How To Increase Mental Stamina To Become An Armed Force Officer | Mentally Strong Tips

how to increase mental stamina

This article will give you a fair idea about the concept and How to increase Mental Stamina for the aspirants of Defence Force in detail. 

Most of you might wonder why highly qualified, educated, and outstandingly performed candidates of NDA/CDS written examinations or any other entry of defence aspirants screen out/conference out by the Service Selection Board.

Many of you might hear that average built and private college candidate has cleared SSB, but in the same batch, a district sports player could not clear it.  

It is in SSB, where an intelligent and physically robust candidate has failed and an average individual selected. Many of them could not clear the Service Selection Board(SSB) despite several attempts and coaching classes.

It is because many of the candidates have adequate knowledge about Physical and Medical Health

However, most candidates may not be aware of the importance of an unknown and non-visible aspect of Mental Stamina during SSB. Therefore many of them may not give due diligence for the same.

You can read my previous articles in connection with Tips on Physical Fitness and How to prepare Medical Test as part of preparation of SSB.


This article will divide into the following parts to better understand mental stamina and its effect on the SSB interview.

Overview of Mental Stamina Shared in this Article

Part 1: True story of two individuals from different backgrounds and how they succeeded through their mental stamina.

Part 2: Why we need mental stamina in the Defence Force 

Part 3: Understanding the concept of  Mental Stamina

Part 4: qualities of the Mental  Stamina

Part 5: How can we cultivate Mental  Stamina for SSB

Part 6: Story of Capt Anuj Nayyar, MVC(P)

1. Mental Stamina Success Story Of Two Individuals

major dp singh

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Major DP Singh, Indian Army Officer, commanding a post close to the line of control in Akhnoor Sector, Jammu& Kashmir, had fallen prey on motor shelling from the enemy side, i.e., from Pak border.

A medical team with specialists miraculously revived him after extensive and prolonged treatments in several Army Hospitals. 

But his right leg was amputated, unfortunately. 

His stomach had been operated upon twice, and he was suffering from partial deafness because he had more than 40 splinters embedded in his body. 

He had spent many months in the army hospital to recover completely.

But he did not give up and shy away from life’s new reality. He has stood against all his medical problems and uneasiness.

He had slowly recovered and accepted the hard fact of the new second life given by God.

He had started to build his life uniquely and fascinatingly, i.e., participating Marathons with newly ignited mental stamina against his physical and medical shortcomings.

Today, He runs an NGO for the people who lost legs & hands due to accidents and or other reasons and encouraged them to participate Marathons and live with full charm and style.

Once a reporter asked him about his transformation of life, He said “it is all in mind, I realized the moment you give up, even the doctors cannot save you.” 


miss jilumol

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Miss Jilumol of Thodupuzha in Kerala was born without hands.

She had been passionate about driving a car on her own since her childhood.

She has learned about the people who have a license and comfortably driving their car as ordinary people used to do. 

Miss Jilumol, now at the age of 28, her dream became a reality by driving her car by using legs instead of hands.

When the reporter asked her about her long and passionate life story, She said, “One can either sit or wail about things cannot do or overcome fear and emerge victoriously. I chose the latter”.

 (You can read her full story

What to Learn from These 2 True Stories?

  • There are some common similarities between both cases. Such as they are like ordinary citizens like us, faced with the most challenging situation in life.
  • They had fallen prey to the unusual nature of hassles, but they came back with victories with sheer determination, devotion, and hard work.
  • You may also notice that both of them have physical and medical inabilities. Still, they have taken it positively & successfully became role models due to their Mental stamina.
  • They have shown and proven that mental strength is much higher than physical and medical health and guiding principles to achieve success. 
  • During the Selection Service Board test, you will be evaluated and assessed more about mental stamina than physical & Medical health. 
  • Because physical and medical strength can make up through training and medication within a brief period. 
  • However, developing mental stamina will take much more time and constant & conscious efforts by the individual itself.

