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How to Get Mentally Strong: 17 Traits of Mentally Strong People

Rachel Sharpe

Mentally strong people can handle anything life throws their way. It’s not because they’ve been born with superpowers that the rest of us lack. They simply take a set of actions that helps get them in the right mindset. To get mentally strong, you need a bit of self-control, gratitude, meditation, and a few of the right habits. In this article, we’ll share how to get mentally strong by highlighting a few of the traits of mentally strong people. So, let’s dive in.

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How to Get Mentally Strong: 17 Traits of Mentally Strong People

#1. They Don’t Let Their Thoughts Run Wild

A mentally strong person knows how to control their thoughts. Instead of letting them run wild, they observe their thoughts and watch them pass. They understand that their thoughts are not who they are. Instead, it’s the actions they take that form who they are. Mentally strong people will call out their thoughts on certain behaviors. For example, if their thoughts act like it’s doomsday, they’ll say “thoughts, you’re catastrophizing again, please stop.” By naming the activity their thoughts are doing, they gain more control. Thus, they get mentally stronger. 

#2. They Don’t Try to Control Everything

Mentally strong people don’t try to control everything. They’re fully aware that sometimes life happens and there’s no way around it. Loved ones die unexpectedly. Sometimes, we get laid off from work. Other times, illnesses take over our good health. All we can do is live in the present moment. Cherish loved ones while we’re here. Take action to take care of our health while we have it. And control the things that are within control. And really take ownership of those things. To get mentally strong, you need to let go of things you can’t control and really take action of the things you can control. 

Man smiling as he walks down the street showing he is mentally strong

#3. They Speak Positively to Themselves

To get mentally strong, you’ll need to speak positively to yourself. Say goodbye to beating yourself up for every little mistake. You can’t ever blurt out “I suck at this” or “I can’t do this.” Because you don’t suck and you can do anything, even if it requires just a bit of extra patience. Speaking positively to yourself sometimes does require you to be patient with yourself. Sometimes you will experience challenges. And that’s when positive self-talk becomes so important. If you’re brain is always critical and speaking negatively to itself, how can you overcome that. Don’t be your own worst enemy. Become your number one cheerleader instead. 

#4. They’re Grateful for All They Have

Mentally strong people regularly practice gratitude. Some keep journals where they write down all the things they’re grateful for. Others create lists of all the things they have in their life so they constantly remember all the good things they have. Some may express gratitude when they communicate with others. They might tell a friend that they’re grateful to have that person in their life. 

#5. They Meditate

Those who want to get mentally strong will be able to with some simple meditation. Practicing for as little as 10 or 20 minutes each day can help give you a sense of clarity that’ll allow you to approach decisions and conversations much easier. It can help rewire your brain too. Scientists have found that those who practice meditation regularly have different brains than those who don’t. These brain changes can be very positive for your mental health. It can help lower your stress levels, reduce brain diseases, and much more. You can find some of the benefits of meditation here. 

#6. They Live in the Present

Those who are mentally strong live in the present. You’ll be tempted to recycle past experiences in your brain or fear for the future. But those who are mentally strong focus on staying in the present. When their thoughts drift to either the past or future, they notice them but watch them pass. Living in the present allows you to focus on the experiences happening right now. Not only is that great for becoming mentally strong, it’s also a great way to live life. Don’t live your life in your head. Get out of it and experience the world you’re living in right now. 

#7. Look for the Good

Mentally strong people look for the good in all situations. In difficult times they might ask, “what can I do today to make tomorrow a little bit better?” They take baby steps. But they also look for baby highlights too. Maybe today was the worst day of your life. Maybe you lost someone you loved more than anything. Did any good happen today? Maybe it’s as simple as seeing your whole family come together to grieve with you. Maybe someone tried to say the right words to comfort you. It’s important to look for the good in bad situations. When you look at the world with a glass half empty, you become weak instead of strong. 

#8. Rewire Your Brain

Mentally strong people try to rewire their brains. There are a few ways to change your brain. The process is called neuroplasticity. You can do this by meditating, playing an instrument, exercising, reading, listening to music, sleeping, and more. Let’s be honest, this isn’t an easy thing to do. It’s actually really hard. If you’ve ever found it hard to break a habit, remember that the brain too gets a bit set in its way. If you recycle negative thoughts each day, it’s hard to tell the brain, “no, stop, I want to hear something positive.”

Woman laughing at herself

#9. They Laugh at Themselves

Sometimes things go epically wrong. But the one thing mentally strong people do differently is laugh at themselves instead of beating themselves down. It’s human to make mistakes. It’s human to get rejected. It’s human to be imperfect. And by letting go of all the pain and finding joy in being perfectly flawed, mentally strong people rise above. To get mentally strong, laughter can be helpful at building you back up when things don’t go your way.

