Many people confuse mental health with mental strength, and it is generally assumed that both are the same thing. Mental health can be typically defined as the absence of mental illness, but if you are not suffering from depression or anxiety, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are mentally strong.
In truth, you can be dealing with mental health issues and be mentally strong at the same time. In this article, we would discuss the differences between mental health and mental strength, the key components, and how you can build mental strength.
You can understand the differences between the two in a better way if you first look at the differences between physical health and physical strength. If you go to a gym and develop a better physique, it can improve your physical health, but it doesn’t mean you won’t have to deal with physical health problems like high cholesterol. And where it might be difficult for you to work out if you have a health issue, there are ways for you to build your physical strength despite suffering from a physical health problem. If you build mental strength, your mental health will be improved too, similarly, improved mental health allows you to be mentally strong as well.
The first part is thinking, which involves being able to see or perceive things realistically. You should know how to deal with irrational thoughts and replace them with a more positive perception. It’s also about being kind to yourself, so when you are being too critical of yourself, mental strength allows you to be compassionate. You should be able to accept an uncomfortable emotion, and sometimes even calm yourself.
The third part is doing, which means taking productive action. It can mean recognizing when you are tired or take good care of yourself. There are many exercises that you can take to build mental strength, but, cognitive, emotional, and behavioral exercises are the best, to begin with.
Cognitive exercises help you think differently i.e. think positively, avoid negative thoughts, or reframe such thoughts. Emotional exercises, on the other hand, are about increasing self-awareness about one’s emotional state. Behavioral exercises, however, involve doing things that are good for you.