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7 Daily Habits to Build Mental Strength

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7 Daily Habits to Build Mental Strength

As a society, when we think of strength, we tend to think of physical strength. This is because we can see tangible ways to build physical strength. You go to the gym, you lift weights, you push yourself, etc. But, mental strength is just as important (if not more important) than its physical counterpart.

Unfortunately, mental strength doesn’t always get the same kind of attention as physical strength because many people are not aware of how to build upon it. After all, you can’t “mentally” lift weights – or can you? There are actually plenty of things you can do each day to build mental strength and make your mind stronger and fitter. Most of them are simple habits that can easily become a part of your daily routine.

Let’s look at seven of these habits so that you can start implementing them into your life. The sooner you do, the sooner you can start giving your mental strength a boost to feel better than ever.

1. Focus on the Present

The practice of mindfulness is gaining a lot of attention lately. But, it is more than just a buzzword. We live in a world where people think multitasking is the best way to feel accomplished and get everything done. But, more often than not, this can make you feel scattered and overwhelmed, and even more stressed. Instead of focusing on several different tasks at once, focus on completing each task individually. Give all of your attention to one thing, and if you start to feel overwhelmed, focus solely on your breathing and your surroundings.

2. Get Moving

Mental and physical health are actually heavily-connected. Regular exercise helps to reduce stress and boosts levels of serotonin in your brain. It also normalizes the levels of neurotransmitters in your brain, which can help you feel focused and mentally-healthy. By exercising for 30 minutes each day (even if it’s taking a walk around your neighborhood), you are doing more than just keeping yourself physically fit. You are improving your mental fitness and focus, too.

3. Practice Self-Care

Self-care is another popular term, but it has gained popularity for a good reason. It is easy to feel overwhelmed and stressed when you are working long hours while also trying to find a work/life balance, managing relationships, etc. If your focus is on everyone else and everything else in your life, you are not going to be able to give yourself the care and attention that you need and deserve. Unfortunately, this can cause you to burn out quickly.

Not only can a lack of self-care lead to exhaustion and fatigue, but it can also lead to mental health issues like anxiety or depression. Take the time to do things you enjoy every day, whether it is going to a movie by yourself, writing in your journal, getting a massage, or even reading a good book. Everyone practices self-care differently. It is about finding the things that fill you up in a world that is constantly asking for more of you.

4. Set Limits 

Do you find yourself saying “yes” to everything? Maybe you feel guilty saying no, or you think doing more will make you feel more productive. Unfortunately, stretching yourself too thin will only cause you to burn out and feel more stressed.

Set limits for yourself each day. You can get very specific in choosing what you do and don’t agree to, or you can take a more casual approach depending on how you are feeling at any given time. The bottom line, though, is to avoid overloading your days with so much that you cannot take time for yourself. Remember, self-care is essential. Make sure that you are setting yourself realistic limits so you actually have time to do what you have to do.

5. Ask for Help 

Sometimes, despite your best efforts, you might still find yourself feeling overwhelmed or stressed out. This depletes your mental strength and can cause you to lose focus. So, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Asking for assistance is not a sign of weakness and it does not mean you are not doing everything you are supposed to be doing. We are put here to help others and also receive help when it is needed. If everyone solely relied on their own strength (physical and mental), there would be no great collaborative ideas, and we would all suffer as a result.

6. Believe in Yourself 

Every morning when you wake up, choose to believe in yourself. It can be a hard habit to get into at first, especially if you are naturally a self-doubter or you have to fight negative self-talk. People will say positive and negative things about you throughout your life. None of that matters. What does matter is that you believe in the positive things about yourself. Look in the mirror and be firm in your convictions. When you do that, you will feel better and also be able to achieve the things you truly desire each day.

7. Take Accountability

Some of the biggest success stories in the world were born out of tremendous failure. People like Walt Disney, Steve Jobs, and Oprah all had to overcome great losses and failures before they found success. But, what really sets people like these apart is that they didn’t run away from their failures or struggles. They acknowledged and accepted them, and worked on getting better. It is important to take accountability and responsibility for your actions. While it might seem easier to blame others when something goes wrong, being accountable will not only improve your mental toughness, but it will push you to learn and grow every single day.

These simple habits can serve as a mental health “fitness regimen” every single day. It can take some time and effort to make these changes a part of your daily routine. But, once you do, you will enjoy being in the best mental shape of your life.

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6 Signs Of A Strong Friendship

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6 Signs Of A Strong Friendship

There is nothing quite like a strong friendship. Having someone that you can truly count on for anything and everything can completely change the way you think and feel. Unfortunately, far too often in today’s society, we seem to focus more on how many friends we have.

Or, worse, how many acquaintances we can keep in touch with via social media. But, having a true, strong friendship is something that cannot be replaced or replicated with lukewarm substitutes.

Are you already thinking about someone in your life who fits that description? Or, are you wondering if you truly have a strong friendship with one (or more) of the people who are closest to you?

While every friendly relationship is different and unique, there are some common factors associated with a strong bond and true friendship. Let’s take a look at a few of them so you can feel even more confident in your close friendships, and grow even deeper with the people in your life who truly matter.

