When we set a goal to lose weight, gain muscle or simply be healthier, we usually begin to strengthen our physical body. But what is much more important than strengthening our physique, is strengthening our mind. Mental strength is a key component to turning our goals and desires into tangible results.
So what is mental strength?
Mental strength is an attitude or a mind set, deciding to persevere through tough things. It is the mental endurance to keep going when things are hard or don’t go as we want. Sure, it is easy to stick with something that provides you with instant gratification, but it requires serious determination to work towards the more long-term goals like completely changing your diet or getting back in the gym after being out for over a year.
How do you improve your mental strength?
Overcoming temptations, and celebrating it!
Whether you are tempted to skip the gym or hit a fast food drive through on your way home, overcoming those moments of seemingly extreme temptation is a big deal! Everytime we choose what is in alignment with our goals over what will feel good just for that moment, we are literally training our brain. When we celebrate those moments, we produce feel-good hormones that over time help us crave these new habits, foods and activities. We are also strengthening our figurative muscle of determination.
The best way to make anything stronger is to exercise it, and this includes the mind. Meditation is a literal workout for the brain, increasing its neuroplasticity. This allows your brain to increase mental toughness and its ability to recover from stress and things you do not enjoy doing, more quickly. Meditation is becoming a common technique used to increase the mental endurance of everyone from professional athletes and high performers to top soldiers.
No matter what you do, don’t give up!
I cannot emphasize this enough, a huge part of building mental strength is adherence to whatever it is you said you were going to do, or as author Angela Duckworth says in her book, Grit, “The secret to outstanding achievement is not talent but a special blend of passion and persistence called grit.” Good things take time so although you might not see the results you want instantly, they’re sure to come if you stick with it!
When we stick to the things that challenge us, we grow both mentally and physically. So stay focused on your goals and consistent in your pursuits to accomplish them. The determination WILL pay off!
Unsure where to start? Let the fitness coaches over at TriFIT Wellness help you create a plan that you can stick to with both online and in-person options!