(2 mins read)

Recently, I spent a numerous evenings reading a super interesting and thought-provoking book: “Man’s Search For Meaning” written by Victor E. Frankl. Viktor E. Frankl was professor of neurology and psychiatry at the University of Vienna Medical School. He died in 1997. His mental strength helped him to survive the Second World War and the Nazi camp system; Aushwitz, Dachau and other concentration camps where he spent three years. Frankl’s story is about the importance of meaning in our life; meaning cannot exist without mental strength. His mental strength was not impacted in a negative way, nor was it broken by Nazis.

Nowadays, we face different challenges or problems every day. We are dealing with our ambitions or career plans, with parents expectations, stress at work, anxiety and many many other complications or headwinds. Despite the fact that we solve problems all the day, new setbacks, emergencies or worries land at our desk over and over again. It’s like having a fight with a 3-headed dragon where, after cutting off one head, three new ones grow up instead. Problems will not disappear, they will not go away. Actually, we could expect more and more problems which will disrupt our life in the future. And it’s an exponential growth.

To continue fighting with the three-headed dragon we need to be mentally strong.

Below, there is a list of 7 habits of mental hygiene which will build our mental health in a long-term perspective.

  1. Enjoy yourself
    First, you need to accept who you are, where you live, and what you do. Self-acceptance is the starting point for your mental health reflection. Why? Because it’s a potential source of all our mental problems. We need to know our personal strengths and weaknesses. It will give us an internal peace and a healthy stimulation for self-improvement and potential changes in the future. Once we accept who we are, there will be no need to look for external self-esteem as well.
  2. Accept the past
    Not always, our lives are rose and without any challenges. Our past experience should strengthen us, however it could be dangerous as well. We should not be afraid of our past experience even if it’s painful or challenging. Being mentally healthy means us accepting what has happened and understanding why all that has happened.
  3. Be assertive
    We need to know what is important in our private and professional life. It will help us to set up some boundaries and we will be able to say “no, thank you” to thousands of asks, requests or proposals which will destroy us or will suck our energy. Assertiveness will help us to remove the pressure from our system and we will be able to stick to our plans, values, or beliefs. Assertiveness will help us to share our own opinion and what matters to us, without hurting feelings of other people or destroying relationships.
  4. Be detached
    Another important element is to see things from a different perspective. What is important and terrifying to us today, may not be so scary from a time perspective, in a week, in a month or in a year. Sometimes what is extremely challenging for one person is a piece of cake for another one as well. This is why we should not keep all our problems within ourselves and private. Sharing it with other people or asking for some help or advice will be a representation of our strength.
  5. Be empathic
    Based on the research we know that people with strong personalities are empathic. There is a direct link with emotional intelligence (EQ) as emotionally strong people have the ability to share their own needs, emotions and feelings without hurting other people. Strong people are self-aware, they know their own strengths and development areas, they are balanced and happy.
  6. Respect others
    There is a strong link between mental health and being unconditionally respectful. First, we need to respect ourselves and then we need to respect others, without any exemption. Unconditional respect will help us to communicate with the external world what is important to us and the same way, to respect what is important to other people.
  7. Change agility
    Change is scary, but it’s inevitable. We cannot stop all changes happening around us and disrupting our ways of living or working. Our mental strength is tested every day and it all depends on how we react to change. Don’t resist, don’t push it back, don’t use your energy on soothing which is totally outside your control or influence. We need to focus on adjusting or modifying our behaviours or actions. Here we have 100% influence and empowerment. And remember that mentally strong people don’t avoid changes, they face them and turn into opportunities.

Are you ready to join the Mental Health STRONG Club?

It’s not an exclusive group and it’s entirely up to you if you want to be a mentally strong individual.


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