a secluded spot for 30 minutes. The goals of meditation should be to calm your mind, relax and reduce stress, thereby bolstering your mental toughness in all kinds of situations.

  • Prepare yourself for the situations or challenges you may face by anticipating different scenarios. Imagine your response to these scenarios; make your response a positive, focused one intent on beating the challenge. Preparedness is an important principle you can use to increase your mental toughness and be ready for anything that comes.

  • Exercise on a regular basis to increase your mental toughness and abilities. An exercise routine doesn't have to be too rigorous, but a half-hour of moderate activity, such as running, jogging, or walking will boost your brain power. In fact, exercise produces relaxation, improves your physical stamina, and boosts serotonin levels in the brain, which elevates your mood and increases your mental clarity.

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