How to be tougher – 6 habits for mental toughness

by Veikko Arvonen // June 14 // 0 Comments

How to be tougher – 6 habits for mental toughnes

A man training in sunset

Learning how to be tough and mentally strong is important if you want to live your best life. When you learn to be tougher, you’ll deal with emotional stress and stressful situation easier.

Whether it’s physical pain or something mental, think about the benefits of dealing with those problems easier.

These kinds of situations appear every there and then. Especially if you’re on your path to maximize your life. You’ll have to step out of your comfort zone to practice social skills or you can face a setback in your dating life.

Therefore it’s important to train your mental strength and learn to be tougher. Building your mental strength is a broad topic, but the six habits you’ll learn will get you started.

Better yet, these habits are something that you can implement instantly to get results fast.

What is a tough person?

A yelling military instructor

A tough person is someone who can deal with difficult situations without losing their capability. To be tougher, you’ll have to become capable of dealing with different negative emotions and incidents.

It’s about developing your skills to be unaffected by external factors. Factors like physical pain, stress, emotional pain, etc.

Although you raise your capability to handle those things, a tough person can also accept them. To be tougher you’ll have to understand that feeling sad, stressed, scared, or anything like that is OK. It’s normal to feel those emotions occasionally. Once you do that, it’s easier to deal with those problems.

A tough person is not someone who brags and keeps a big noise all the time. There are a lot of inexperienced wanna-be alphas who think that being tough is all about acting tough.

To be more specific, doing things like boasting about achievements, taking stupid risks to impress others, and more. This is far away from the truth.

How to be tougher

Now that you have a basic understanding of what is being tougher all about, let’s get started with the actual tips.

1. Do things that scare you

Example of how to be tougher

Tougher people naturally have a bigger comfort zone than others. One of the best ways to increase yours is to stretch it. This means doing bigger and smaller things to step out of your comfort zone and learning to expand it.

This can be anything small like walking to a stranger and asking them something. Or, it can be something bigger like performing in front of a bigger group of people or starting a business. If you fail, so what? You’re way ahead of people who are too scared to try.

The beautiful thing about this is that when you learn to step out of your comfort zone, you’ll learn to act under discomfort, stress, and even fear.

When you do things that scare you, you’ll become tougher and tougher since you learn to accept those negative emotions. Tough people understand that it’s OK to feel them. What is not OK, is to let them take control of you and limit your life.

In a nutshell, do different things that excite or scare you and you will be tougher in the future. Your failures will teach you a lot and successes will get you further. As long as you don’t do anything truly dangerous, you’ll be fine.

2. Take cold showers

A shower

Cold showers are exactly what you think they are. Go to the shower, turn the temperature to ice cold and enjoy. But before you skip this part, read why they’re so great.

Cold showers provide you an excellent way to exit your physical comfort zone, daily without the need to damage yourself. Every time I step out of a cold shower, I feel like reborn. I’m refreshed, energized, and full of dopamine.

The ice-cold water forces you to act under intense stress and therefore helps you to be tougher. If you can stand a minute or two under freezing water without gasping, your everyday challenges aren’t that bad after all.

On top of that, you’ll gain a load of health benefits like increased mood and self-esteem.

The U.S Navy SEALs spend lots of time in cold water and for a good reason. It makes them tougher.

How to start taking cold showers

My tips, based on my two-year experience in cold showers, are the following.

Start with the normal temperature and do whatever you’d normally do in the shower. Wash your hair and so on…

When you’re ready, turn the temperature to ice cold. Don’t make it cooler little by little, get straight to the point. This temperature is where the benefits are.

Force yourself to stay there for a while. Start with five seconds if you have to. Then increase it over time. 10, 20, 30, a minute… Once you can stay there for over a minute, you’ve done a great job. From this point, you can just enjoy them and gain the benefits.

3. Be tougher by practicing martial arts

A man training a knee kick

Martial arts are great for you if you want to be tougher and challenge yourself. Practicing them has tons of benefits from increased confidence to physical fitness.

See, when you’re there, you’ll face situations when you have to fight another person and act under stress. You may find yourself choking when someone strangles you or getting accidentally punched in the face.

This will make you tougher by teaching to deal with pain and stress, all in a safe environment. Martial arts will also teach you discipline, respect, and mental strength. Above all, they’ll improve you in any way possible, and I highly recommend trying them.

What martial art should you try?

Here’s a list of, in my opinion, the best martial arts to try:

  • Ju-jitsu: It’s an inclusive Japanese martial art that teaches you pretty much everything. It includes self-defense, punching, kicking, joint locks, and even weapons.
  • MMA: Mixed martial arts is a powerful martial art where you combine the best techniques from different styles.
  • Muay Thai and Kickboxing: Full-contact fighting sports where you use both arms and legs.

There are also a lot of more great ones.

4. Practice mindfulness/meditation

Meditating to be tougher

Meditation doesn’t have to include orange clothes or a cave somewhere in Asia. And above all, you can do it without becoming a monk.

Different meditations and mindfulness exercises will help you to become unreactive against emotional stress. This both makes helps you to be tougher and increase your mental health remarkably.