1. Communication is Always a Priority

It is easy to talk to your friends when everything in your life is on track. Sharing laughs, light conversation, and exchanging stories are all important parts of a healthy friendship.

But, a strong friendship goes deeper. It allows you to communicate with that person, no matter what.  That includes telling them about your struggles or anything you might be going through. It also includes communicating effectively when you are not getting along.

Through proper communication, especially when things are hard, you will build trust within that relationship. Going through difficult things together will make you stronger individuals, and stronger friends.

2. You Know You Are Equals

Almost everyone has known at least one person in their lives who seems to think they’re “better” than everyone else.

Strong friendships need to be based on equality. You and your friend should always be on the same playing field when it comes to who you are and how you are living your life. If you embrace your differences and do not see one as superior, you can take comfort in knowing your friendship is sincere.

3. Respect

Even the best of friends clash from time to time. You might have similar personalities, but no two people are exactly alike.

But, if you can still show your friend respect (and receive it from them) even in times of turmoil, your friendship will be stronger than any disagreement you might have. When someone chooses to respect you even when they are upset with you, it shows that they value your relationship more than their pride.

4. You Can Be Yourself

Do you ever feel like you have to put on a show for other people? Or, are you afraid to let your true personality shine through when you are in certain crowds?

A strong friendship is one that allows you to be yourself. If there is someone in your life who truly likes you for who you are, hold onto that friendship tightly! Most people spend far too much time pretending, whether it’s online or in-person. Someone who loves your quirks and uniqueness is someone who loves you, as a person.

Honesty is also a huge part of being yourself, and a huge part of a strong friendship. Friendships should be based on trust, and that starts with being honest. Telling the truth about how you feel and what you think is important. If your friend actively listens, appreciates, and comments on that truth, you can take comfort in knowing how secure your relationship is.

5. You Experience Joy

While a true friend should be there for you during hard times, the bulk of your relationship should be joyful and fun! Again, think about that person in your life who makes you smile. Is there someone who you are always happy to be around? Does thinking about your friendship cause your heart to race?

Strong friendships should absolutely be joyful. You should find yourself laughing a lot, and being completely at ease with one another. That person may be the first one you think of when you want to experience something new or go somewhere different, just because you know that you will have more fun with them around.

6. You Respect Boundaries

No matter how great your friendship is, no two people can be together 24/7. A great friend will understand that and respect your boundaries. Alternatively, they might be going through something that they are not ready to talk about. If you can respect those boundaries, it shows them how much faith you have in your friendship.

Many people are too quick to think the term “boundaries” as being negative. But, boundaries are completely healthy and necessary in a strong relationship of any kind. Having someone in your life who respects those boundaries understands what it takes to build upon that strength. 

Having a strong friendship – even just one – can add so much to your life. Take a look at your current friendships. Is there one that stands out to you with these characteristics? If so, do what you can to continue to build and grow that strength, and make sure that friend knows how important they are to you on a regular basis.

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6 Things To Remember When You Think That You’re Not Good Enough

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6 Things To Remember When You Think That You’re Not Good Enough

Have you ever had moments where you feel completely inadequate? Maybe a specific situation comes up and you think there is no way that you would ever be good enough to do what is needed. Or, maybe you feel that way all the time and you can’t seem to get past it.

Thinking that you are not good enough and having low self-esteem tend to go hand-in-hand, but they are slightly different.

Thankfully, you can work on both of them by changing your thinking habits and banishing some of that negative self-talk from your mindset. Whether you think you are not good enough in certain situations or you have a hard time believing that you are good enough for almost anything, it doesn’t have to be that way forever.

Let’s look at a few things you should always keep in mind when those thoughts come in, and how you can start to convince yourself of your true worth.

1. You Are Not Alone

Thinking that you are not good enough can cause a lonely existence. You might not want to put your burdens on others, so you don’t talk about it. You might also think that everyone else is perfectly happy with who they are, and are confident in everything that they do.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

The reality is, you never know what other people are fully thinking/feeling. What you can count on, though, is that there are so many others who feel just like you, and are constantly wondering if they are “enough”. Knowing that you are not alone can help you to work through your feelings without feeling so isolated.

2. You Have Your Own Skills

A common reason why people tend to think they are not good enough is because they don’t have a specific talent or skill that someone else has. But you probably have something that person doesn’t, too.

Everyone has their own abilities and things that make them unique. Instead of focusing on what you don’t have, keep your mind on your talents and what makes you special.

“If you want to make a permanent change, stop focusing on the size of your problems and start focusing on the size of you!” – T. Harv Eker

3. You Can’t Be Perfect

Perfection is a fruitless thing to chase. Many people who question their self-worth do so because they are perfectionists.

But, if you set such a high standard for yourself, you will always be disappointed. Perfection doesn’t exist, and while you can strive to be your best, it is important to understand human error and limits. That doesn’t mean the things you do are some how “less” than great. But, striving for perfection is something that can make you feel inadequate.

4. You Are Worthy of Loving Yourself

Love tends to be the answer for so many things, including any pain or turmoil that you might be going through. Thinking that you are not good enough is an easy way to cause yourself sadness and pain. Those thoughts can quickly snowball and you might start to think about more negative things about yourself.

