Everybody wants to know how to be mentally strong and happy all day long. And it’s easy, sometimes. Sometimes, life feels like a breeze. But just when you start smiling some bullcrap comes along and tears your day to pieces.

Well, not today.

Because today I am going to share 18 tips to show you how to be mentally strong and happy all day long.

Try the tips below. And let me know if they help you to keep that smile on your face. And if you’d like extra help so you can stay strong and happy each and every day, contact me for an online meditation lesson.

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How To Be Mentally Strong And Happy, So You’re Smiling The Whole Day

1: Use novelty to strengthen the brain

Science has proven that novelty (basically doing new things) is very important for training your brain. Why? Well, here’s the science:

Your mind is the result of neurons firing information through your brain at hundreds of miles per hour. But when you keep doing the same thing time and time again, you only exercise certain parts of your mind and the rest atrophies. When you learn new things, you activate regions of your brain that might have been idle for a long time.

Jason Shen on LifeHacker.com says, “When we learn a new skill… we’re changing how our brain is wired on a deep level. Science has shown that the brain is incredibly plastic… even older adults can see real transformations in their neurocircuitry.”

And it doesn’t matter what you learn. It just matters that you learn something new.

learning new things for brain power
learning new things for brain power

According to Harvard.edu:

 “Challenging your brain with exercise is believed to activate processes that help maintain individual brain cells and stimulate communication among them. Many people have jobs that keep them mentally active, but pursuing a hobby, learning a new skill, or volunteering for a project at work that involves a skill you don’t usually use can function the same way.”

There are lots of brain training websites that take advantage of this. Lumosity, for instance, gives you all types of games to play to train your brain. But you don’t need to specifically play Lumosity games to make yourself mentally strong and happy. Lots of video games will do the very same thing.

I’m a total nerd, and I play fighting games a lot (I even commentate at large tournaments). Those games require excellent reactions and a lot of strategy. They really make you think! And you’d better believe they exercise your brain and your mind. Try picking a new game or a new type of mental exercise. You’ll exercise regions of your brain that have been idle. This is one of the best ways how to be mentally strong and healthy.

Another great way to gain some novelty is with a good book.

As Sia Mohajer says on FinerMinds.com,

“Fill your mind with the thoughts of great thinkers. People who inspire you. They also started much like you; minding each thought. You will become unstoppable.”

This is one of the best ways how to be mentally strong and happy. Seriously. The number one tip for mental strength is seeking out novelty.

2. Connect with your senses for a healthier mind

One of the best ways to live in the moment is to get in touch with your senses. Sensory information flows into your brain every second of every day. But if you’re distracted by thoughts, you’ll ignore that sensory information, starving your mind of the nutrients it needs to grow stronger.

They’re a big deal.

Deane Alban on BeBrainFit says:

“The key to exercising your brain is engaging all of your senses — sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell — in non-routine ways.…Travel, camping, and gardening are high on his list of activities that utilize all your senses in new ways.”

So, if you want to know how to be mentally strong and happy, pay more attention to your senses.

3. Refuse to lose mental strength as you age

A lot of people want to know how to be mentally strong and happy as they age.

Smart people know how to defy the ageing process. Age is nothing. I’ve got a few grey bits developing among my black hair, and at the age of thirty-four I will sometimes joke that I’m senile, like when I go to bed with the door unlocked. 

But science has proven that middle-aged people do not have memory problems and that for the most part, short-term memory is better in 40+ year-olds than in teens, according to research from Yana Fandakova at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development.

But here’s the crux. Believing that you have a weak memory will actually interefere with your ability to use your memory effectively [Mechera-Ostrovsky, T., Gluth, S. Memory Beliefs Drive the Memory Bias on Value-based Decisions. S]

Science has proven that our beliefs create our perception of reality. This is mostly because your beliefs have a significant impact on your subconscious mind, as was conceived by Sigmund Freud. If you believe you’re healthy, you probably will be. If you think you have a good memory, you will have. If you think your mind is weak, it will be.

The average brain is believed to generate around 50,000 thoughts per day. 70% of them are negative. That’s one heck of a burden to carry around with you every day. Imagine if you actually wrote out those 35,000 negative thoughts and read them back to back. That’s what goes through the average person’s mind every day. Snap out of your negative beliefs. Don’t underestimate your mind.

Your mind is the most powerful tool you have. Believe in it. Know your mind is a powerhouse. This is one of the key ways to be mentally strong and happy.

4. To make your soul happy, learn to dance

Dancing is one of the best exercises for mental health according to research from the University of Heidelberg in the article “Effects of dance movement therapy and dance on health-related psychological outcomes: A meta-analysis.”

There are many health benefits of dancing.

Dancing increases serotonin levels—the brain’s natural happy drug according to Harvard Medical School. That’s why, even if you’re one of those people who “Doesn’t like dancing” if you go and dance you will probably be happy within two minutes.

Jacob Devaney on UpLiftConnect.com says”

“Dancing is a form of exercise, which is known to release endorphins that reduce pain. Dancing also causes our brains to secrete the “bonding” hormone, oxytocin (also known as the “happy” or “love” neurohormone). High energy dance that includes synchronized movements with others will increase positive results.”

And while you’re happy and shaking yo groove thang, you will also be making yourself smarter. This is definitely the most fun way how to be mentally strong and happy.

