Metal fortitude is the ability to cope with challenges as well as understand and regulate your emotions. Many believe that having good mental strength indicates an absence of illness or cognitive deficiency, but that’s not always the case. Thinking realistically, acknowledging feelings, and taking proactive actions aren’t always a reflection of your innate overall mental well-being, but are skills you can develop. A surprising way you can hone these abilities is through playing poker. The game requires resilience, regulation, and careful thought — important things to have in real life too.

Knowing When To Quit

While having the drive to win in poker can be a good thing, not knowing when to fold can be costly. In fact, being aware that you need to quit when you have a bad hand or when you aren’t fully sure about taking a risk could be key to winning the pot. There should be no shame in playing it safe or staying within your boundaries in life, you just have to know when it’s best to back down or take the leap. At some point, you may be considering a big yet risky life decision, and are trying to decide whether to go for it or not. By knowing when to back down, you can make sure you’re making the wisest decisions in order to get the best opportunities and deals.

Developing Resilience

It can be discouraging when you lose a poker game because of carelessness or an avoidable error. But it’s not wise to just quit because of a few bad rounds, and resorting to giving up every time you hit an obstacle will never help you progress. Resilience helps you bounce back from setbacks, and is one of the most important mental skills you learn from poker. Ingraining it into your mental fortitude will help you outside of the game too. Perhaps there was a mishap in a project you were handling. Rather than giving up on it, take action so that the proper amends can be made efficiently. This ability to not get bogged down will help you get far in life despite inevitable ups and downs.

Working Under Pressure

Poker requires your full focus to make sure you’re making the best choices. It’s a high pressure situation that requires a lot of control and regulation. If you get too nervous or careless, you could end up going all in on a weak hand or giving up your tells. Poker can teach you to keep calm despite the stress and help you decide when it’s best to take a risk or hold back. Away from the felt, this can help when you’re facing something like a confrontation or negotiation with someone. Knowing how to work under the stress can help you regulate your emotions to make sure you’re stating your piece without lashing out or making a preventable mistake.

Accepting Defeat

As mentioned before, losses are a part of poker, but it’s important that you know how to face these with grace. If you keep beating yourself up or lashing out over every loss, you’ll only make yourself feel worse. Losses are common in everyday life too — knowing how to accept and learn from defeats can help you grow and be better. For instance, maybe you didn’t get that promotion you were hoping for. Don’t spend your time moping around until another chance comes along. Take this as an opportunity to better yourself so you can meet the credentials and qualities needed for a position you’re aiming for.

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