Are you strong enough?
Being strong is always attributed to the physical strength a person has, but what about when the person who is physically strong isn’t mentally or emotionally the same?
Being mentally strong and emotionally independent is still underrated and so many people are still unaware of how important it is to be stable, both mentally and emotionally. It is strange how we can feel it in our chest and stomach when our feelings are actually hurt.
Here we are to discuss how we can strengthen our minds, be self independent and live a stress free life.
Even though the brain is an organ, rather than a muscle, you can still give your brain a workout. Just as with a muscle, repetitive tasks can dull or even damage your mental acuity, while new challenges and activities can strengthen your brain and even make you measurably smarter. Get ready for your workout!
Exploit your weakness:
This first challenge will seem counterintuitive, but there’s good science to support it. If you’re a morning person who's most productive and alert early in the day, try tackling a creative task late at night, and vice versa for you night owls. You’ll discover that this stress on your brain—asking it to work hard at a time when you usually don’t—can yield surprisingly good results. It works best for creative tasks, rather than analytic tasks, and you’ll be surprised at what you can accomplish when you work at what isn’t your typically optimum time.
Read books that push your boundaries:
It’s okay to take small steps on this one, but reading is one of the best things you can do for your brain. Maybe you just commit to turn off the TV (which is much more passive than reading) and pick up a book—any book—once in a while. Perhaps you branch out from your usual style of book. The point is to read something that’s different from your usual fare because if you broaden your reading horizons, you’re getting smarter. Swap your usual sci-fi for history occasionally, or trade your fluff for a classic from time to time. The point is to get out of your reading rut.
Mnemonics work, and they also help to stretch your brain to create and use new associations. Working on remembering the names of people you’ve just met, for example, can include associating their name with their profession or their interests. Andrew the architect or Louise the lawyer forces your brain to work just a bit harder and results in you not fumbling for that name when you need to make an introduction—win-win!
People who possess emotional independence are able to cultivate a sense of happiness and peace despite what may be happening in their lives and relationships. This is not to say that they are never affected by things that happen outside of them, but they still have a sense of who they are and can fulfill their own needs internally.
Mindfulness is the act of paying attention to the present moment. It's the awareness of what is happening inside of you ; thoughts, feelings, sensations and outside of you; situations and other external factors without judging them as good or bad. Practising mindfulness can help you build emotional independence because it can help you increase your awareness around your reactions and responses when things don't happen as planned.
We cannot heal what we are not aware of. Therefore, mindfulness can help us increase awareness around the patterns of behaviors and thoughts that maintain emotional dependence.
Rewire your thinking:
Write down the thoughts and beliefs that keep you emotionally dependent. For example, "I need other people to feel good about me so that I can feel better" or "I need things to go my way so I can feel in control of my life." When you come across these kinds of thoughts which are also known as automatic negative thoughts, practice replacing them with something neutral and adaptive such as "I can handle difficult feelings that come up" or "I am capable of feeling OK with myself despite how someone else may feel about me." Being able to replace the automatic negative thoughts with alternative, adaptive statements can help you with rewiring your thinking.
Oftentimes, emotional dependence intertwines with being a people-pleaser. This looks like shrinking yourself and shifting your boundaries in order to accommodate someone else. Self-validation is helpful in giving space to your feelings. If you struggle with self-validation, the next time you are seeking validation from someone else, ask yourself, "What is it that I would like to hear from this person?" Then practice saying those words to yourself.
Practice letting go:
Emotional dependence is when we feel like we can't be OK unless someone else is OK with us. Practicing letting go means releasing the need to control how other people feel about us so that we can be OK with ourselves. By learning to let go of these expectations, we are also taking responsibility for our feelings without making another person responsible for them. This is a true form of acceptance where we can acknowledge that other people are entitled to their own feelings toward us, but this doesn't change the core of who we are and how we feel about ourselves.
Just as strength training will help ensure that your body remains strong, building your mental and emotional strength will help you get through the current crises and fortify you to face the future.