There's a lot of misinformation and misconception about what it means to be mentally strong. Here are some of the truths about mental strength:
1. Being mentally strong isn't about acting tough. You don't have to become a robot or appear to have tough exterior when you're mentally strong. Instead, it's about acting according to your values.
2. Mental strength doesn't require you to ignore your emotions. Increasing your mental strength isn't about suppressing your emotions; instead it's about developing a keen awareness of them. It's about interpreting and understanding how your emotions influence your thoughts and behavior.
3. You don't have to treat your body like a machine to be mentally strong. Mental strength isn't about pushing your body to it's physical limits just to prove you can ignore pain. It's about understanding your thoughts and feelings well enough that you can determine when to behave contrary to them, and when to listen to them.
4. Being mentally strong doesn't mean you have to be completely self-reliant. Mental strength isn't about proclaiming that you don't ever need help from anyone or any type of higher power. Admitting you don't have all the answers, asking for help when you need it, and acknowledging that you can gain strength from a higher power is a sign of a desire to grow stronger.
5. Being mentally strong is not about positive thinking. Thinking overly positive thoughts can be just as detrimental as thinking overly negative thoughts. Mental strength is about thinking realistically and rationally.
6. Developing mental strength isn't about chasing happiness. Being mentally strong will help you to be more content in your life, but it isn't about waking up every day and trying to force yourself to feel happy. Instead, it's about making the decisions that will help you reach your full potential.
7. Mental strength isn't just the latest pop psychology trend. Just like the physical fitness world is filled with fad diets and fitness trends, the world of psychology is often filled with fleeting ideas about how to become your best self. Mental strength isn't a trend. The psychology field has been helping people learn how to change their thoughts, feelings, and behavior since the 1960's.
8. Mental strength isn't synonymous with mental health. While the healthcare industry often talks in terms of mental health versus mental illness, mental strength is different. Just like people can still be physically strong even if they have a physical health ailment like diabetes, you can still be mentally strong even if you have depression, anxiety, or other mental health problems. Having a mental illness doesn't mean you are destined to have bad habits. Instead, you can still choose to develop health habits. It may require more work, more focus, and more effort, but it's very possible.