#1 Build Your Mental Strength

Written by Dr. RJ

  |  Reviewed by Jen Bell

Mental strength is a person’s capability to cope successfully with stresses, demands, and difficulties and achieve their full potential regardless of the conditions. Developing mental strength is critical to living your best life.

Just as people go to the gym and lift weights to strengthen their muscles, we can also improve our mental health by using certain tools and methods.

When we are mentally healthy, this helps us to live a life that we like, with significant social relationships and a positive sense of self-worth. It also enables us to take chances, do new things, and cope better with any tough circumstances that life may throw our way.

Mental strength is something that we can develop over time, by prioritizing our personal growth. Just as exercise and a healthy diet can bring physical benefits, good mental habits — such as practicing thankfulness — can bring mental health benefits.

To experience improvements in our physical health, we must also consider limiting unhealthy and harmful behaviors like eating junk food. In a similar way, if we want to see mental improvements, we need to give up bad habits like making negative comments about ourselves.

To learn more about building mental strength, check out BLOOM’s  Mental Strength section of the website.

#2 Accepting Yourself & Your Body

Written by Dr. RJ

  |  Reviewed by Jen Bell

Want to improve the way you see yourself, and you’re not sure where to start? Here are some strategies you can follow.

To begin, try to stop treating your body and mind as an object, and avoid comparing it to the “ideal” bodies that you see in the media. Think about how much time you spend mentally assessing how your body appears and worrying about how others see you.

You can begin to love your body by recognizing that how you think others may see you doesn’t matter, only your viewpoint matters in this regard. Take pride in yourself by standing tall with your chest wide and shoulders relaxed, to demonstrate love for your body. Continually remind yourself of all the things you like about yourself, inside and out. Remind yourself of what your body can do and accomplish. By doing these things, over time you can slowly develop an appreciation for and acceptance of your body.

We all need to appreciate our individual physical, social, and learning strengths and challenges. Maybe you feel you have social, mental health, learning or motor differences from many of your peers. This is more common than you may realize! With each of these unique differences come so many amazing strengths and abilities. Surround yourself with people who celebrate your individuality and will help you find successful role models.

Change your mindset of how you see yourself. Stop any thoughts that focus on only one aspect or part of yourself that you have negative thoughts about. See yourself as a whole person and not just negative parts.

Try to change the way you talk to yourself and about yourself from negative, to positive. To develop a healthy connection with our minds and bodies, we need to stop speaking so harshly to ourselves! We must unlearn society’s method of doing things and do things our way! Treat yourself and your body as a friend — this is a major step toward developing a good self-perception. Be kind to yourself.

Remove any negative influences that cause you to feel shame, anxious, or insecure about yourself.  This can include removing yourself from viewing negative and distorted media, or distancing yourself from anyone or anything that does not support and love you for who you are.

Above all, remember that it is alright to make mistakes along the way. Be patient with yourself; improving our everyday habits is a marathon, not a sprint. Self-love may contribute significantly to a healthy lifestyle.

#3 Change your Mindset with Mindfulness

Written by Dr. RJ

  |  Reviewed by Jen Bell

Mindfulness is a kind of meditation in which a person focuses on being aware of what they are experiencing and feeling, without judgment or interpretation. Mindfulness training includes the use of guided meditations, and other relaxation approaches to help the body relax and decrease stress.

Here are 5 simple ways to cultivate mindfulness:
  1. Attention –  Try to slow down and observe things around you. Make an effort to engage all of your senses while experiencing your surroundings — touch, sound, sight, smell, and taste. For instance, when you eat your favorite food, take time to smell, taste, and appreciate it.
  2. Living in the moment –  Make a conscious effort to bring an open and accepting awareness to everything you do. Discover delight in little pleasures.
  3. Accepting yourself – Try to respect and accept yourself as you would a good friend.
  4. Gratitude – Recognize the amazing things your body can feel, do, and accomplish. View yourself as a whole person with many attributes that you are grateful for. Give yourself thanks and self-praise for the incredible things you are able to do and achieve with your body.
  5. Kindness – Practice acts of giving or contributing to something that makes you feel good about yourself.

You can practice these mindfulness techniques anywhere and at any time.

Some other mindfulness activities, such as a body scan or sitting meditation, require some time in a quiet location free of distractions or disruptions. You may want to do these kinds of mental workouts first thing in the morning before beginning your daily routine.

