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Mental toughness is a useful trait among the very best minds the world has to offer. Like most traits, mental toughness can also be difficult to define.
We like to think of our brain as a mystery, but the truth is that we know a great deal more than we think about how our brains work. You may have heard that you need to train your brain like a muscle. This is more than a great tagline.
Your brain may not be a muscle, but you can improve it through exercise. Mental exercises help you improve your cognitive functions and brain processing speeds.
Scientific research proves that your brain changes and becomes stronger the more you use it. Using your brain can mean anything from learning more about a subject to picking up and practicing a new skill. Your brain supports you on your journey to self-improvement.
This, unfortunately, means you can no longer claim to not be a math person! Research proves that if you work harder at math, you strengthen the brain functions that help you become better at it.
This phenomenon isn’t limited to numbers, though. Any skill or field that you dedicate yourself to and practice often will come to you, over time.
The longer you practice, the more your brain improves its abilities.
So what does mental toughness mean?
Mental toughness may bring to mind the image of a stubborn, cutthroat personality.
Mental toughness isn’t about forcing your will on other people or becoming a dominant presence. Mental toughness is more about the inner workings of your mind and your mentality.
There are a host of cliches we could list down on this subject. One of those popular phrases is tough times don’t last but tough people do. Mental toughness helps you accept and control what you can. It also helps you respond and react to your circumstances in healthy, balanced ways.
Even if the tough times are out of your control, mental toughness will see you through.
We underestimate the power of self-belief. When you believe in your own ability, your confidence grows and your ability follows.
People who possess mental toughness have a myriad of qualities that set them apart. They have more self-belief, are more in control over their destiny, and are resilient in the face of setbacks and obstacles.
This makes them impervious to external pressures and stressors.
Mental toughness is a necessary trait for greater success, but you can’t learn it overnight. To enjoy the full benefits of mental toughness you need to overcome your own resistance to change.
Developing the focus you need for mental toughness
Mental toughness requires a single-minded focus on your goals. All your goals, whether they are personal or professional, reflect your priorities. They also showcase the things that make you who you are.
People who possess mental toughness focus on the things that are in their control.
Those who don’t may find themselves preoccupied with things that are far beyond their control. The latter may even find themselves relying on things like luck or chance to move forward. The former are more likely to believe that we create our own luck.
You can develop the focus you need to achieve your goals by stopping your mind from wandering through the power of mindfulness.
Allowing your mind to wander unchecked, is a sign of absentmindedness. While absentmindedness doesn't seem harmful, it has a major impact on your mental health in the short- and long-term. Absentmindedness looks like daydreaming, planning far ahead, engaging in internal conversations, not listening actively, and being judgemental.
Mindfulness exercises that help you foster mental toughness
Mindfulness comes with plenty of advantages including profound insight, psychological freedom, and wisdom. Mindfulness can also liberate you from your ego.
It is important to recognise the distinction between your ego, and the self-confidence of mental toughness. While the former generally indicates arrogance, the latter displays confidence. Distancing yourself from your ego with mindfulness will help you build your self-awareness, confidence, and self-control in a healthy and sustainable way.
Mental toughness and meditation
When you begin a meditation practice you learn to focus your mind for short stretches at a time. These periods lengthen as you become more familiar with meditation.
The longer you practice meditation, you can set the pace and time that suits your lifestyle.
Meditation and mindfulness are associated because they share the same principles. When you adopt a regular meditation practice, you learn to become more mindful of your external environment and yourself.
Mindful meditation also reduces absentmindedness and supports better stress management. These, in turn, support you on your journey to building mental toughness.
Give yourself a break
No matter how far along you are in your mental toughness journey, everyone deserves a break!
When you give your body a break, you tend to be more productive and will have more positive responses to your circumstances.
Mental breaks are as important as physical breaks when building mental toughness. Taking time to rest your mind will help you maintain a positive outlook and stay sharp throughout your busy day.
It’s easier for negative feelings such as self-doubt to sneak into a fatigued mind. Self-doubt undercuts your goal of creating mental toughness and harms your wellbeing. Your journey to mental toughness isn’t complete if you don’t take regular breaks along the way.
How Awakened Mind helps you build mental toughness
The benefits of mental toughness are far-reaching and mindfulness helps you enjoy them. Awakened Mind is a mindfulness platform that provides you with all the resources you need to boost your mental performance.
Our resources include a Learning Center, guided meditation tracks, and Neurosync™ technology.
Start your mindfulness practice with the guidance of Awakened Mind today and develop mental toughness over time.