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10 Simple Exercises to Help Build Your Mental Toughness

0 2 years ago

Mental toughness is always important. But it’s not a stretch to say that everyone could stand to have a bit more of it these days. Mental toughness helps ensure that we don’t fly off the handle when things don’t go our way, that we don’t shy away from physically and emotionally challenging situations, or that we don’t continue to escape into behaviors because we can’t handle facing our emotions. In short, it’s the ability to endure difficult situations — like the one we’re all facing right now — and there are plenty of exercises to do to strengthen it, both for yourself and your family.

“Increasing mental toughness is possible by doing resilience training,” says Jenny Arrington, a yoga teacher and co-founder of the health and wellness organization Rebel Human Resilience is the capacity to bounce back from stress and adversity. It is marked by grit, high tolerance for uncertainty, and the ability to choose courage over comfort. “It is a protective factor and is positively related to many well-being dimensions, including positive affect, optimism, life satisfaction, and physical health.”

In the military, new soldiers develop mental toughness through suffering. “We’d be in frozen lakes of water, stay outdoors getting drenched — there are some pretty interesting ways the military breaks down the individual,” says Thierry Chiapello, a former Marine who teaches yoga to veterans. “We had to figure out how to deal with uncomfortable situations that were foisted upon us by drill instructors.” But there’s an array of mental toughness exercises to do that don’t require attending bootcamp.


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