Two Specific Mental Health Tips
When you HEAR mental health, do you automatically think Mental Illness or depression?
Mental Health = Health = Mental Strength
If you look up Mental Health, the first listings have to do with mental illness. If we define mental health, it is the LACK of mental illness. When I hear physical health I don’t automatically think of a broken leg? That’s why the stigma with mental health exists and why we isolate when we struggle.
Mental health is akin to mental strength because the brain is a muscle, we have to train it, and not just treat it. That’s where receiving mental health tips begins.
Mental Toughness or Mental Strength also has a stigma to it, when we hear mental toughness, I think we hear “physical exertion” or “do it on your own” or “suck it up.” Those are not mental health strategies, that’s stupidity. Trust me, I know a lot about being stupid.
Can we define Mental Toughness?
It is performing well under pressure AND how we cope, handle, & deal with the struggle and setbacks and adversity of life (Loehr, 1986). Click here if you want to view the precise Hierarchy of Mental Toughness
Remember- Mental Health = Health = Mental Strength
There are many different ways of building mental toughness, but the main common theme is that there has to be some kind of present adversity!
Here’s some Examples of Mental Toughness- Check out the article on 17 famous examples of mental toughness
Example #1 of Mental Toughness- Dealing with a Challenge. It was May 7th on a Saturday evening and I was planning my schedule to meet with my professional athletes for later in the month.
Then, an invite for a ½ Ironman came across my email.
The race was in 2 weeks.
On May 20th, I crushed a ½ Ironman in less than 2 weeks. I don’t recommend this strategy on how to build mental toughness.
Example #2 of Mental Toughness- Coping with Anger and Frustration
It was the beginning of August and I got a call from a good amateur tennis player who lived in California.
However, at that time, he was suspended from the USTA because of his on-court behavior. He just couldn’t control his emotions.
After working together on how to build psychological toughness for exactly 1 year, he became the first unseeded player ever to win the USTA National Championship.
Example #3 of Mental Toughness- Patience & Persistence.
A professional golfer and I started working together on how to build mental toughness while he was just a mini-tour player. He had the heart of a lion and wanted to reach his full potential.
Three years later, Scott Stallings, he won his 1st tournament on the PGA Tour.
Example #4 of Mental Toughness- Preparation Meets Opportunity
I started working with a professional tennis player, Rajeev Ram before the Australian Open, the first major of the year.
Normally a doubles player, he had a season-long goal of top 50 ranking in the world. He received a call during the summer to play with Venus Williams in Rio at the Olympics!
By the end of the games, he won a Silver Medal.
Mental Toughness is a common theme in every one of these examples. But, every one of these examples manifested in different ways.
The brain is a muscle, and there is no one way to build mental toughness and mental health because no matter what, we must be faced with adversity!
We can’t predict the future, we can only prepare for the unpredictable.
I love helping people build Mental Toughness and taking people where they want to go, but only if performance is crucial to their success.
Most people like talking about mental toughness, grit, resiliency, but few people actually act on it. I think the lack of action is because there isn’t a quality how to build mental toughness. The mental health tips in this article are specific, but not exhaustive! Here are just two of the step-by-step directions.
Want to know the IMPORTANCE of building Mental Toughness?
Two Ways To Build Mental Strength
Here are the first two mental health tips…
1. HOLD ONTO YOUR SUCCESS & SETBACKS.
2. IMPROVE YOUR FOCUS.
HOLD ONTO YOUR SUCCESS & SETBACKS
Have you ever broken an arm?
Want to know why mothers have more than one kid?
It is because we forget about the pain.
Try and remember the worst physical pain you ever had and while you remember that it really hurt, it’s impossible to recall the exact amount of pain you were in.
Hence forgetting about the pain is a huge strength, but it also makes us more like deer crossing the highway.
We forget about the pain and it becomes “what are those headlights?”
When we struggle, we need to be able to go back and look at the reasons why we struggled, what was our adversity and notice our emotions around it, and what we did to get better and overcome.
We need to go back over and recreate our successes and everything occurring during those times.
If you don’t write out the details, you’ll forget about it. No matter how small our success or large our defeats,
IMPROVE YOUR FOCUSED BREATHING
Stress and pressure flow downhill. Unfortunately, we can’t handle much overflow.
There are so many distractions in our life that we can become agitated, upset, or down and not even know why. Was it that person in traffic, or that so-called friend who hasn’t replied back?
We multitask so much, I’m not sure we even know what multi-tasking is anymore. Doing more than four things at once or twenty?
We are also perfectionists, and that means our minds are constantly running, always churning.
We are all so busy that we don’t spend any time to recharge and refocus.
We need to maximize the transitions in life. We simply need to allow ourselves time and space to focus and decompress.
Focus is one of the major skills in the pyramid of success. We can begin training our focus by becoming deliberate about our focus.
Mental health tips always incorporate breathing and I suggest we start at just 3 minutes a day.
The best way to train our breathing and improve our focus is to follow this step-by-step process.
On the breathing audio, you’ll begin deliberate breathing by doing rectangle breathing. You’ll breathe in on 6, hold it for 2 seconds, out 6 seconds, hold it for 2 seconds, and so on…
When thoughts pop in the mind during this exercise, just bring your focus back to your breathing and listen to this audio.
I did a session with a baseball team once and after a few minutes asked them to raise their hand if they did it without any thoughts popping in their head.
All raised their hands!
I thought to myself, Yeah right!! So, I’m the only insane crazy one that couldn’t shut my mind off?
Focused breathing is about progress, not perfection.
We all have to focus and become deliberate about our breathing….
My thoughts still raced every time I did this exercise, but something happened, and I don’t know exactly when, but a change started to occur and I could focus better.
What we hope to do with ease, we first must do with due diligence.
Mental Toughness isn’t necessary to be comfortable in life.
But, then again, you don’t thrive in the middle, you survive.
Strong Mental Health is required only if you want to excel and win. I’ve presented to you the first two steps for building Mental Toughness.
Step #1- HOLD ONTO YOUR SUCCESS
Step #2- IMPROVE YOUR FOCUS
Here are several bonus resources to help build Mental Toughness.
First, I’ve provided you the exact audio file that will begin your improved focus under pressure.
Second, as stated, I’ve put together a step-by-step process of mental health tips. Simply Click on the link below and start accessing your step-by-step process.
Dr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology Coach. His company DRB & Associates is based in Indianapolis. Some clients have included: University of Notre Dame, Marriott, and Walgreens. Check out all the books on Mental Toughness-