Becoming emotionally and mentally strong is not that easy when you’ve gone through situations. And everyone has gone through stuff. I suffer from anxiety and have had years of being out of sorts while letting my emotions rule over me. If you are one of the few people who hasn’t been through anything too big for you to handle, brava!
For the rest of us, learning to deal with life’s challenges is already a tall order. And having to be emotionally and mentally strong while doing it, is another task in and of itself. Here are a few main steps I have used to help me through those tough times.
1. Ground Yourself
A relatively easy word, but hard to do. The easiest way to ground yourself is to get into a meditative state. Here, your physical body, mind, and soul are in unison. However, if you are unable to meditate, the simplest form is to intently look at any part of your physical body. Realize that whatever has happened, has happened, but you are still “here”. Sit upright and look at different parts of your body.
And if that is too strange for you, focus on an object that is physically close by. Make sure it’s NOT your cellphone! Look at a plant, a lit candle, or your pet. Do this for a few minutes while deep breathing, until the thoughts and feelings in your body slow down.
2. Identify the Fear
Once you are in some control of your mind and body (we are never in full control), take a look at the root of the issue. Is fear or pain associated with it? Ask yourself what’s the worst that could happen. And whatever the answer may be, ask yourself if it’s worth driving your mind and body into angst at this very moment?
Reason with the situation as much as you can. Doing this will lessen the charge associated to it. The more I have taken this approach with my own mental health, the more in control I have been of the situation that I was in.
3. Reaction Vs. Response
Reactions come from emotion. And nothing healthy comes out of reacting negatively to a situation. And anything said or done in a reactive state isn’t healthy, period. You need to take enough time to process your thoughts and feelings. With time, you lessen the charge as we’ve identified above, and address the situation with a fully thought out response. This way you have had time and a balance of emotions to stand behind your response.
4. Evaluate your Reactions and Options
Evaluate the various options you have. Do you need to respond? Do you need to have a say in what happened? Or can you be neutral to it. The best approach is to be neutral to the situation. What seems out of control and dire to you, may seem like a situation or problem someone else would be willing to accept in their life.
If you carry the burden of trying to make everything right or to feel helpless, then you let your emotions and thoughts control you. Turn that around and control your thoughts and emotions. After all, they come from within you.
5. Reaching Out
Once you have dealt with the four steps above, you can choose what to do next. If this involves someone else, you can now, in you clam state of mind reach out and deal with the situation. This way you are not letting your mental state over power what you need to do. If the situation only involves you – you could walk up to a mirror and talk to yourself and how you are handling the situation.
Betterhelp is an online resource that may be able to provide some additional help too. They have a very discreet policy and allow everything from in-person, to calls and text only options!! If you are not sure if you need to talk to a therapist, read this article on reasons to see a therapist, to find out if it’s necessary.
While the steps above seem to be focused towards becoming emotionally and mentally strong while in the midst of a situation, you have to be in situations to practice getting strong.
If you don’t experience anything, you wont be able to put your mind and body through the steps. As long as you remember the steps for next time – you’ll be on your way to becoming one strong poppet.
Note: If you are currently going through a life-threatening situation, please reach out to your local authorities/doctor.
Featured photo courtesy of unsplash.com
Article last updated on September 21st, 2021