"The strength of your mind determines the quality of your life."- Edmond Mbiaka
The topic of strength, let alone the word itself, is one of the oldest and boldest subject matters that has ever existed in human history. The natural connotation behind the word implicates that there is some sort of resolute resilience or robust power that an individual must have when facing opposing circumstances. Whether it be physical or mental aptitude, the importance of having "strength" is deemed as being a crucial element for a person to have throughout their life. In today's current bleak reality of a global pandemic, economic stoppages, intense racial tensions, (etc.) it can be difficult to muster the inner strength that is required to ride out the storm. Whether physical or mental, strength is something that can be fundamental in the "making or breaking" of a person, as they try their best to withstand life's difficulties.
In my opinion, mental strength should be prioritized ahead of the physical regardless of what is dictated by societal advertising. During times of strife or mass peril, what is needed more than an attractive exterior or physical strength, is the mental fortitude that is required to endure the hardship(s) of our current reality. Simply put, trying to remain mentally strong and uplifted during this pandemic, social unrest, and economic/educational disruption can be extremely difficult for the average person. Unbeknownst to us, our psyche can unconsciously be automatically trained to respond to outside stimuli negatively or positively over time due to the quantity of the content we consume. An example of this can be seen in the type of news, media, and topics of discussion that we surround ourselves with daily.
If we chose to become deterred from a positive outlook by the negativity that appears on our screens almost every second, feelings of hopelessness and pessimism will unsurprisingly start to emerge within us. Having resilience against such emotions is one of the keys to staying strong mentally. This mustering of mental strength can be attained in multiple ways. Educating oneself on the entirety of the actual issue can be empowering to a person because they can then focus on the next step in their decision-making process, due to their having a total understanding of the situation as a whole. Another way to stay mentally strong can be through trying your earnest to search out the positive details in situations instead of fixating upon the negative aspects, which somehow always appears to be in the forefront of our news.
Often during a dark time, we as people are so overcome by the terror and horrifying aspects of those bleak circumstances, it then tends to insight mass panic and hysteria, which is the natural reactions to have. Fear can severely handicap people's decision-making skills and completely dispel any signs of common sense, unfortunately. For many people, when faced with adversity or conflict, their natural proclivity is to allow the situation to overwhelm them until it passes because they do not have the mental fortitude or knowledge on how to counteract their conflict. To defeat that mindset, it takes a level of grit and honest introspection for a person to overcome such trials. Being honest with oneself is one of the most admirable things that a person can do because they can reflect upon their strengths and weaknesses, and come up with an ideal battleplan to properly overcome their current struggles.
For me personally, my faith is the most crucial element at the core of my mental stability. The complete reliance upon God as being the means for me to confide and trust in every aspect of my life has been the key to my well-being, psychologically, emotionally, mentally, physically, socially, (and every other -ly you can think of). Another way in how I do my best to maintain my mental stability during hardships is to seek out and listen to the knowledge that other people that I trust have. Many times, people can lend a helpful and encouraging word through their relation to your circumstances if you take the time to listen. Being swift to listen and slower to speak can rapidly enhance your knowledge, elevate your ability to prioritize, and give you multiple options on how to navigate rough waters.
This year 2020 has brought a seemingly endless barrage of unforeseen tragic events that appear to be continually compiling as the days roll by. It can be very mentally daunting, emotionally burdening, and physically exhausting. Trying to find much positive in the world as of late can appear to be difficult, however; try to be aware of your mental state of mind when taking in such information and how your processing of it affects you. Being a positive light in the dark can indeed have a ripple effect on others no matter what area of the globe you are in, so be conscious of that certainty while you battle what's ahead.
I am not a professional psychologist or even remotely close to being one at the moment. This post is severely limited to my personal opinions and techniques on how I remain mentally strong and aware through tough times. I hope that everyone reading this found this post to be beneficial, relevant, and encouraging. Stay safe and mentally strong!
"Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It's a very mean and nasty place and I don't care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard ya hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done!"
- Sylvester Stallone, Rocky Balboa (2006)