6 Surefire Ways to build mental toughness
A weak mindset often results in tasks not being completed or worse not even started.
Mental toughness is essential to your productivity, success, mood and health.
Here are 6 highly effective ways to build your mental toughness!
With most projects/businesses you will hit a wall.
Do you break through it? Climb over it? Walk around it? Turn around and walk away? Or curl up into a ball and cry?
Being mentally tough is essential in order to achieve your goals, feel confident and be truly happy in life.
PRE-WARNING the tips below aren’t an overnight quick fix. You’re going to have to try different methods and combinations to find what works best for you!
1. Cold Showers
Why would I take a cold shower to build up my mental toughness?’
It’s all about building your brain’s decisiveness in uncomfortable situations. When you are pushed to do a task that you don’t want to do, your brain triggers its Error Detection Mechanism.
Your brain will start thinking about all the negative outcomes from the task in hand.
This is why putting your body into a cold shower on a regular basis is an easy way of changing your brains mindset. If you can rewire your brain to deal with a short cold shower, other tasks become psychologically easier, simply because you have already undergone a situation that your brain deems as an error to your comfort zone.
One tip for this method is to make the shower times shorter rather than longer. To begin, start with 30s-60s maximum. Over the course of a month scale this up to around 5 minutes for maximum benefits.
There are many other benefits to cold showers, such as a stronger immune system, more energy and even a better mood.
More tips on how to maximise results can be found in our Cold Shower Habit Breakdown. Including the correct water temperature and the other benefits, cold showers offer.
2. Get uncomfortable (Exposure and Response Prevention Therapy)
An odd methodology but beneficial to your brain’s training is something often referred to as Exposure Therapy.
Essentially exposure therapy is a proven way of building up resilience to a stressful situation in a non-harmful way. It’s been proven beneficial to people who have: Phobias, OCD and even PTSD.
To make Exposure therapy beneficial, find a way of gradually exposing your brain to situations that cause you stress or anxiety.
Telling yourself ‘I’m only going to do this task for 5mins’ is a good place to start. Then see how long you can endure the task and gradually increase the amount of time you do the task each day.
Even if the progress you make is minimal, to begin with, it’s still a start!
The buddy system is a good way to start this process. Using someone else to hold you accountable to the task, can be a huge benefit to the mental aspect of starting your project.
3. The 5 Second Rule
The 5-second rule is all about acting on your task within 5 seconds of thinking about it before your brain triggers its Error Detection Mechanism, killing your motivation to begin a task before ever starting.
Mitigate the dilly dally and force your brain to make fast decisions that don’t get pushed aside by other less important tasks.
The 5 Second Rule is a highly recommended read from bestselling author Mel Robins (To give credit here’s the link to the book on Amazon). We highly recommend you take a look.
4. Get into the Action Mindset
When you are taking action you are automatically mentally tougher. Because you don’t have time to think about the BS excuses. That’s why we put Action Mindset on this list.
Getting into the right mindset is really the overall goal of all the steps. But like we said before, it's not something that happens overnight. You have to work at it building up your ability to get into the action mindset faster and for longer each time.
By finding a way to trigger your action mindset, you can then train your brain to worry less during the tasks. Which then leads to your brain becoming mentally stronger and capable of doing tasks for longer.
‘Mindset theory of action phases proposes that different cognitive procedures are activated when people tackle the task of choosing goals versus implementing them.’ - GOLLWITZER, Peter, 2012. Mindset theory of action phases.
Put into simple terms the brain will react differently when you actively start doing a task vs trying to decide on a task.
An easy way to take advantage of this would be to. Plan the task you would like to do and make a note of it. Making a physical note in your calendar.
When the time comes to do that task use the tips above from the 5-second rule to take action.
More on this topic can be found in a great book Rewire Your Brain by John b. Arden Ph. D. John Arden describes that when in an action mode you are less likely to be anxious or depressed.
5. Hang out with mentally tough people
Another large factor to consider is the mirror neurons in your brain. Mirror neurons do pretty much what you would expect, they ‘Mirror’ the actions/ behaviour of others.
Studies show that mirror neurons can even play a part in weight loss.
Humans are social creatures. So naturally, we pick up on the traits of people we surround ourselves with. This is typically why successful entrepreneurs often talk about support networks and surrounding yourself with other like minded people. Success strives when its matched with success.
We’re not saying dump all your friends and start a new life. Just make sure your brain is actively being challenged. There are many social groups on the internet full of people trying to improve their lifestyle why not join a couple?
6. Clear traumas and blocks
This last point is a big one and typically one that people struggle the most with. When you hit the wall it’s typically related to past experiences. Some form of trauma in the past that simply won’t allow you to focus on the task. So how do you overcome them?
Simple! Focus on a method of Trauma Clearing that works for you.
It can be as simple as taking a short walk or focusing on breathing correctly for a couple of seconds.
Some people may need to partake in Yoga a couple of times a week. Whatever clears your mind and helps you get into the action mindset the fastest.
Another method sometimes used to clear trauma is Neuro-linguistic programming. Often considered to be pseudoscientific but as you know we are all different. And based on the Ultiself approach something that does not work for your friend may work for you.
Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), s a way of training the brain by analyzing the strategies used by other successful individuals and applying them to your own lifestyle. The NLP approach works on the principle that everyone has all the resources they need to make positive changes in their own life.
Here’s a great video we found that talks about techniques to get started with NLP:
In conclusion, mental toughness is essential for success, productivity, focus and mood. Some people are naturally tougher than others. But, luckily, mental toughness can be cultivated.
You can develop mental toughness by doing things like hanging out with mentally tough people, deliberately putting yourself in uncomfortable situations, and training yourself to take action fast.
Mark Divine a former navy seal and author or multiple books such as Unbeatable Mind and The Way of The Seal puts it best. Embrace the suck. Meaning get comfortable being uncomfortable.
A couple of other guys to follow that live this way is, billionaire CEO of quest Nutrition Tom Bilyeu and of course, former Navy SEAL David Goggins.
If you need some motivation follow those guys on Yoututbe or Instagram. It will really help build your mental toughness.
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