Mental Health Versus Mental Strength: Which One Do You Need More?
Self-awareness is a crucial step to building mental strength as it enables us to make changes, develop new habits and learn new skills. The good news is that there are ways to improve your self-awareness and mental strength so that you can begin to get a clearer picture of who you are as a person in reflection to your environment.

In the age of smart technology, digital tools like MindBank Ai can help you make self-aware decisions in your daily life and eventually make you a mentally stronger person.

The Growing Need for Mental Health

While the Covid-19 pandemic has taken and continues to take its toll on our mental health, our self-awareness and sensitivity to mental health have changed things for the better. And then, events like World Mental Health Day often remind us of an opportunity to “rekindle our efforts to protect and improve mental health.”

Under current circumstances, protecting and improving our mental health can also be considered a human survival instinct. Similarly, a 2021 study shows that increased use of mental health forums, websites and apps is associated with increased rates of depressive symptoms and Covid-19 cases.

It’s no surprise that mental health self-care, online therapies and other mental health support methods are gaining steam, as this trend correlates with rising mental health problems worldwide. First, stress among the world’s workforce has reached an all-time high of 44% in 2021. Second, WHO has revealed that in the first year of the Covid 19 pandemic, the global prevalence of anxiety and depression increased by a huge 25%.

Third, even before the Covid-19 crisis, anxiety, stress, and depression were widespread. At least one in eight people around the world were living with mental health problems in 2019. Many of us have become more anxious, but for some, Covid-19 has triggered or exacerbated much more serious mental health problems.

Many people face the effects of persistent and uncontrollable sources of stress that affect brain physiology. Mental health problems and symptoms of depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress have been reported widespread. Based on the taxonomy of different forms of depression, studies show how stress and isolation associated with Covid-19 can affect different neural archetypes for anxiety and stress.

Mental Health vs. Mental Strength

And while categorizing depression and anxiety into taxonomies of psychiatry can help advance clinical practice by more effectively tailoring treatments to each version of the underlying illness, building mental strength through self-care will help many people avoid mental illnesses like depression or alleviate associated symptoms.

Indeed, some of us who already experience stressful life events, attention deficit, emotional immaturity and dyscontrol, excessive substance use, exposure to aggression, violence and trauma and other mental disorder determinants may require disease-specific preventive interventions.

On the other hand, addressing more generic risk and protective factors, which are those common to several mental health problems and disorders can be helpful in preventing mental disorders more broadly.

Namely, ability to cope with stress and face adversity, adaptability, early cognitive stimulation, problem-solving skills, and self-esteem are just a few protective factors for mental health and mental disorders that can be trained through self-care or similar mental strength enhancement practices.

That is to say, mental health-related interventions are a powerful and critical tool in the toolbox. However, such interventions are only effective in treating mental illnesses, not in addressing the root causes or unhealthy habits that are at the basis of the problem.

Alternatively, you can nurture several self-care techniques that can build your mental strength and prevent many mental health problems from developing or getting worse.

What Is Mental Strength?

Mental strength is often the right answer to the question of what makes someone a good athlete, a good leader, and a good parent. It is what many people call “grit”. Angela Duckworth is the world’s leading expert on “grit,” and what many believe to be the key ingredient in personal success. Duckworth defines grit as, “passion and sustained persistence applied toward long-term achievement, with no particular concern for rewards or recognition along the way.”

We all have mental strength, just in varying degrees. Different things work for different people, and every person’s mental strengths have a unique foundation. Therefore, it is worth defining what mental strength means to you.

You will notice changes in your life, your business, and even your health once you figure out your personal approach to mental strength. For example, for an athlete, mental strength might mean going to bed early, getting up at 5 a.m., and going to the gym in the off-season, even if he or she does not feel like it. In other words, because mental strength is tied to concrete actions, prove it to yourself by doing something in real life.

Also, regardless of the activities related to your career, to stay mentally strong you should create daily habits that allow you to stick to a schedule and consistently overcome challenges and distractions. So while there’s not much you can do about the genes you were born with, there is a lot you can do to develop mental strength.

