Mental Strength: 5 Ways to Reduce Worrying

· March 7, 2019
Something as simple as smiling at the mirror each day makes our brain generate endorphins and helps us to develop our mental strength.

What are we referring to when we talk about “mental strength”? In what way is physical exercise related to our mind’s agility and resistance?

Curious as it may seem, the classic “mind-body” pairing is a genuine one. It is an aspect of mental strength that we cannot overlook.

When we refer to mental strength, we are talking about how one is able to face adversity in day-to-day life.

It is also about knowing how to focus on an objective and achieve it. We can develop suitable strategies that help us to achieve that goal and subsequent success.

On the other hand, those who neglect the health of their body will notice how many of the day-to-day skills associated with certain cognitive processes like attention, memory and even creativity will gradually reduce and weaken.

To understand this better, here’s a simple example. You’ve had a bad day, one of those days where everything has turned out wrong, where life itself seems to be off tune and to be turning against you.

You feel so overwhelmed that you decide to put on comfortable clothes and simply go out for a walk. You soon perceive that something changes in you, you feel lighter, your mind opens to new perspectives and your worries diminish.

Mind and body are closely linked, they are connected and they are a system we should look after and optimize.

In this article, we will explain 5 great ways you can do this.

1. Walking is the best exercise to achieve adequate mental strength

We just talked about this: walking at an upbeat and consistent pace promotes surprising changes in our mind.

  • There are many studies that support this fact: it’s enough to walk for half an hour to reduce multiple mental health problems, prevent depression and improve our quality of life.
  • It’s not about tiring ourselves out or pushing ourselves. Simple, regular and constant movement for half an hour gets our heart going. It oxygenates the body and especially the brain.
  • Walking relaxes tension and helps brainwaves related to calmness start working. It helps us to reach a state of consciousness where we are much more receptive to everything around us.

Discover 8 Foods You Should Eat to Have a Healthy Brain

2. Smiling, a great therapeutic exercise

It may surprise you and you might not fully believe it, but smiling is therapeutic. It provides inner strength that feeds us powerful emotions and spreads positivity.

  • Something we sometimes forget is that the act of smiling is of great importance in our genetics. It is a kind of language which is passed down from generation to generation. This contains something more than just a type of social and emotional communication.
  • It is enough to smile for our brain to reward us with a whole stream of endorphins.
  • Smiling is like restarting ourselves, putting reality into perspective to connect with the present moment and the clearer side of things.

So, don’t hesitate to practice it daily. When you feel overwhelmed, go to a mirror and smile. Observe yourself and notice what happens inside you.

Read also 6 Thoughts to That Will Help You Go from Scared to Motivated in Minutes

3. Deep breathing 3 times a day

On this blog, we’ve explained several times that “breathing well is life”.

  • Stress makes us breathe quickly and unevenly so our brain stops receiving the oxygen it needs.
  • Also, all situations of anxiety and stress generate cortisol, a hormone that in large quantities acts as a fierce enemy to our body and mind.

This is why another sense-building exercise that you should practice is deep breathing.

  • Find three times per day for yourself. 15 minutes is enough.
  • Inhale as you count to 5. Hold the air in for 7 and exhale for 8.

Repeat this several times and you’ll see what changes.

4. Morning stretches

mental strength

Have you ever tried it? Another exercise that will help us to achieve adequate “mental strength” is learning to relax our body, improving elasticity, relaxation, resistance

To achieve this, it will do us good to get up a bit earlier and, little by little, without forcing ourselves, do some stretching exercises.

These should focus on the lower back, hips, shoulders, and neck.

Discover 8 Minute Stretching Routine to Alleviate Back Pain

5. Weightlifting

Surprised? For sure, but you should know that doing small resistance-based exercises is very therapeutic. It carries a very concrete objective: reducing anxiety attacks.

Negative emotions like fear, apprehension, and worry are channeled by such simple exercise of lifting weights for 10 to 15 minutes a day.

This moderate-intensity resistance exercise will help us not only to achieve stronger muscles. It can also help channel our anger, frustration, and anxiety…

With these exercises, don’t doubt that day by day you will find that you have more mental strength, better prepared to face the difficulties of daily life.

  • Brown, R. P., Gerbarg, P. L., & Muench, F. (2013). Breathing Practices for Treatment of Psychiatric and Stress-Related Medical Conditions. Psychiatric Clinics of North America. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psc.2013.01.001
  • Jayakody, K., Gunadasa, S., & Hosker, C. (2014). Exercise for anxiety disorders: Systematic review. British Journal of Sports Medicine. https://doi.org/10.1136/bjsports-2012-091287
  • Ray, U. S., Mukhopadhyaya, S., Purkayastha, S. S., Asnani, V., Tomer, O. S., Prashad, R., … Selvamurthy, W. (2001). Effect of yogic exercises on physical and mental health of young fellowship course trainees. Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology.
  • Kraft, T. L., & Pressman, S. D. (2012). Grin and Bear It: The Influence of Manipulated Facial Expression on the Stress Response. Psychological Science. https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797612445312