To learn how to practice mindfulness and listen to audio practices, visit BLOOM’s Mindfulness section of the hub.

 

#4 Take Care of your Body

Written by Dr. RJ

  |  Reviewed by Jen Bell

By making healthy choices in regards to nutrition, sleep, exercise, and activities that provide you pleasure, you can take good care of your body.

Our physical and mental health are completely connected. Many aspects of our lifestyle and behaviors affect our mental health and general well-being. Just as good sleep, food, and exercise habits are critical for physical fitness, they also have a strong correlation with mental health.

Consuming nutritious foods, engaging in regular physical activity, and ensuring that you receive enough high-quality sleep each night may help improve your psychological well-being and decrease your chance of developing disorders like depression and anxiety.

Likewise, a lack of exercise, sleep, and healthy food can have a detrimental effect on your mood and perspective. We should all try to eat, exercise, and sleep in ways that benefit our bodies and minds. However, according to a study published in “Frontiers in Psychology,” sleep seems to be the greatest predictor of mental well-being — specifically sleep quality, probably followed by sleep quantity (Rönnlund & Carelli, 2018).

This means that, although you should prioritize nutrition, exercise, and sleep for optimum health and longevity, focusing additional attention on your sleep patterns may be the most effective approach for maintaining a positive attitude and avoiding stress, anxiety, and mood swings.

To learn more about taking care of your body, visit BLOOM’s Healthy Body section of the hub.

 

Tip #5 Set Achievable Goals for Your Health & Yourself

Over time, goal-setting methods have been shown to assist people in beginning and maintaining healthy behaviors. Goals can motivate us, and help us to start new habits, guide our attention, and sustain a feeling of momentum in our lives. Goals also help us to concentrate our attention, and achieving a goal can foster a feeling of self-mastery. Setting goals is not only inspiring, it can also help us enhance our mental health and our level of personal and professional success.

Start by setting achievable goals. These goals can involve a number of steps that you can achieve along the way. Having smaller steps will allow you to see small gains and keep on track. It will also help manage the ability to adapt in case there is failure along the way.

The hardest part about a goal is starting. So jump in, tell others about your goal, and expect some hiccups along the way. Even starting on your goal is a huge measure of success! Once you start seeing progress towards your goal, you may even inspire family and friends to start working towards their own. When setting goals, it can be helpful to remember the S.M.A.R.T. acronym.

Specific: Every goal should be clear and specific.

Measurable: It is important to have measurable goals so that you can track your progress, stay on track, and keep motivated.

Achievable: A goal that is within your skill set or that stretches your abilities a bit is far more likely to be attainable and accomplished.

Relevant: It is helpful to have realistic and relevant goals. When making a goal, be sure that it is relevant for your life and lights you up with inspiration. Also be sure it is reasonable according to your skillset and resources (time and money) available.

Time Bound: Be sure to give your goal a time frame or target date so that you have a deadline to work toward.

To learn more about setting achievable goals and building healthy habits, visit BLOOM’s Mental Strength section of the hub.

 

Tip #6 You are enough

Written by Dr. RJ

  |  Reviewed by Team BLOOM

Self-worth is a measure of how much you respect yourself. It is not determined by what others think of you or the accomplishments you have made — it comes from within. You are inherently worthy and can give yourself the love you desire. It is a choice you can consciously make everyday and with practice it will get easier.

Self-acceptance is probably the greatest gift you can offer yourself. Self-acceptance is unconditional: it means accepting you as you are, faults and all. If we make self-acceptance or self-love conditional, the reality is that we will never be satisfied with ourselves.

The truth is that our bodies are continuously evolving and will never be the same as they were the day before. If we put our self-worth on something as fluid as our appearances, we will perpetually ride the emotional roller coaster of body preoccupation and humiliation.

If you want to alter your appearance, do it for yourself. However, keep in mind that your body image should not determine your value. A lovely body or a gorgeous face will not last forever nor change the way you truly feel about yourself inside. If your self-worth is based only on how you look, then imagine how your self-worth could change from day to day. Explore self-worth beyond the boundaries of your appearance. Once you understand who you are and are content with that, you can find serenity even while you navigate life’s unavoidable highs and lows.

The most important thing to remember and repeat to yourself is that you are already whole. You are unique and you are enough just the way you are.