Facts about Mental Toughness Meaning and How To Increase Mental Strength with Simple Exercises from Spirituality, Meditation & Yoga


Did You Know that most of the champion athletes rate Mental Toughness as the reason for at least 50% of their Extraordinary Performances and 83% of Coaches rate Mental Toughness as the most significant trait a sportsperson must possess, if they are to achieve success.

mental toughness meaning
Mental Toughness is already A Part of Us

One of the most distorted and misunderstood term for many decades now, are the words “Mental Toughness”. Whether it is winning sporting events, overcoming a natural disaster or bearing up with personal trauma, the advice given by well-meaning people is that you should learn How to Build Mental Toughness, to tide over the crisis.

 Although this is said in good faith, most people (including those who give this advice) are not very sure about how exactly we can develop this aspect of the mind.

Although there is no particular subject dealing with Mental Toughness Psychology, a great deal of research has been done in Sports Psychology, where they have delineated the characteristics and features which make up the qualities of a Mentally Strong person.

Mental Toughness Meaning should not be confused with Mental Health. When you say a person has good Mental Health it means that the individual is able to function in a satisfactory way during the key activities of life, viz. learning abilities, capacity to sense feelings, build proper relationships with others, earn a livelihood etc. and generally exhibit emotional balance.


mental toughness meaning
Mental Toughness is a one part of Mental Fitness

Most of the lay public confuse Mental Toughness to be one single quality similar to that which is present in the physical dimension, like muscular strength.

But those who are familiar with the concepts of Mental Toughness in Sports will know that it comprises many qualities of the mind, which when developed simultaneously bring about a tough mind-set.

So it can be said that Mental Toughness is the culmination or end result of a variety of aspects related to the mind, which when practised with diligence and discipline, strengthens a person’s mind to face up to any challenge.

Psychologist Peter Clough describes the 4 C’s of Mental Toughness which according to him are important traits that a person has to be trained in, if they are to build up Mental Strength. These are Confidence, Challenge, Control and Commitment. To these traits, I would add one more very important aspect (the fifth C) – Clarity, without which none of the other traits can be handled with any degree of success.


mental toughness meaning
If You’re Mentally Tough, You Can Lead a Peaceful Life

The adverse reactions to the Covid-19 Pandemic all over the world for the last two years are just the tip of the iceberg of the Mental Health of the public. There were a range of responses, from sheer callousness to total panic, in different strata of society.

From disbelievers to conspiracy theorists, people had a field day commenting on something that they knew nothing about. This is the case with any untoward happening in the world, be it a war or calamity, because individuals do not how to deal with it displaying a strong mind.

They react to it in the way they are conditioned to, not bothered about how their actions are undermining the exemplary work put in by the front line staff of the medical health profession.

This is why it is absolutely essential for you to become skilled at “How to Train Yourself for Mental Toughness”, because it can be the difference between life and death in many situations. There are very Simple Exercises to Build Your Mental Toughness and once you are adept at rehearsing it regularly, you can be confident of responding in the right manner, whenever you are called upon to do something in a challenging situation.


develop mental strength
Like Physical Strength you can work on Your Mental Strength also

Everyone in the world is born with some degree of Mental Toughness, whether they are aware if it or not. Just going through our infancy, childhood and youth exposes us to a variety of situations wherein our natural survival instinct will take over and save us from harm.

But at the same time we are conditioned with so many limiting beliefs gained from our parents, teachers, peers and society that we develop fear, doubt or indecision, whenever we are called upon to act in extreme or dangerous circumstances.

So the answer is that we give close attention to every aspect of Mental Toughness in a small way every day, so that over time, we can become Mentally Strong and ultimately gain total Mental Fitness.