5. For emotional power, overcome fear

Fears are like roadblocks in your mind. Imagine driving down a highway. Fifty miles down the road is a place called Success Boulevard. But before you get to Success Boulevard, you have to pass Humble Avenue and Broke-Ass Mountain.

You’re scared of Humble Avenue, and that Broke-Ass Mountain place gives you the creeps. So you pull up. You stop driving because you’re too afraid to get to Success Boulevard.

That’s three areas that you’ve stopped yourself going. That’s three parts of your mind that you’re allowing to dwindle and die just because you don’t like two of them.

That’s not your mind working at optimum performance. Your best bet—and the only way to get to Success Boulevard—is to keep on driving through Humble Avenue and Broke-Ass Mountain because the only way how to be mentally strong and happy is to face fear and overcome it, like self improvement guru Jack Canfield says.

Don’t let your fear stop you. Be willing to look at the darker parts of your mind. Once you look your fear in the face, you’ll see the light there anyway. Fear? Ain’t nobody got time for that. 

This is the hardest but quickest way how to be mentally strong and happy. Face your fears every day.

5. Fight laziness to slow mental atrophy

One of the leading causes of mental weakness is laziness. So if you’re asking how to be mentally strong and happy: stop being lazy. A healthy mind requires exercise and effort, and of course, laziness stops all that.

I say laziness; I actually mean mental health problems that cause people to act in lazy ways. Because science has proven that laziness is just a myth, according to the book Laziness Does Not Exist by Dr. Devon Price, 

Either way, it is essential to combat “laziness” to exercise enough to be mentally strong and healthy.

6. For emotional fortitude, develop emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence is our ability to recognize our emotions and the emotions of other people.

To do this, we need:

When we have high emotional intelligence, we are less likely to suffer from a mental health problem like stress according to  Hasan Khoshakhlagh and Salar Faramarzi, PhD at the  Department of Psychology, Islamic Azad University.

7: Use mental hygiene for a good mindset

Mental hygiene refers to how clean we keep our minds. And this is one of the key ways to have a happy mind. [here’s my guide to improving your mental hygiene]

Our mental hygiene is the result of

For instance, we can improve mental hygiene by removing negative influences (negative people, sources of bad news, etc.). And we can also improve our mental hygiene by meditating and relaxing. This is similar to the principle of Pratyahara Yoga as written about by yoga guru Patanjali in The Eight Limbs of Yoga. 

The overall hygiene of the mind has a significant effect on how mentally strong we are. By taking steps to reduce negatives, increase positives, and clean the mind, we can improve our mental strength.

8:  Stop letting overthinking get you down

It’s true that if we were not able to think, humanity would not have survived. But it is also true that the average person experiences more thoughts than the mind can handle.

Consider these facts:

facts about thoughts
facts about thoughts

Put simply; we need to stop overthinking. This is one of the most important ways to be a mentally strong person.

9. Reprioritize your focus

One of the main traits of positive people is that they have a good attitude towards money. 

I used to believe that experiential living was what truly mattered. I was half right. Science has proven that we need to balance money and “stuff” with experience according to research from Ryan T Howell at San Francisco State University.

10. Don’t give in to social pressure

Fact: we are destroying each other by placing too much pressure on one another. Social pressure is a significant cause of mental health problems according to research from CAMH.

The constant stress and pressure we put on one another can have a seriously detrimental effect on mental health. It can rob us of our mental strength and leave us broken. That’s why we need to take steps to overcome social pressure. Oh, and by the way, if you’re wondering how to be mentally strong and happy as a teen, this tip is especially important.

11. Develop Mental Fortitude

Mental fortitude is personal resilience and toughness that is vital to success in life and vital to the health of the mind.

One of the main ways we lose mental strength is through external pressure. Your husband / wife / boss / friends put pressure on you. You are told to do things you don’t want to do. You give in to other people’s demands. And it all affects the way you feel about yourself and your inner strength.

When we have mental fortitude, we don’t bow down to people. We stick to our guns. We live with integrity. We are true to ourselves. And this makes us feel good about ourselves.

Mental fortitude helps us to keep our inner strength. It is a psychic shield around us.

12. Start building your courage

According to GoodTherapy, courage is the ability to face adversity in life, the strength to face fear and to overcome challenges.

Courage is vital for both building mental strength and keeping it. When we act in courageous ways, we diminish the effect of fear, and we build self-confidence. Suddenly we feel stronger than before.

Plus, courage also helps us overcome stress.  Problems cause us to feel stressed. To stop the stress, we need to stop the problem. And to stop the problem we have to face it, which requires courage. So when we are courageous, we overcome stress quickly, and this stops stress from affecting our mental health.

Summary

Your mind is incredible. It’s a powerhouse that is capable of achieving the unimaginable. In this guide we have look at how to be mentally strong and happy.  Next, why not read my article on exploring your own mind

5 keys to mental strength

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Written by Paul Harrison

Paul Harrison is a qualified meditation teacher and writer with more than 15 years experience in meditation and mindfulness. He studied meditation in Oxford, UK, and Hamilton Ontario Canada, and earned his degree at Staffordshire University. Paul has helped thousands of people to discover their true potential through mindfulness, yoga and meditation.