Some people are emotionally stronger than others. They can take a lot of stress and strain without falling apart, while others collapse into a whimpering heap at the smallest things.
The main difference between an emotionally weak person and an emotionally strong person is what they think when things go wrong. When troubles come along, the weak one is in the habit of thinking: “This is more than I can stand.” A tough one thinks: “I can handle this.”
It doesn’t matter what specific words a person puts to the two different kinds of thinking. But the thoughts that make people weak are feeble and impotent: “I can’t take it, it’s too overwhelming, it’s too much to bear, I can’t stand it, I’m not up to this, I’m not emotionally ready for this,” etc.
The thoughts that make you strong are capable and resolute: “I can take it, everything is going to work out, I’ll get through it, maybe there’s a lesson in it for me, adversity builds character, I’m tough, people have been through worse, if I try I can find an advantage in all this, when this is over I’ll be wiser,” etc.
To become stronger, change your thoughts. It’s as simple and uncomplicated as that. There’s nothing to it but to do it. Start saying something different to yourself during tough times. When you feel stress, coach yourself, “Come on, [your name here], you can handle this. When this is over, you might even be a stronger person because of it.” Think strong thoughts and you will be tougher, braver, and more resilient. Just like that.
The stronger thoughts are truer than the weak thoughts. You can take it. Human beings, including you, can withstand a tremendous amount of strain without cracking, as any cursory perusal of war stories, survival accounts, and reports of disasters demonstrate.
These kinds of thoughts won’t be habitual at first, of course. The way you think is as much a habit as the way you tie your shoes. But keep deliberately thinking stronger, and after awhile it will become habitual. Eventually, you’ll wonder how you ever thought differently. Would you like to be stronger? Would you like to have more emotional calm during the stressful times? Would you like to stand as a pillar of strength when those about you are crumbling? Sure you would. This is the way. Change your thoughts. Make them stronger. Don’t think you can do it? That’s the first thought to change.
Adam Khan is the author of Principles For Personal Growth, Slotralogy, Antivirus For Your Mind, and co-author with Klassy Evans of How to Change the Way You Look at Things (in Plain English). Follow his podcast, The Adam Bomb.