Defining the mind
It’s fairly easy to define what it means to have a strong body. A strong body is a body that is resilient, that can deal with different situations without breaking, that can move for a long time, that can lift a significant weight, and so on. You might find it easy to understand what characteristics would define a strong body. However, it is not so simple to define a strong mind. Why?
The main reason for this is because the mind comes off as something abstract. We associate the mind with the brain. However, it can be hard to grasp just exactly what a strong mind is.
To better understand what a strong mind is, we can see it as having two dimensions: the conscious and the subconscious. The conscious involves all the elements we can bring to conscious awareness: memories, skills, ideas, thoughts, beliefs, motivations, and so on. The processes of the conscious mind are those that we are aware of. For example, when we are trying to solve a logic puzzle, our mental process will be a part of the conscious mind. The subconscious involves all those processes we are not aware of. It can involve many of the same elements: emotions, cognition, beliefs, motivations, etc. that we do not recognize consciously. When talking about strength of mind, we need to consider both the conscious and subconscious elements.
A strong mind is a mind that can be primarily defined by two characteristics: the capacity to face challenges and the capacity to adapt to new circumstances. If you imagine a person who does not have these characteristics, it will be someone who struggles with change, who has trouble adjusting to new situations, who stays in their comfort zone. If they are faced with a challenge or loss, it might make them struggle or break. In contrast, someone who is stronger will be able to deal successfully with different challenges, adapt to new circumstances, grow, and use problems as opportunities.
Mental toughness allows us to deal with all kinds of situations. It provides confidence and resilience that allow us to cope with bad situations and move forward, always growing and becoming better. Having a strong mind is important, then, in order to be able to face problems, rise up to challenges, and to grow as individuals. This is why it is important to understand the mind and work to make it stronger. With a strong mind you will be able to weather life’s dark days and trying times in a more productive and fulfilling manner.
Consciously, we can work on changing our way of thinking to a more adaptive way of thinking. We can learn new strategies that will make our minds stronger, like meditation or mindfulness, and learn new patterns of behavior. However, our conscious mind is not the only part of our mind. Even if we work to make it stronger, focusing only on this part might not be as effective. A truly strong mind comes from making the subconscious conscious.
Our subconscious mind, as mentioned, includes elements that we are not aware of. Also, the subconscious mind can include beliefs and ideas rooted deeply in our minds. It can house traumatic experiences and memories, as well as needs, impulses, and desires that might enter in conflict with our conscious desires. Here is an example. Imagine a person that is working on a professional project that will bring much professional success if it is finished.
However, on the day of the big presentation that determines the success of this project, the person suddenly forgets to set the alarm or blows the deadline or gets into a fight with their boss. They might be surprised at this at themselves and feel sad or disappointed at having sabotaged their own chances, but they might not recognize this sabotage as something they consciously wanted. It could be associated more with their subconscious. Often the person in such a situation projects blame. Therefore, it seems as if the person had nothing to do with the sabotage.
The subconscious mind in a sense has guards at the entrance and is not always easy to tap into. Wild use of the imagination is one way people can tap into it. There is evidence that psychedelic drugs can release items once otherwise locked in the subconscious.
In order to build up a strong mind, it’s important to work with the conscious and the subconscious as well.
Working to make our conscious mind tougher
How can we work with our conscious mind to make it stronger? We need to address the things that are making it less resilient.
First, there is cognition. The way we think can make us more or less resilient in the face of adversity. If we think irrationally and focus on the negative, it’s likely that it will be problematic for us to deal with problems, as they will appear much bigger and much more catastrophic than they are. For example, we might see a mistake we made in a conversation and blow it up by thinking that people will consider us stupid, that it will jeopardize our relationships, or that it will have a big negative impact. Changing this pattern of thoughts can make us much more resilient and tougher.
Another aspect involves working with the aspects that are under our control. A way is to learn to meditate and relax when necessary. Learning to meditate gives us more control over our mental states and allows us to quiet down our negative thoughts.
A focus on the positive is another way to toughen our minds. We are wired to consider the negative over the positive. Therefore, consciously making an effort to create awareness of the positive is one way we can be more resilient.
Working to make my subconscious tougher for a strong mind
It can be easier to work with the conscious. Although focusing solely on this part of our mind will often not be enough. The subconscious can sometimes sabotage the best efforts we make to succeed, making our minds overall less strong and more vulnerable.
There are ways to work with the subconscious, for instance, through mind programming. However, first it is important to become aware of the situations where our subconscious can act up. For instance, where do these unhealthy patterns appear most commonly? Which situations seem to trigger something in our subconscious minds? By trying to create some degree of awareness, we can address the problem more effectively.
Next comes what we can call mind programming. It involves working with the subconscious in order to change the patterns that exist there and in order to take advantage of the tremendous energy associated with this part of our mind.
We can work with our subconscious through different means. Artistic techniques give us access to our subconscious minds. Through artistic practices, we can gain better contact with this part of our minds. This enables us to begin using the subconscious mind in ways that align with our conscious goals and desires. Also exercising the imagination in powerful explosive ways can connect you with your subconscious. Imagination exercise is a great road to a strong mind.
Having a strong mind involves working with both the conscious and subconscious mind. You build a strong and resilient mindset that is aligned with your goals and desires by working with both levels of the mind. It’s like weightlifting for your mind.