As adults, however, we are constantly tested on our mental strength in extreme situations. And just as early cognitive stimulation in children reduces the likelihood that they will disrupt the school process through bullying, you will find it easier to develop your mental strength by repetitively practicing self-reflection and self-care, developing healthy coping strategies, and cultivating compassionate inner dialog.

Digital Therapy to Stay Mentally Strong

With the advent of digital therapies, also known as evidence-based behavioral therapies, offered online, healthcare has become more accessible and effective. Existing mental health tools are used by different age groups and aim to prevent disorders by providing knowledge or engagement.

Some online therapies offer customized content based on your emotional state and current needs. Their applications use tags that classify audiences by symptoms or abilities.

More recently, digital therapies have moved a step further from treating mental disorders to preventing them by helping people strengthen their psychological well-being. The ongoing use of digital tools such as artificial intelligence-based Personal Digital Twins for self-care has the potential to increase human productivity, personal development and health longevity.

When one needs a personalized suggestion, these digital tools would help one make the right move by looking at their history of records and insights about their personality. In turn, a person who learns more about their own state of mind through digital therapy apps and can identify early symptoms of a mental disorder could better communicate with a doctor, share the data from the tool and get a quicker diagnosis to take initial steps to prevent the condition from worsening.

Much like the wearable devices that collect data on heart rate, body temperature and physical activity help detect early signs of Covid-19 symptoms and track patients’ recovery from the disease, digital therapeutic tools that help people stay mentally strong could serve as both detectors of early signs of mental illness and as practical tools for building mental strength.

Big Five Personality Traits and Mental Strength

MindBank Ai can measure your Big Five personality traits using the psycholinguistic models and you only need 140 words to get an accurate score.

The Big Five are the most widely used basis for assessing different types of personality traits. They provide a detailed insight into your personality type and how it affects your daily life. The five traits can be summarized by the acronym OCEAN (Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness and Neuroticism), while CANOE (Conscientiousness, Agreeableness, Neuroticism, Openness and Extraversion) is another option.

  1. Openness to experience means how open-minded you are to new ideas, new situations, and new ways of thinking and living.
  2. Conscientiousness means how much you care about your future and how hard you try to achieve your goals and stay organized.
  3. Extroversion means how much you enjoy the company of others and how you recharge your energy.
  4. Agreeableness indicates how much you want to get along with others and avoid conflict.
  5. Neuroticism indicates how sensitive you are to stress and change and how well you can handle it.

You can be high, low, or somewhere in the middle on each trait. With that in mind, understanding your own Big Five personality traits can help you better manage your relationships at work, at home, and in other places.

Mental Strength Affirmations

As children, we begin talking to ourselves at ages two and three. By age five, we become more secretive with our self-talk, speaking more briefly, quietly, or privately to avoid being overheard by others. As adults, we may talk to ourselves to fill a need that is not being met by limited or unsatisfying social relationships.

However, the words we use and the way we think influence our behavior. Therefore, it is important not to ignore our inner voice and to speak positively to ourselves. Over time, you will be able to use self-talk as helpful in your problem solving, reasoning, planning, motivation, attention, and mental strength.

Read the following affirmations that will get you on the right track and make your day more positive.

  1. I can and I will
  2. I move on; I don’t waste time in the past or feeling sorry for myself
  3. I stay in control; I don’t give away my power
  4. I embrace change and welcome challenges
  5. I stay happy because I let go what I can’t control and I don’t complain
  6. Today I will be kind, fair, and unafraid to speak up
  7. I take calculated risk, not random risks
  8. I invest my energy in the present moment
  9. I accept full responsibility for the past and I learn from my mistakes
  10. I celebrate others’ successes without jealousy
  11. I am willing to fail, because failure is simply a chance to improve
  12. I enjoy my time alone
  13. I am prepared to work and succeed on merit; the world owes me nothing
  14. I have staying power because results are not immediate
  15. I frequently evaluate and review my core beliefs
  16. I expend mental energy wisely and avoid unproductive thoughts
  17. I will replace negative thoughts with productive thoughts
  18. I know that any steps I take towards my goal today are moving me in the right direction
  19. I understand and tolerate discomfort and accept my feelings without being controlled by them
  20. I will reflect on my progress every day: Where am I going? What have I achieved?
Related Articles