4 methods writers can use to develop mental toughness

Employing proper breathing techniques, maintaining a positive outlook and understanding the overriding purpose of your career can help you cultivate a resilient outlook.

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Each requires practice, commitment and repetition, and we get worse at them when we take a break.

A story on the Runner’s World website discusses how runners can develop mental toughness, but those basic ideas can work for writers, too:

1. Control your breathing.

This tip might seem better directed at people who are exercising, but guess what: It applies to writers as well. Researcher Linda Stone calls the problem email apnea—a term borrowed from “sleep apnea”—a medical condition in which people momentarily stop breathing when they’re asleep.

Stone contends that people who spend time in front of screens often hold their breath or breathe shallowly. Some 80 percent of the people she observed did this, and guess who the remaining 20 percent, apnea-free people were?

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