When doing this, you’ll learn to feel your repressed emotions and face your anxiety. This may be intimidating first, but later it helps you to deal with your negative thoughts and accept them.

There are lots of different meditations and exercises you can do, but you don’t have to buy any course online. Unless you want to.

How to start

To get started, you don’t need any fancy programs. All you need is a quiet place where no one distracts you and a timer.

Set a timer to alarm after five minutes or something like that. (I recommend starting with five and increase it later). Then pick a good position (sitting or laying down works the best), close your eyes, and breathe deep.

Here’s when it really starts. Focus on whatever thoughts come to your mind, but don’t try to block or amplify them. Just let them flow.

You’ll face both good and bad ones, but just let them be there and go away at their pace. Remember, they’re just thoughts and don’t affect reality.

Doing this allows you to face your fears, anxiety, and other negative feelings. When you do this enough, they won’t affect your state anymore and you’ll learn to accept them.

You’ll learn to stay calm when something negative arises and you won’t get stuck inside your head. All this with just 10-20 minutes per day.

5. Stop victimizing yourself

A soldier kneeling

Some people nowadays suffer from a severe victim mentality. A victim mentality means that you keep complaining and feeling bad about all the nasty things in the world.

Maybe someone breaks up with you or you have problems with your career. Or maybe all the negativity in the news and social media has gotten you upset.

If you want to be tougher, you’ll have to let go of victimizing yourself. Realize that complaining and thinking don’t fix the world. Action does. Rather than feeling bad about something, ask yourself what you can do to fix it.

When there’s something you can do about it, do it, but if not, accept it. The previous step will help you with that. Focus on taking action to make your life better and help people close to you.

When you have dealt with the problems, let them go and move on. The past can’t be changed, but the present and future can be.

Tough people understand that bad things will happen, but people are capable of dealing with pretty nasty stuff when they have to. And the good thing is, there’s much more good than bad in this world.

The right mindset in your everyday life

You make choices every day between victimizing yourself and taking action instead. We have all probably seen the news where the journalists are telling about famine, wars, and more pretty nasty stuff.

Rather than starting to feel bad about it, ask yourself if there’s something you can do about it. Chances are there’s not, and worrying about it doesn’t change it.

If you want to take action and donate to charity, feel free to do it, but in the end, you’ll just have to accept it. Focus on your vision and doing your part in changing the world.

Another great example is when something nasty happens to you or someone you care about. Rather than feeling bad about it, take action to help them. Once they have recovered both physically and mentally, move on together and enjoy the good things.

These examples are everywhere around us. And it’s your choice to either victimize yourself or take action and move on.

6. Focus on yourself

A man training in sunset

Focusing on yourself is a pretty broad topic, but I’ll cover here what does it have to do with being tougher.

If you want to be tougher and mentally strong, you’ll have to learn to focus on yourself, put yourself first, and get into your core. This means anything from standing up for yourself to not being dependent on other people.

Learn to treat yourself with all the respect because you’re the most important person in your life. Your well-being determines how you can face different setbacks and failures.

Take care of your physical body and your mental health. Rather than avoiding physical challenges, train your body by lifting weights. Rather than avoiding stress and discomfort, train your mind to function under them.

If someone insults you, you should stand up for yourself. You’ll both learn to do something that scares you and raise your self-esteem by treating yourself well. If someone tries to manipulate you, don’t let them do so. Sometimes you have to put your own well-being before other people’s approval.

Your vision

Take a time to imagine what you want from life. Do you want to build a million-dollar business? Do you want to become the best athlete n your team? Or maybe you want to get forward in life.

When you create a vision, something that you pursue and work on consistently, you’ll notice that small inconveniences have a smaller and smaller effect on you.

When your 100% committed to a goal, different setbacks aren’t too bad. In a nutshell, when you create a clear vision for yourself, other less remarkable things take a backseat.

Pursuing ambitious goals is also a great way to practice the previous tips like taking risks and learning to deal with stress.

Getting into your core

Getting into your core means that you become independent from other people’s approval. This means you build yourself a life that contains enough cool things to keep you satisfied.

You’ll have to have hobbies that you enjoy, social skills to meet new people, a plan for your future, and things like this. No one has a perfect life, but once you improve your own, you’ll become less dependent on other people’s opinions and approval.

When you have an exciting life, losing a dating partner isn’t that bad. When you have high self-esteem, people find it hard to manipulate you. Don’t be a character in someone else’s movie. Be the protagonist in your movie and make sure it’s a damn masterpiece.

Above all, being tougher mentally is way easier when you have your own life check.


There you have it. My guide on how to be tougher. As I said before, these tips are something that you can start implementing instantly. Next time, finish your shower with cold water, or something.

These tips that I shared have helped me to become tougher and deal with different challenges. If you have any questions, feel free to comment below or contact me. I’m looking forward to hearing from you!

With that said, see you next time!

Veikko Arvonen is a blogger with a burning passion for self-development. In his blog, he shares battle-tested tips to become more confident, charismatic, attractive, and happier. Back in time, he got tired of being at the lower end of the pecking order and decided to change. Now, you can learn his lessons from this blog.