Mental health is necessary in a person’s survival, wellbeing, and most especially, in achieving one’s full potential. Happiness is deemed unachievable for the person who fails to cultivate their own mental health.
Having a positive mental health is having a mental resilience.
In psychology, resilience is defined as “an individual’s ability to successfully adapt to life tasks in the face of social disadvantage or other highly adverse conditions”. In short, it’s the ability to bounce back from life’s difficult circumstances.
According to research, resilience is not an innate ability, rather an attribute anyone can acquire when they put forth time and effort in cultivating it. This could mean, in following the path to resiliency, one has to face the pains and struggles that are inherent in the experience.
Like a toddler who struggles to walk, every fall or bruise results in a newfound ability and autonomy. Cultivating resilience requires a lot of discipline.
If you want to cultivate mental resilience, the following strategies may help you. But know also that working on the conscious level is not enough, knowing how the unconscious mind works is significant in your goal setting.
3 Ways To Enhance Your Mental Resilience:
1. Acquire new skills.
Acquiring new skills develops your mental resilience in a way where your competency and mastery are challenged. While taking baby steps to learn a new skill, every time you succeed in these steps, you start to aim for a higher challenge until a mastery is achieved.
This will enhance your self esteem and problem solving skills.
2. Set a powerful goal.
A lot of research indicate that setting a powerful goal facilitates in the development of resilience. While goal setting develops your will power and your ability to create and execute your action plan, it also enhances your sense of purpose.
This is seen in people whose goals involve doing things that are greater than themselves, like volunteer work or the pursuit of spirituality.
This type of mental resilience creates coherence and connection in someone’s life, or may be useful in times of trouble.
Goal setting may vary form person to person, depending on what area of life you want to work on, whether you want to develop a new habit, or discard the ones that prevent growth.
3. Try a controlled exposure.
Controlled exposure is a process where individuals are slowly and gradually exposed to situations that provoke anxiety on their part.
For example, you’re the type of person who find speaking in public a bit of a challenge. To overcome this challenge, you’re to take small steps that starts with speaking in front of a small audience, one or two of your friends.
Gradually increase the size depending on your capability to do so. After you’ve done this for quite a time, speaking in public is no longer much of a challenge to you.
In addition, you’ve achieved a resilience you wouldn’t have acquired had you not taken the challenge of facing your anxiety.
All these strategies may work for your advantage, but…
How to engage your subconscious mind in the process?
The subconscious mind plays a big role in creating a positive and powerful change in your life, whether it be mental, spiritual, physical, or emotional.
It’s because there are unconscious influences that you’re not even aware of. As a result, you do nothing to prevent them from having such influences on you.
The more these things are ignored, the greater their influences are, and the harder it would be for you to achieve your goals.
The first thing you need to do is ask yourself how much you like building mental resilience.
Make sure that deep down, yourself is willing to cooperate and not merely want it for the sake of doing it.
At times, intentions are not enough because some internal conflicts may arise. When this happens, your conscious mind will provide you a lot of reason why it’s okay to fail.
For example, one of your goals is to help needy people. One day, you’re in a rush as you’re getting late for an important meeting with a client, then along your path a beggar stops you begging for food.
Because you’re in a hurry, you didn’t stop to help. In this situation, you’re caught between two conflicting choices. Thus, you need to be really that committed to your idea of change.
Second, take cues from your environment.
The environment influences your behavior in subtle ways. The behavior of the people who surround you could be quite contagious, your social media network and feed, ads on TV and other media.
All these things unconsciously affect your behavior and way of thinking. It may not be possible to change your environment, but once you’re aware of what’s going on, you’ll be more in control of your behavior, and may even use these forces to your own advantage.
Third, practice ‘implementation intentions’.
‘Implementation intentions’ is a very powerful tool, according to research.
This takes the form of “When X happens, I will do Y”. It is making a concrete plan that includes where, when, and how you carry out the intention.
You tie your desired future behavior to a highly likely event or situation. When the future event actually takes place, more often than not, you’ll start to do the thing you wanted to do even if you’re not thinking about it.
Let’s say, you have a goal of hitting the gym right after work. The moment you arrive home, you quickly changed into your workout clothes. This act encourages you to do no other thing but hit the gym.
If you do this every day for seven days, it would then turn into a habit and could be done even with the presence of distractions and other influences.
Fourth, prevent temptation.
Research found that people who possess the most control of self are not even those who have the strongest willpower.
They are the ones who set up their personal words to remove cues to unwanted behaviors that prevent temptations to take place.
For example, you want to cut your sugar intake. The easiest way to do this is not to buy foods with lots of sugar, or not to go to the part of the store where these type of foods are placed. By doing this, you’re not making yourself prey to temptations.
This new scientific evidence is an inspiration to take the big leaps to change by removing cues and opportunities from the environment and replacing our unconscious impulses with conscious messages. Once done, we not only create a mental resilience but apply it in all aspects of our life as well.