#10. They Practice Self Care

Mentally strong people practice self care daily. It’s the little things they do each day that add up to build them into some of the strongest people ever. It can be as simple as eating healthy meals each day or dancing their negativity away. Even simple habits like showering with eucalyptus or using lavender scented soaps can help reduce those daily stresses. You’d be surprised to realize that mentally strong people tend to do several small self care practices each day that are easy to fit into their routine so that they stick with it long-term. Because let’s face it, if you don’t practice self-care, there’s literally no one on this planet who will do it for you. It’s all up to you to show yourself that kind of love. 

Mentally strong people practicing the habit of writing down goals

#11. They Set Goals

To get mentally strong, you’ll need to set goals for yourself. Often times, it’s the people who don’t set goals they want to accomplish who fall apart. You need to have a purpose each day. If you know who you want to be, what you want to accomplish, and the impact you want to have in the world, you’ll make sacrifices no one else would make. It’s determination, persistence, and motivation that helps shape you into a mentally strong person. Goals help you become laser-focused. When you know what you want out of life, you don’t crumble when a small obstacles comes in your way. You simply jump. 

#12. They Sleep

Mentally strong people ensure that they sleep their eight hours each night. They’re fully aware that in order to be in the best state of mind, their mind needs nightly rest. They don’t push themselves to go into overdrive. They don’t pull all-nighters to catch up on work or finish a project. Mentally strong people know that in order to perform at their best they need sleep. They know that to stay in control of their emotions, they need sleep. They know that in order to tackle life’s challenges, sleep is important. So, if you want to put yourself in the best mindset as possible, sleep isn’t for the weak. It’s for the strong.

Having trouble falling asleep at night? Try one of our free guided meditation practices for sleep. It will help you create the right conditions for sleep but relaxing your body and unwinding your mind of thoughts.

#13. They Exercise

Mentally strong people exercise daily. The physical exertion helps them release all the tension or stress from their body in a healthy way. Instead of bottling up all the tension, it all gets released through a run, dance, or other cardio or strength training exercises. Mentally strong people become mentally strong because they’re releasing their frustrations in a healthy manner. When people bottle up their stress, eventually you explode and let it all out at once. But if you regularly release any tension from your body, you’ll be better equipped at talking out your frustrations in a healthy manner. And thus getting the solution you actually want. 

A healthy meal prep for a mentally strong person

#14. They Eat Clean

To get mentally strong, you’ll need to nourish your body with healthy food. Of course, you can indulge your sweet tooth every now and then. But mentally strong people also nourish their body with fruits, vegetables, and healthy meals. They eat clean because they know that getting their nutrients and vitamins comes from eating healthy meals. And those nutrients keep them healthy both mentally and physically. When you’re low in nutrients or vitamins, you might feel groggier or more frustrated and not realize why. 

#15. They Rarely Use Social Media

Mentally strong people rarely use social media. Instead of playing the comparison game on Instagram or experiencing grass is greener syndrome on social media, they limit their social media use. Maybe they only follow accounts that improve their wellbeing or make them happy. Or they practice a social media detox a few times a year to rejuvenate their mental health. To get mentally strong, you don’t want to get sucked into the negativity vortex of politics, clickbait, and comparison which is what most social media is all about. But if you can’t quit your social media addiction, remember to choose to follow accounts that uplift you. They do exist if you dig deep enough. 

Mentally strong person reading a book

#16. They Read Books

Mentally strong people read books. Instead of spending hours marathoning brain numbing shows on Netflix, they educate or entertain themselves by reading delightful books. If you’re interested in meditation, you can check out our list of meditation books to start off with. And while you can learn a lot from non-fiction books, it’s totally healthy to indulge in fiction books as well. It can help you improve your creativity by imagining worlds in your head as you read along. The real magic in reading comes from gaining a new perspective. You can learn a lot from other people. And you can improve yourself by learning how to better communicate, how to strengthen your mind, or become a better person. The more you learn from others, the better you become. So open your mind, and open a great book. 

#17. They Expect Things to Change

Mentally strong people are open to change. They know they can’t resist it. They know it’ll come whether they want it to or not. Change is inevitable. Things will fall apart and then back together in new ways. When things change, look at it as a new adventure and opportunity. The more you resist it, the unhappier you will be. But if you look at events, even painful ones, as new experiences you’ll be on the right track of becoming a mentally strong person.


Mentally strong people don’t try to control their worlds. They laugh at themselves, set goals, take care of their health, express gratitude, and do so many other positive activities. They’re not lucky people who only experience good. Instead, they see good in bad situations. While they experience challenges like everyone else, they put themselves in the best state as possible by taking care of themselves and letting go of what they can’t control.

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