2. Why we need Mental Stamina in Defence Service Officers?

how to prepare for ssb

People generally know that Indian defence personnel lives in tents, temporary and permanent bunkers in the borders of hilly location.

They also have to carryout long-distance patrolling, live in forests, and sometimes fight with wild animals as same as militants & terrorists, .etc.

The defence personnel will face natural and climatic difficulties and challenges in a shorter or sometimes prolonged period of time. 

They have a certain degree of training and support from the organization.

But what is more important is to face these challenges by sheer will power or mental stamina. 

Defence force aspirants cannot achieve success without a winning spirit of mental stamina like Major DP Singh and Miss Jilumol, as explained above.

You may also have different types and circumstances to face and overcome the challenges daily.

Sometimes it may be against climate and some time against our enemies and most of them against our negative thoughts.

3. Understanding the Concept of Mental stamina

  • Mental stamina is defined as the ability to stay healthy in the face of an adverse situation to keep your focus and determination to complete the tasks despite the difficulties you encounter.
  • Mental stamina is the ability to sustain continued and prolonged physical and psychological effort. 
  • In other words, where the body fails, the mind works and completes the job successfully.
  • Mental toughness or mental stamina is “Having the natural or developed psychological edge”.
  • This enables you to cope better than your opponents with several demands (competitions, training, lifestyle)
  • Mental stamina is something about positiveness and courage to face odds and difficulties.It is necessary because a defence service officer who leads, guides, motivates, and performs the troops under him has to show extra mental stamina to carry out the group task successfully.​
  • Mental stamina determines our ability to sustain physical and medical shortcoming and convert it into a real strength. Therefore people say to be concrete and explore your real depth rather than negativeness of you. 
  • Mental stamina is the capacity to deal with pressure, challenges & perform to the best of knowledge & abilities.​Hence mentally tough individuals see challenges & adversity as opportunities and develop a positive approach to deal with a calm and stress-free environment.  

4. Qualities of Mental Stamina | Mentally Strong Tips

mental stamina

a) Positive Attitude

  • Think and act positively in every situation is the first and most significant component of an individual’s mental stamina.

In our daily life, there are many instances we will face difficulties, problems, stress. 

But if you cultivate a positive attitude in a day to day life, you will feel happiness, joy, and progress in your activities. ​

  • A positive attitude is a state of mind that produces energy to work harder to achieve happiness and feel the confidence to face more challenges.

It is a supernatural belief in mind that whatever I am doing or going to do, will give me the ability to progress better and be more optimistic.​

  • A positive attitude develops a nature to win every situation, and mindset says “I can” and only see the day’s brighter side. 

The defence aspirants should have a positive attitude to face challenges and competitions during SSB. 

It is an opportunity to explore a new circle of friends and sometimes go along with or lead while accepting their perspective.​

  • Thinking and cultivating your mind into a positive approach will give good results in your academics and extracurricular activities. 

Therefore, training with a positive attitude in any situation will provide energy to overcome the pain and laxity.​

  • Replace your negative thoughts and fill pleasant & happy memories with realistic thoughts to remain stable in life’s positive attitude. 

Therefore, Willie Nelson said, “Once you replace negative thoughts with a positive one, you will start having positive results.” Major DP Singh’s life is the best example of the right positive thinking.​

  • A positive attitude will inspire us to achieve our dream come true. 

The old saying “Nothing is impossible” According to Remez Sasson, “Positive thinking is a mental and emotional attitude that focuses on the bright side of life and expects positive results.”​

  • Some of the positive attitude characteristics are acceptance, gratitude, optimism, and straightforward, etc.

Your approach towards positive thinking will test in SSB through various psychological and group tasking method.

b) Prepare for Setbacks.

how to increase mental stamina

Can we get success all the time? and how will our reaction be while facing delays, criticism, isolation & failure?

Most of you heard about the life story of Abraham Lincon, the United States of America’s President, who instrumental in banning slavery of the country, had failed to get a senator seat many times.

