Self

The Simple Rule Mentally Strong People Follow

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Strong woman demonstrating her muscles and pointing to herself

Everyone wants to be mentally tough, but all of us know how to sharpen our minds and become the person we've always wanted to be.

Psychiatrist Daniel G. Amen recently shared a trick that mentally strong person know and follow, even if they don't know they're doing so.

   

   

The Simple Rule Mentally Strong People Follow

Amen explains that mentally strong people go by the "rule of twelve," meaning that they mentally prepare themselves for the fact that twelve things are likely to go wrong at any given time, and therefore won't allow themselves to get upset until they encounter a thirteenth.

If you're going on your honeymoon, for example, a mentally strong person can assume that twelve things will go wrong during this time frame. The goal is to prepare for these mishaps and take them in stride.

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According to retired senior therapist Dr. Sheri Jacobson, when we accept these negative experiences we are less likely to have mental health issues down the road. This can be particularly beneficial for people under high-stress.

It's important to understand that negative experiences are bound to happen. Life isn't always sunshine and rainbows, and you will encounter problems you would have preferred to avoid at some point.

Learning to brave the storm and remain positive will help you stay strong as you get through the other side. And as psychologist Rachel Chang says, “Trying to change reality is a battle you’re guaranteed to lose.”

Chang continues that when we accept mishaps, we can bring peace into these situations.

Don't get me wrong — feeling disappointed or angry is normal. Learning to manage our emotions is crucial to becoming a more resilient person.

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How To Manage Frustration

It's normal to get a bit frustrated when things don't go as expected. However, knowing how to handle this is crucial for building our mental resilience.

Mental Health America suggests taking a deep breath when you're feeling frustrated.

Incorporate the 4-7-8 rule into your routine where you breathe in for four seconds, hold your breath for seven, and breathe out for eight.

   

   

Next, try carrying a small journal with you.

Whenever you feel frustrated, take out your journal and write out your thoughts. Doing this can help you process the situation better and clear your mind. If you can step outside when your emotions get the best of you, says Mental Health America. Stepping outside can help ground you back to reality.

Another method is to listen to upbeat or calming music.

This can help lift your spirits and shift you into a calmer or happier state of mind.

Finally, be sure to reorganize yourself.

Mental Health America writes, “Take ten minutes to clean, plan, or otherwise streamline something in your life.”

Reorganizing ourselves helps us get rid of our frustration and pour our energy into something that significantly changes the situation.

By knowing that things are going to go wrong, we can better prepare for the frustration that's bound to come our way, teaching us how to enjoy life more even when things don't go as planned.

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Marielisa Reyes is a writer with a bachelor's degree in psychology who covers self-help, relationships, career, and family topics.