Hey people!

Just scrolling through Instagram or Facebook feed makes me sick sometimes. Things always appear perfect in the virtual world. Perfect smile, perfect body, perfect job, perfect kids AND perfect life!  Wow!
 
However, if you take a sneak peek into the life of people around it, almost all of us are dealing with issues we have to face on daily basis.
For few of us, it’s facing the same rude boss everyday while for same it’s staying in a loveless marriage. We crib over the pity, little things, and spend our energy in everything which doesn’t help. Though in those hundred’s of faces we meet everyday, very few of them inspire us to live better. 
 

We categorize them as ‘MENTALLY STRONG’ people. 

Ever wonder what make them mentally strong? Till the time life is good to us, we imagine life always moves in upward direction, but as soon as we suffer a set back, we stop. Things are same for ‘mentally strong’ people too. If you ask, their life was a fairy tale too till the time it was going in upward direction, but then suddenly things changed.
Did things change for better?

 

Ummmm…That is something they aren’t sure of, but here is something they are sure of, and that’s the faith that ‘Tough times do not last, but tough people do.’

I once met a young girl in my Yoga class who had recently lost both her arms in an accident. Every other day she would come to the Yoga class, and would giver her best in those few hours. Watching her do the postures was a visual treat.  She looked divine. I am sure she too would have hard days, she too would have faced ups and downs in her day to day life, but she was there, standing strong, standing tall. I got to talk to her many times though formally, and she was charismatic. Her words were stronger than the wind, her eyes were calmer than the sea, and her voice was heavier than the rocks.

 

If you ask me how she was different from others or if I rephrase it, how mentally strong people are different from others, here are few things I observed.

  • They don’t feel sorry for themselves.:- My every conversation with that girl, and she appeared to be like you, like me, like everyone else. Even when she talked about her accident, she appeared to be cool about it. Not that she was trying to force positivity in what happened, but she never sounded sorry for her stories. I never saw her getting indulged in ‘Self pity party’. And that’s what mentally strong people do! We all experience pain and sorrows in life. However, most of the times we tend to think that our problems are worse than anyone. We get into the zone of complaining about how bad things are! But here is the thing my friend. It takes energy. It fills you with all the negative emotions which overrun your plan to move ahead. It leads to more negativity and finally consumes you. You don’t even realize that you have started enjoying it. On the other side, mentally strong people don’t look for sympathy. They look for solutions. Like in the case of my Yoga friend, instead of sitting idle and taking about how bad things had been, she decided to do something to make things better. She accepted her ‘new normal.’ 
  • They don’t focus of things they can’t control:- Couple of days ago, I was in subway for an appointment. After a while, subway got stuck for 20 minutes at one place. Initially, I tried to cool myself down. After all, there are thousands of ways I am trying to improve myself! But after a while, I was done! I wanted to vent out and therefore, called my friend and abused the subway service. There was a lady sitting next to me who was reading a book. I said to her, ‘This Subway sucks.’ She just smiled looking at me, and got engrossed in the book again. Funny, eh? Most of the times it’s good to accept that you can not control everything though it feels safe to do so! We try to change our lives and circumstances to fit our needs, and when something doesn’t happen as per our wish, it increases our anxiety. One of the traits of mentally strong people is that they never focus of things they can’t control. They devote their energy in something which adds value. Here is something I read somewhere I am trying to implement: when ever I feel I need to control something, i ask myself, ‘What am I so afraid of?’ It helps me to see the reality and practice acceptance.
  • They don’t worry about pleasing everyone:- People pleasers are everywhere. Or I would say each one of us have this trait of pleasing people every now and then. And there are times we need it! If you are into a business, and you want to please your customers by providing a good deal on your products, nothing wrong in that! But, a person who turns to to be a people pleaser every time, tends to loose respect. It damages relationships because the relationship lacks defined boundaries. Of all the things I am sure of, here is something worth mentioning: It’s impossible to make everyone around you happy, and in the process of doing so you loose yourself as well as the relationships. Mentally strong people understand this. They prioritize their values. So, suppose my values include my husband, and my extended family, AND if I have to make a choice between going out or spending time with my husband, I will choose the later. Just because my values are clear. I won’t indulge myself into feeling bad of not going along my friends and spending time in which choice to make.  So, here is something which might help: Define your values, and stick to it!

Not everyone is born as a mentally strong person, quite the opposite I feel that most of us are vulnerable. However, time and situation makes us better in handling whatever comes. We all possess some degree of mental strength, but there is always a room for improvement. If you ask me what ‘Mental Strength’ means I would just show you the picture of my yoga friend. The confidence ‘to handle everything’ shines on her face. She expresses, she cries, but then she gets up!

Isn’t it something which matters the most at the end?

Love and strength always,

Ankita

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