7 signs someone is mentally tough, according to psychology

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We know those people who seem to weather any storm with grace. They’re the ones who remain calm in crisis, keep their cool when everyone else is losing theirs, and somehow manage to come out on top.

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Sounds like someone who’s mentally tough

Let’s get one thing straight.

Being mentally tough doesn’t mean you’re emotionless or robotic. It’s about resilience, adaptability, and navigating through life’s ups and downs with a clear perspective.

And most importantly, it’s how you understand yourself, your strengths, weaknesses, and limits.

We will dive into seven signs of mental toughness that you can cultivate with time and practice.

Read also: How to help a child with anger issues 

1) They have a high level of emotional intelligence

Let’s start with emotional intelligence, or EQ, as it’s often abbreviated.

You might be thinking: “Wait, I thought being mentally tough was about keeping emotions in check?”

Well, not quite.

Mental toughness is not about suppressing emotions but understanding and managing them. This is where a high EQ comes into play.

Mentally tough people are often highly emotionally intelligent. They can identify and understand their own emotions as well as the emotions of others. Emotional upheavals do not throw them off balance; they navigate them with understanding and tact.

The ability to manage emotions means they can keep their cool under pressure, make thoughtful decisions rather than impulsive ones, and maintain a positive outlook even in the face of adversity.

So, having a high EQ isn’t just about being in touch with your feelings – it’s a key component of mental toughness.

2) They embrace change

Change is a part of life. We all know it, but embracing it? That’s a different story.

Here’s a little something from my own life.

A few years back, I was comfortably settled in a job I loved. Then, out of the blue, I was offered an opportunity that would mean moving to a new city and stepping out of my comfort zone.

Initially, I was terrified. Change meant uncertainty, and uncertainty was scary. But then, I decided to see this as an opportunity for growth rather than a threat to my comfort.

That’s what mentally tough people do.

They don’t just passively accept change – they actively embrace it. They see it as an opportunity for growth and learning. Even when the change is challenging, they can pivot and adapt.

So remember, being open to change is about diving headfirst into the waves and coming out stronger on the other side.

3) They aren’t afraid to say no

It’s a sunny Saturday, and I’ve been putting off many personal tasks. Out of the blue, a friend asks if I can help them move house. It’s an all-day job; I know it’ll mean putting off my tasks.

In the past, I would have instantly said yes, dropping everything to help out, even if it left me scrambling later on. But over time, I learned a valuable lesson – the power of saying no.

This is a crucial trait of mental toughness.

Mentally tough people comprehend their boundaries and aren’t afraid to uphold them.

Saying no when necessary means you’re not overextending yourself or compromising your well-being for others. This ability to set boundaries shows you understand your limits and value your self-care – both crucial aspects of mental toughness.

Next time you’re asked to do something that might infringe on your boundaries or time, remember – it’s okay to say no.

4) They focus on what they can control

Life can be unpredictable. Things sometimes go differently than planned, and circumstances are beyond our control.

Mentally tough individuals understand this. They don’t waste their energy worrying about things they can’t influence. Instead, they focus on what they can control – their actions, responses, and attitudes.

Whether it’s a change in the workplace, a personal setback, or a global crisis, they know that stressing over the uncontrollable won’t get them anywhere. They accept the situation and concentrate on navigating it the best way they can.

This mindset reduces anxiety and empowers them to take action where it counts.

Take a step back and refocus on what you can control if you get worked up over things beyond your reach. You’ll find it’s a much more effective use of your energy.

5) They practice mindfulness

Have you ever caught yourself lost in a whirlwind of thoughts, replaying past mistakes or fretting about the future? We’ve all been there.

But here’s something you might need to learn.

Those who practice mindfulness – fully present and engaged in the current moment – tend to be more mentally tough.

Why? Because mindfulness encourages us to accept our current situation without judgment or resistance. It helps us stay focused, reduces stress, and promotes mental clarity – essential for mental toughness.

Mentally tough people often practice mindfulness, whether it’s through meditation, yoga, or simple breathing exercises. They understand the benefits of staying present and not letting their mind wander off into unproductive thought patterns.

It could be as simple as focusing on your breath or the sensations in your body. It’s a game-changer.

Read also: 10 fundamentals for a successful business

6) They see failure as a stepping stone

I remember vividly a time when I was working on a big project. I put in weeks of effort, late nights, and even sacrificed some personal time. The day of the presentation came, and to my utter disbelief, it was not received well. Failure hit me hard.

But here’s the thing.

Instead of letting this setback crush me, I saw it as an opportunity. I asked for feedback, analyzed where things went wrong, and planned to improve for the next time.

That’s something mentally tough people do.

They don’t see failure as a dead-end but as a stepping stone towards success. They comprehend that everyone fails at some point and that these failures are opportunities for learning and growth.

Failure doesn’t scare them or deter them from trying again. Instead, they use it as fuel to push harder and do better.

Don’t fear failure. Embrace, learn from, and let it guide you towards your goals.

7) They maintain a positive outlook

Life is full of ups and downs. There are times when things go smoothly, and then there are days when it feels like everything is going wrong.

In the face of adversity, mentally tough people have an unwavering ability to stay positive. They don’t deny the harsh realities or hardships but focus on the positives and maintain an optimistic perspective.

This positive outlook helps them keep their spirits high, instills hope, and drives them to keep pushing forward despite their challenges.

A positive attitude coupled with mental resilience can turn even the most challenging situations into opportunities for growth and success.

Try to cultivate a positive mindset. After all, our attitude is something we can control, and it can make all the difference.

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The final thought

If you identify with these signs, then you’re likely on the path of mental toughness.

It’s a journey of self-discovery and growth. It requires practice, patience, and persistence.

Take note of your responses in challenging situations. Reflect on your mindset when faced with change or failure. Pay attention to how you manage your emotions and how mindful you are in your daily life.

Then ask yourself – how can I improve? How can I grow stronger? What can I learn from this?

Every setback is a setup for an even more remarkable comeback. Every failure is a lesson learned. Every challenge is an opportunity to grow stronger.

Celebrate your wins, no matter how small.

Embrace the journey, and keep moving forward. You’ve got this!

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Contributed By y Ava Sinclair

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