Mental Toughness & The Wellness
Lifestyle in Overland Park
Simple ways to toughen the mind and make life easier.
Courage, fortitude, perseverance, toughness. These are all valuable traits to possess. Traits that allow one to better endure the hardships or difficulties of life, business, a new diet, etc. and carry on to a higher goal. I imagine that for most of human history these traits were seemingly common and a necessity. Currently, much of what occupies the average day brings us immediate comfort and reward and does not demand much fortitude. This is nice in the moment, but over time can cause us to soften and thus be less resilient to challenges that demand we bring our best self to the forefront.
I believe we all have a God given purpose for our life. Fulfilling that purpose will most likely involve personal growth and internal challenges. Toughness, fortitude, perseverance will allow us to get through those rough spots to come out a better person. A person that is more able to live out our purpose.
So, how do we develop mental toughness?
Here are some of my favorite tips
Meditation: If you continentally monitor your thoughts, you get much better at ignoring the petty and weak ones, thus allowing you to push on toward the higher thoughts. Try sitting, legs crossed on the couch for 20 minutes, 5 days a week. Focus on your breath. Your mind will wander. That’s fine, bring the focus back to the breath. You won’t be good at this. Keep the practice going week after week and watch your mind become calmer and more resilient. It may takes months for you to notice a difference. But as you do, I can promise you, it will be worth it. I feel meditation is one of the best things we can do for mental health and mental toughness. This practice has helped me tremendously and has made my life much better. Our mindfit technology in the office makes this process much easier. Let us know if you’d like to know more.
Interval training: Physical training makes the body stronger, but also the mind. I like interval training because it takes so little time. I often get a work out done in 4 minutes using this style. This is very efficient when you have to watch your two year old, clean the house, cook dinner and study the latest health information. Interval training is particularly difficult and no one likes doing it. If you are used to doing your intervals when don’t want to and you’re used to pushing yourself past what is comfortable, your body and mind become stronger and life gets easier.
Fasting: Going on water only or juice only for 1 to 5 days. This might sound crazy to a lot of folks, but it’s a great way to give the digestive system a rest, reset food cravings, shrink the tummy, boost the immune system and strengthen the mind. I’ve had hundreds of patients fast and almost everyone surprises themselves in their ability to do this and nearly everyone that does, feels a great sense of accomplishment and mentally stronger. You may need guidance on this, so if you feel inclined to fast, give us a call first or talk to another one of your doctors.
Reading: Read books that promote the virtues. Self discipline, compassion, responsibility, courage, perseverance, honesty, loyalty, and faith. What we fill our mind with, impacts our thoughts, our thoughts impact our actions and our actions dictate our direction in life. So much of what’s out there in pop-culture or mainstream news that enters our minds is trivial or bad news. We must counter this by filling our mind with positive messages. I suggest reading uplifting material daily, preferably in the morning. This will strengthen and nourish the mind and spirit.
Cold showers: I got this from my cousin, Clinton. He went on about the benefits of cold showers. He said next to meditation, they were the best thing he’d done for improving his mental clarity. I like to think of myself as someone always up for a challenge but this didn’t seem like one I wanted to undertake. The challenge is, every shower you take, from start to finish, the water temperature is as cold as it goes. Seemed like a terrible idea, but after enough encouragement from Clinton, I decided to give it a try. It’s been months now and I’ve taken nothing but cold showers. Now, I love it. I have to say there is a sense of accomplishment about being able to do this. Some quick on line reading indicates there are quite a few mental and physical benefits from cold showers. One benefit I am sure of is increased energy and improved mental toughness. I understand that very, very few people will want to try this one out. However, if even one person is willing to try because of this article, I would be happy. You could start by doing what James Bond did in his books, by taking a Scottish Shower. This is a normal shower with a cold rinse at the end. If it’s good enough for James Bond, it’s probably good enough for us.
There you have it. Try one or all of these tips and see if you don’t begin feeling like a tougher, more resilient version of yourself.
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