Your Mental Toughness Quotient Training can be done after assessing how you rate in the following components:

=> Motivation & Goal Setting

=> Self-Belief & Confidence

=> Resilience & Persistence

=> Striving for Excellence & Optimism

=> Focus & Concentration

=> Coping with Pressure & Stress

=> Overcoming Trauma, Failure, Loss & Injury

Research Psychologists have put together a plethora of Mental Toughness Testing Protocols which are very extensive and can to a large extent capture the state of an individual’s Mental Toughness Profile.

Mental Toughness Questionnaires are basically devised to measure the qualitative aspect of the above mentioned characteristics, which then can be used by Psychologists to determine where the individual is lacking, and focus on increasing the scores in those aspects.

The most common approach to increasing Mental Toughness in Sports is through a method called Psychological Skills Training (PST) which is a 6-week dedicated process to build up mental strength in a systematic way by applying time-tested principles of psychology, which may even extend to a year.

Increasing Mental Toughness in daily life can be done by adopting simple to do everyday tasks, which over a period of time has the effect of making you Mentally Strong. A few of them have been given below.


Yoga & Meditation are the Best Exercises for the Mind

1.   Do Immediately, Something You Don’t Like Doing

If there is some job or activity that you are not particularly fond of, don’t wait or think about. Start doing it immediately and you will find that your mind becomes focused on it after some time. Continue doing it without stopping, till you complete it. This will give a sense of satisfaction on completion of the task and will also build your attraction to other such work in future.

2.   Observe Your Thoughts and Emotions

One of the main factors obstructing our actions in the face of a challenge is usually the thoughts and emotions that go through our mind when the situation arises. The knack is to observe these thoughts that arise in the mind with a dispassion less attitude, without analyzing, judging or condemning it.

Thoughts give rise to the emotions related to it and put you in an even higher state of arousal. The chances are that if you don’t react, the feeling soon passes allowing you to take decisions with a clear mind. This will soon become a habit permitting you to become Mentally Stable and Emotionally Balanced.


Any mental turmoil is always accompanied by a state of breathing corresponding to it. By controlling how you breathe, you can easily do away with all the negative thoughts going on in your mind. Usually when faced with a difficult situation, just breathing deeply for a couple of minutes will calm the mind and bring more clarity to it. This is because the excess oxygen going to the brain clears up the neural pathways for stronger resolve and determination.


One of the most effective ways to build up Mental Fitness is to meditate on a regular basis. It has been proven by Scientific Research that even a small period of meditation of 10 -15 minutes done regularly every day, go a long way to achieve tranquility and serenity in the mind, which in turn builds up your Mental Resilience.


It is a well known fact that the brain records all the experiences of a person in the form of images. So if one wants to achieve a certain objective, visualizing it with all the attendant sensory perceptions, can bring out the successful fulfillment of that goal. Many may not be skillful at it straightaway, but with practice this can be mastered easily. The numbers of people who have benefited with this course of action are increasing every day.


The most defining factor in a mentally tough sportsperson is the fact that they are having a strong sense of self-efficacy. This is basically a belief that they have certain traits which they can execute and attain the necessary performance. This comes from knowing themselves deeply.

Honestly make an assessment of all your Strengths and evaluate where you can use them when the time arises. Similarly do it for your Weaknesses and review how you can overcome them, improve on them or at least not let it affect you.


One of the strangest facts of the working of the Human Mind is that if it is given a Meaning and Purpose for its existence, then it becomes very one-pointed and does whatever is necessary to achieve that. This naturally helps to Build Up Mental Toughness to a degree which can even surprise the individual. So it is essential that you set goals for every aspect of your life and direct all your energies to making it a reality.


Thus it can be seen that Mental Toughness is not just about developing one specific trait, but is an amalgamation of many factors, which when combined together make the mind prepared to face all the ups and downs of life.

Not building it up means that a person will have to undergo a lot of fear and misery, which may ultimately lead to bigger Mental Health Problems like frustration, depression and despair.

By incorporating Simple Mental Strengthening Habits in your daily routine, you can face this uncertain life with a lot of Clarity and Confidence, coming out successful in everything that you do.


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