Instead of fueling those negative thoughts, choose love. Love is like a permanent band-aid for the pain that you are going through. It is a great way to comfort yourself, provide reassurance, and get a clearer picture of who you really are and all of the wonderful things that you can offer the world. By choosing self-love, you can start to see yourself in a more positive light, and push those negative thoughts away.

“We must fall in love with ourselves. I don’t like myself. I’m crazy about myself.” – Mae West

5. Mistakes Can Be a Good Thing

Do you ever find yourself feeling especially inadequate when you “fail”? While that is not uncommon, that word should really be removed from your vocabulary.

Everyone “fails” at times, because again, perfection is not attainable. When you start to consider anything less than perfection to be a failure, it is easy to beat yourself up and think that you will never amount to the things that you truly want.

But, when you start to view your failures and mistakes as good things and stepping stones, you can completely shift your perspective and realize that not only are you good enough, but you are also resilient and strong. Some of the biggest “failures” in history went on to be the most successful people because they learned from their mistakes. They looked at the things that went wrong and considered how they could change them.

It is important to use your mistakes as a way to learn and grow. When you are able to do that, you will find a greater sense of fulfillment when things finally come together and you get it “right”.

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordon

6. Gratitude Goes a Long Way

It might not always feel easy to accept and be grateful for who you are. But, it is incredibly important. Instead of thinking about the things you don’t have or areas where you are not “good enough”, choose to actively think about and pursue the positive. Focus on what you are grateful for. The more that you do that, the easier it will be to banish those thoughts of doubt and insecurity. I like to start every day by using my journal and begin by writing down three things that I am grateful for.

“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” — Melody Beattie

Once you really start to think about it, you will find that you have more to be grateful for than you may have initially realized, and that way of thinking can help you to establish healthier, more positive thoughts about yourself that will last a lifetime.

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50 Thought Provoking Existential Questions

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50 Thought Provoking Existential Questions

What are existential questions?

Existential questions are usually deep, philosophical questions that question just that — our very existence.

They can be great conversation starters and they can also sometimes make for a passionate discussion. The following existential questions can be a great way to get to know someone better and perhaps even learn new things about yourself.

The word existential comes from the Latin word “existentia”, which means to exist. Existential questions challenge our way of thinking, our beliefs and our perspective.

Is there a right or wrong answer to an existential question? Perhaps not, as each question usually just asks more questions.

I have put together the following list of thought provoking existential questions so that you can perhaps start an internal conversation with yourself or start an interesting debate with your friends.

50 Thought Provoking Existential Questions

 

1. Are there limits to human creativity?

2. What makes something beautiful?

3. How do we know if we’re doing the right thing?

4. Who am I?

5. What is one thing that every human should get to experience in their life?

6. Do you believe in a power greater than humanity?

7. Are we given enough time?

8. Is privacy a right?

9. What is the best way for a person to attain happiness?

10. Are we alone in the universe?

11. What is love?

12. How would you define genius?

13. What do you think your purpose is?

14. If babies are considered innocent, when do people cease to be innocent?

15. Is it better to expand your knowledge or to deepen it?

16. Why do you think we are here?

17. How important is ‘play’ in living a healthy and fulfilling life?

18. Do you have a right to be happy, or should you earn it?

19. What happens when I die?

20. What worries me the most about the future?

21. What is a person? Is it the mind, or the body?

22. Would the world be a better place if all leaders were women? If you answered yes, why?

23. What activity have I done that has made me feel the most alive?

24. Does truth exist without evidence?

25. If I had to instill one piece of advice in a newborn baby’s mind, what advice would I give?

26. Does a person have a soul? If so, where is it?

27. Is intelligence or wisdom more useful?

28. Is it more important to love or be loved?

29. What would make the world a better place?

30. How should we measure our lives? In years? In moments? In accomplishments? Something else?

31. What is the difference between living and simply existing?

32. If you died today, would you be satisfied with the life you’ve lived?

33. What advice would you tell your younger self?

34. Which is worse: failing or never trying?

35. Is a minimum wage a good idea? What about a maximum wage?

36. What is the most important goal every person should have?

37. Can anything ever really be considered ‘true’ or is everything subjective?

38. Is the world a better place with humans in it?

39. If extra-terrestrial life was discovered, how do you think humanity would react?

40. Is happiness just a mixture of chemicals circulating through our bodies?

41. Where do you think we go when we die?

42. Have I done anything lately worth remembering?

43. Can you ever have full control over your own life?

44. How do you know that you are not dreaming right now?

45. Is one lifetime enough?

46. What matters most in my life?

47. Is a person ever truly evil? If so, are they born that way?

48. What is the meaning of life?

49. Is humanity going in the right or wrong direction?

50. What does it mean to live a good life?

I hope that you enjoyed these thought provoking existential questions. I hope that they perhaps made you think about your beliefs, yourself and the world around you (the bigger picture). If you discuss these questions with a friend, remember, there is probably no right and wrong answers, usually just a matter of opinion.

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