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Mental Strength: The Gatekeeper to Success

For the past couple years I have been exploring the world of motivation, yoga and meditation. It all started when for the first time in my life I experienced high anxiety for the first time in life that I could remember. It happened after a very close death in the family. Usually when I deal with death in my mind I want to say, the person isn't suffering anymore, I want to believe it's life and the best thing to do is move forward to get past it. And though that might be logically true our subconscious holds our true feelings and emotions. Our subconscious is what is active when we do something but can't put into words why we did it because "We weren't thinking about it" or "It just happened" this happens a lot when a person has anxiety. We respond and react and feel randomly. I didn't want that happening to me anymore and I went through all types of strain because I tried to control my anxiety until I realized in order to beat anxiety you have to accept it!

So after a couple dozen attacks I chose to seek therapy. To my surprise I was told. "This is a normal response to a traumatic event" Relieved I wasn't crazy but still anxious to stop this cycle my therapist introduced me to some coping techniques to ease the anxiety and gave me other suggestions (I'll touch on those in another post) this is when I began my research on anxiety. What is anxiety? What sets it off? What stops it? Anxiety is a good thing, we have anxiety to protect us. Way back in the days of hunting and gathering anxiety would be set off if you come across a huge animal that wanted to eat you. Our response is to Fight, Run or Freeze but the issue is our anxiety responds these days when there is nothing trying to eat us! But our brain does not know the difference so in that case we have to build our Mental strength. Here are some suggestions on Building Mental Strength

Building Mental Strength

  1. Acceptance : We build Mental Strength by #1 accepting ourselves fully. Accept the anxiety, accept the fear, accept the awkwardness, accept your life situation, accept your past and accept all things triggering your anxiety. It is from acceptance that we can tackle anything. Once you've accepted yourself and everything currently with you you're on the right path.

  2. Let Go of Control: Have you ever noticed in a panic attack when you try to stop the panic attack it get's worse? This is with anything. When we try to control people they rebel? When we try to control everything in our lives it goes haywire. Try letting it go and see what happens when we let go of resisting and control. Have you ever sat through a panic attack without interrupting it? Did you die? Probably not because you're here reading this.

  3. Meditation: Meditation (In My Own Words) is the practice of focusing on something and letting your thoughts move past without giving your thoughts attention. Just like in my last post "Focus" Choose a focusing point for a minute or 10 to start and don't follow your thoughts follow your breath or what you're focusing on. It takes a few tries to get in tuned with the meditation but afterwards you'll get the hang of it. With Practice.

  4. Physical Activity: Our minds can't get as strong without our bodies following suit. Get into a work out routine, it can be as simple as walking around the block. My favorite is yoga. Yoga can get extensive but what I like about yoga is that you're training your mind and body to sync because in reality it's all connected. Cardio is also a very great tool. So if you haven't today move your body and you'll feel great mentally and physically.

  5. Diet: What we eat, is directly connected to our gut. We don't realize how unhealthy our guts are at times. Have you ever gotten "Hangry" or have you ever been in a mood and didn't know why and then you took a dump and felt better. LOL! I'm just saying what we put in our bodies is very important. It's hard at times because of money or our routines just put us in a position to choose grab and go behavior. Once we can discipline ourselves to make better food choices and eat better foods throughout the day our minds can benefit from this change.

  6. Changing the Channel: The intake of news, social media, entertainment and the people around us can affect our focus consciously and subconsciously. When we take in negativity and drama constantly our subconscious is picking up on all of that. Have you ever been scrolling on social media and you get caught up in someone elses life? You started to judge something they posted that had nothing to do with you? We all do it. But it's up to us to change the channel. Turn off the News that constantly reports the bad and not the good. Tune in to something positive. Stop watching murder mysteries all day and before bed. Stop talking to that friend or family member who is always gossiping and doing nothing with their lives. We have to choose to get away from the trap of negativity by changing our surroundings mentally and physically. And every time you notice your mind wanting to go back shift it to something positive.

  7. Choose Happiness: One thing I have learned is that We CHOOSE our focus. We cannot choose event's that happen and we can't control when they happen but we CAN control How we respond to what happens. And we may not be able to control how we emotionally feel at that moment to the event but we can control the feelings we focus on. So yes. Feel your emotion and let that emotion pass but ultimately focus on forward movement and getting back to your happy place. Once a moment happens it is in the past! Process that emotion and keep shifting your energy to something positive. When the thought of that event keeps popping up in your mind accept it and do not follow it into a story after a couple of minutes. You want to give yourself time to process the emotion but don't beat yourself up because the thought reappears in time it will past. But again I say. Focus on Positivity and choose happiness as much as you can!

  8. Discipline: In order for any of the above suggestions to work you have to have discipline. I want to be realistic and let you know that Anxiety is apart of life. We will have it in good times and stressful times but the way we respond to anxiety creates how it responds to us. By being disciplined and building mental strength we can change our realities. By creating routines to follow these suggestions will create habits and in time we will no longer fixate on our anxiety. We will welcome it and nurture it just as we should. Become disciplined and create habits around acceptance, letting go of control, meditation, physical activity, diet, changing the channel and choosing happiness. It takes 21 days to form a habit so write down some focus goals and tackle them one at a time and in time everything will follow.

  9. Take Action: In this moment as you are reading this I would like to encourage you to take action today. If anything I've written today resonates with you do yourself a huge favor and start now. It is in our thoughts were we lose our motivation to do what's good for us. Don't think about it just do it! And I urge you to follow that advice in other areas of your life as well.

There are many other tools to use to manage your anxiety better. A big obstacle towards healing is wanting to wake up and be better but not taking action towards the things that will make us better. I can assure you, you will not wake up anxiety free. You will have good days and you will have more difficult days but it's all in how you respond to those days. When you have a bad day do you spiral and feel like you need to start over from Day 1? The truth about it is. Yes You do need to start from Day 1 because in reality every day is Day 1. everyday you need to be following your growth steps but just because you have a difficult day does not cancel out all the good days before that one. Don't spiral, be strong and keep moving forward. Be proud of yourself in every step of your process. Namaste

I'd like to point out that I am not a doctor, I'm not a therapist, therefore I am not telling anyone to stop any medications or doctors orders dealing with their health or mental health. Everything I write about is from a personal experience. If you're taking any medications or following any doctor orders please continue to do so until you're told by a healthcare professional otherwise.

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