‘Mentally strong’ is a term thrown around loosely with a criterion that varies depending on who you ask. But according to psychotherapist and bestselling author, Amy Morin, there’s actually an essentialist approach to discern who is truly mentally strong – and who is otherwise.
Here are five key habits that ‘mentally strong’ people generally don’t engage in.
The mentally strong aren’t often found in the hamster wheel of seemingly endless analysis. They “evaluate their options and take action.” The key difference here between the mentally strong and those ordinary folk is the fact that the former acknowledges that their choices won’t always be perfect and refuse to dwell on issues out of their control. Instead, they derive confidence from knowing there’s always a chance they’ll come out of the other side relatively unscathed, and they don’t think the worst of a situation until it has been 100% confirmed.
Feeling sorry for themselves
There is a fine line between accepting responsibility and promoting internal toxicity through self-blame. The mentally strong know overly harsh self-criticism is not a productive behaviour and divert their energy towards improving upon the area(s) of weakness instead.
Worrying about what others think
Judgement is something else that the mentally strong are fairly impervious to. And similar to the point above, it’s all thanks to the confidence they derive from knowing at the end of the day, they’ll be just fine. Yet again, these individuals are secure about their identity and priorities, choosing to divert their energy towards what is truly important and those that feed their happiness as an alternative to people-pleasing.
Complaining to people who cannot help
The common temptation is to wallow and solicit empathy/sympathy from someone outside of yourself as a means of reassurance. And contrary to popular belief, a 2007 study found that venting isn’t actually beneficial to your mental state. Rather it can actually exacerbate feelings of anger and frustration. On-trend with everything else included in this article, the mentally strong directly remedy issues with people who have the power to action meaningful change.
Dwelling in the past & focusing on counterfactuals
Once again, this all comes down to a matter of productively using time and wisely allocating portions of your emotional resources. Regular folk tend to think about what was and what could have been, whereas the mentally strong focus on managing their emotions and actioning more proactivity. If they cannot change the situation, they accept the obstacle as something beyond their control, make the most out of what they have, and begin strategising ways to circumnavigate said obstacles. If there’s one key lesson to take away from this, it’s that the only way is forward. Onwards and upwards.