We come across all kinds of people in this world. The strong and the weak. The major difference between the strong and the weak lie in the way they react to a situation. It is the response or the reaction which mirrors the strength of a person.
While what differentiates the strong from the weak is something easy to answer, why are some people stronger and some not is something which is intriguing. Theoretically, strength is an amalgamation of genes, bringing up and the experiences gathered. Mental strength is inevitable in today’s times. What happens when the right set of genes are not inherited and the environment is not conducive to be strong in life? Does it mean one must put up with a weak mind because of not very ideal nature and nurture? Not in the least. It is very imperative to teach today’s children that like physical strength (which again is under question – given the lax outlook towards it), mental strength is equally important.
How does one develop it? For children, it’s very easy – what they see is what they imbibe. If they notice their parents/teachers/primary caretakers generate a lot of mental strength, they would inculcate similar qualities. Children always learn better through observation. If they witness positive reactions to challenging situations, they will automatically reflect the same behaviours. If they see relaxed set of family members at home who don’t fret over things, sweat the small stuff, they would pick up the same. The problem arises when they learn wrong things the wrong way. Adults must demonstrate being mentally very stable. Unfortunately, not all grownups have this stability.
Now, the next question is how can adults who have a direct influence on children establish their mental strength if they are devoid of it? First and foremost, they need to identify the areas which wind them up and lead to negative reactions. Once the difficult areas are identified, they need to decisively change their repetitive patterns of reactions by controlling their negative emotions. They may struggle with this initially, but it’s never impossible to break a pattern one is aware of. One should never forget the fact that reacting impulsively, immaturely or negatively seldom help cope with a difficult situation. Controlling one’s feelings to avoid emotional outbursts or silent withdrawals leading to anxiety, depression or nervous breakdown are always dangerous.
Once developed, mental strength is something which is revealed when going through trials and tribulations of life – in sickness, loss of any kind or even relationship distress. Couples having this quality are always at an advantage in their relationship. They can resolve their conflicts better and are always able to take things in their stride.
“Life is not what happens to you, but how you react to what happens to you” should be practised to the hilt. If one breaks down at the drop of a hat, loses his/her cool frequently and gives up easily, it can have a terrible effect on the people in their orbit of family, work and close friends. When one reacts to a situation prudently, over a period of time, these reactions become ingrained in a person and consequently the mind strong and stable. After all, even mental health is wealth…