Last updateFri, 19 Jun 2020 7pm


Becoming Strong Beyond Physical Limits

default article imageWhen we think about the definition of “strength,” our minds automatically resort to superheroes.

Everyone who is strong has muscles and everyone who is strong is indestructible. Rarely do we give enough credit to those who contain elements of the word strength that don’t have to do with physical boundaries.

Growing up my family thought my father was superman, as most of us do. My definition and understanding of the word strength was shallow. I figured that strength only consisted of tangible qualities, until I grew up and became informed by experience.

Physical strength is the most obvious element of the word. Being physically strong is important. We all know that we need to stay fit and healthy so that we can carry on with our daily tasks. Having an active lifestyle and always trying to improve our bodies is crucial for a long and happy life, that’s a given.

Not only is it important for us to have this kind of strength in the physical world, but it helps our bodies endure the mental battles that we face. There is a connection between the mind and body that is undeniable. When we are stressed, when we are sad, when we are feeling lost, our bodies pick up on those signals.

By staying physically strong, we can prevent ourselves from getting sick from daily mental stressors. When we exercise, our body releases endorphins that can boost our mood. It can allow us to use our stress or anger and put it towards something positive: bettering out bodies.

Diving a little deeper into the meaning of strength, I have found much more than just physical features. There is a mental component which is thought based. The evolution of mental strength is unique to each individual, which is a similarity of physical strength.

The capability to be mentally tough comes with practice and the training of one’s mind. It involves resilience, it involves the ability to say no, it involves being rational and realistic. None of these things come easily and all of them need to be worked for. While some may be better at it than others, it is something that can always be improved.

It is crucial to work on mental strength. Without it, our vulnerabilities would always be used against us. Two examples of people who have demonstrated mental toughness are Dr. Martin Luther King and Stephen Hawking. These individuals turned weakness into strength and reactions into responses. They learned how to take calculated risks and battled whatever was in their way rather than letting it defeat them.

All of their success came from working on their mental strength and not allowing negative thoughts or experiences to define them.

The last measure of strength that I am going to address is emotional strength. What is emotional strength and is it as important as physical and mental? Yes.

Everything in me is going to tell you yes, it is just as important as those, if not more important. It is the hardest element to obtain. Emotional strength is a feeling based privilege. Everyone reading this has been through things that make their world feel dark and their hearts feel heavy.

Having emotional strength is the ability to tell yourself that feelings aren’t facts. In my experience, this has been tough to achieve.

For others, it may not be. Becoming emotionally strong is to allow yourself to find the balance between being consumed in passion, anger, love, happiness, and sadness and not being owned by it.

Finding coping mechanisms can be a challenge but it can be worth it in the end. Some people like to color, exercise, journaling, listening to music, or watching motivational videos. Pet a dog! You have to find what works best for you.

As with anything, it’s important to become well rounded and balanced. I feel the word strength is a commonly used word and taken for granted in some ways. This simple word contains so much depth and importance that you would be doing yourself an injustice if you didn’t seek an understanding of it.

Just know that everyone is on the roller-coaster ride that is life. Everyone tries to remain strong; physically, mentally, and emotionally, but it is a constant challenge. Stay strong.

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The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication
and Instructional Technology (CCIT)
Room 260, 2nd floor

The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151