Exercise Your Mental Muscles

You may know that if you decide to loose your weight and work your muscles, you have to do your workout or go to the gym. It’s not an easy task as it takes your time, energy, sweat, endurance. However, you know that if you are persistent it’ll eventually bring you positive changes you’ll be able to notice soon. Furthermore, you will feel better. You will have more stamina. You will be more proud to yourself and you self-image will grow.

That’s clear. Yes, what about your mind? More than willpower, it is our ability to deal with challenges and unexpected circumstances. We usually discover our mental muscle when we confront a great life test. Sometimes we become shaken and realize that we are weaker than we imagined.Let me share with you how can you help yourselves develop strength under pressure and life challenges?

Make an inventory of your unhealthy habits

If you know that for you physical good health, strength and resistance (also to be able to defend yourself from viruses and bacteria) you need to stop eating junk and start doing workout. As a matter of fact the same axiom is valid also for our emotional strength – We need to do the same.

Hence, begin by getting rid of mental garbage you have accumulated all those years. Negative news, negative people, negative surroundings, negative and pessimistic attitude to life, etc. Feeding yourself unhealthy beliefs about your your potential to succeed or blaming others and generally your life story, will accomplish one really and big nothing. This is like downloading a virus on your laptop. You’d never do it because you know the harm it will cause, so why damage yourself emotionally?

Start clearing out your emotional viruses

Me and myself: Clear out unhealthy beliefs in yourself. Stop saying things like “I am loser win”, ”I am not smart or rich enough to be happy”, “I am destined to a poor and miserable life”, ”No one likes me”, “My life’s sacks”. Please understand that with such a mental attitude you are simply doomed to failure if you see yourselves always and constantly in a negative light.
Me and others: Clear out your unhealthy beliefs and prejudices about other people.. Stop comparing your life. Stop resenting other people’s success. Challenge yourself to get off social media a few hours a day and see what happens. Don’t limit yourself by believing that other people control the way you live. There are for sure some individuals in your life who frustrate you, nevertheless, do not forget that it is You who choose how will you react. Will you react. your reaction. Simply try not letting other people to live in your mind rent free.
Me and the environment around me: Clear out unhealthy beliefs about how life happens. We are used to getting whatever we want with a click of a button. Most people lost a habit of gratitude and being thankful as they take things for granted. They have forgotten how to wait for things. We want things. We expect them right now. We get. And? What happens? All over again. Instant gratification makes life feel complicated when we don’t have our dreams fulfilled quickly. If this is our attitude we will be left feeling frustrated and disappointed.

What prevents me from being better?

Now ask yourself: What are all those limited and unhealthy beliefs that are preventing me from mastering my life?In order to be able to answer to this question, first do the following three exercises in this order:

I  Work Your Core Values
This means that you need first to identify your values, your strengths, as well as your beliefs. Let’ ask yourself these three basic questions.

1.Do I believe in my ability to be happy, successful, etc.?  2.What could I dedicate my time to?  3.What type of person do I hope to become?

In other words, FOCUS and CLARIFY your LIFE GOAL. Set daily targets that are doable even if they may seem small. These goals can be character traits such as working on not losing it when things go wrong. An example is keeping control when you misplace your home keys. Think of it as starting with 3 kg weights and increasing as time goes. Work your way up and observe what happens the next time someone says something that really angers you?

II  Allot Your Energy

Just think what happens if you use a huge amount of your time and energy being focused on negativity, other people lives, worries and other trivia? What do you think – how much available and ”clean” and positive energy remains to think and BE positive? Hence, clear away the habit of allowing others to discourage you, belittle your dreams, and programming yourself in a ”worry and anxious mode”. If you’re constantly connected to this worry mode, you simply won’t be able to strengthen your core values by wasting energy needlessly.

The moment your head starts taking you to a negative direction, counter the thought with a positive one. Negativity and worrying are ‘brain drains’. Hence, we require brain power to strengthen our mental fortitude.  Let’s realize that our smile starts on our lips though we have plenty of worries – those useless and perhaps some meaningful. Nevertheless, once you place a smile on your lips, it’ll travels straight to your hearts and makes your life much easier.

III  Do You know what’s your outlook? If don’t, find it

When I say outlook or a perspective,  I mean that you decide to focus on the good or the purpose that every situation has. Yes, there may be times that it is difficult to see the positive. In life we often ask ourselves – why, why, why! Why it happens to me? Why did this happen, why did I have to go through this? Instead, ask yourself – for what purpose? Don’t simply ask why me? Move on to ponder and ask: What is the purpose of this challenge? What can I learn, how can I grow, what is the potential here to discover something about myself that I never knew before?  This brings us to endurance and to the greatness instead of giving in to failure. Therefore, perspective allows us to pick ourselves up and keep on walking despite the stress weighing us down. See the good now. Ask yourself how to strengthen your values and beliefs despite the disappointments. Success will come when you are able to handle life and maintain self-worth.

Be a role model

I believe that we desperately need more strong moral role models in our lives-especially the lives of our children. We need to learn from those who created a life of blessing through living courageous and strong. We have been deluged with witnessing the failings of too many men and women who have succumbed to human frailty. It is very true that we all now experience huge challenges and turbulence in the ongoing unprecedented time of the pandemics whereby each and every one of us faces his or her life test. However, I am sure you and me can discover our mental strength in order to endure and harness the spiritual fortitude that lies within our soul.


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Mirella Rasic Paolini, Holistički terapeut