  • Always prepare for the worst and plan for the best will enable us to still face challenges and effective preparedness. We will always make for a plan B action while determine to get success.​
  • Accept the failure or delays in your actions & take responsibilities and develop realistic remedial measures to become successful.​
  • Write down the setbacks’ causes and ask yourself why it has happened and discuss it with friends or family members.

Any setbacks can harm you emotionally and psychologically temporarily. But remember, setbacks in life will open a new door and new thinking in life.

  • Each failure will allow fighting back with more energy and self-confidence. It is prevalent that some failure will lead to a successful end.

Prepared and expected setbacks will realize to plan a more positive outlook in a realistic manner. Hence, Madsen & Desai (2010)said, the knowledge gained from our failure lasts longer than those from our success”,

c) Use visualization

Visualization techniques guide us on how to use our minds to achieve success and reach our goal. It is imagination in our intention to make the final goal, i.e., successful completion of SSB.

You will make a way to visualize all SSB processes in your mind’s account and formulate action & reaction in each test you will participate in. 

As you may hear, a cross country competitor encourages running the route every day to attend the competition finals. He will see the way and store each curve, hill, and plain track in his mind.

In this same way, The defence aspirants try to visualize and train with a consistent, focused, and specific positive mind to develop and work hard to achieve the final goal.

5. How to Increase Mental Stamina For SSB

a) Regular Physical Exercise

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The daily physical activities such as strength exercise, sports & games, and yoga, etc. will increase mental toughness.

Indoor and outdoor games with your friends and participation in sports events in school and college in conventional ways will increase mental stamina.  

You can also get an idea how to do Simple Physical Fitness Exercises at time  SSB Preparation.

b) Mental Stamina Can Develop By Facing Challenges And Difficulties As Opportunities

Self-confidence can make through commitment & self-belief, strength & weakness. 

Always focus on your strength, not weakness, because all of us have some strengths and weaknesses.

Identifying and taking new challenges into opportunities with replacing negative thoughts. Learn from past mistakes. 

c) Induce positive energy & thoughts in mind.

how to increase mental strength

Your ideas should develop in such a manner that you get a more happy and relaxed feeling. 

Positive energy will help you to focus and concentrate on achieving prioritized tasks and set goals in life to succeed.

Developing a positive attitude and relaxation exercise can help you manage stress and do one thing. The happiness program of the Sree Ravi & Bhama Kumari is beneficial to some extend.

d) Continue to Study 

Improvement of knowledge will increase self-confidence and commitment.

Try to make friends and well-wishers who can inspire and motivate you rather than discourage you at the time of need.

e) Good food & eat right and adequate rest

Will increase mental stamina. A healthy and balanced breakfast each day will give energy and strength for the entire day.

f) Time Plan 

mentally strong tips

Including daily, weekly, month, and yearly time and work plan, will achieve success in life. Write down and identifying the target and work for the same, including celebrating each success is good to start.

g) Try to do something new 

Including early wake-up, go for running, sports and studies in time and get out of the comfort zone, etc.` Remember “Mental toughness is finding the fuel when the tank is empty.”


Conclusion & story of Captain Anuj Nayyar, MVC(P)

captain anuj nayyar

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Indian defence force personnel face many personal and organizational challenges and difficulties daily.

It is a part and parcel of life in uniform due to service conditions in various locations and environments.


Hence developing mental stamina is part of the training curriculum of the academies during training and subsequent services.

However, the mindset and requirements of risk-taking capacity & attitude of facing unusual and strange happening of everyone’s life determine the ability of each individual who is looking forward to becoming an officer in the Indian defence force.

The Major of the Indian Army’s true story will enlighten you about the influence of Mental Stamina.

Captain Anuj Nayyar, MVC(Posthumously), son of Professor SK Nayyar from Delhi, studied in Army Public School, Dhaula Kuan.

Anuj was met a severe accident, when he was 17 years old, went through 22 stitches without anaesthetist.

It was a tough time for the doctors and nurses who had carried out surgery & stitches due to repairing his leg muscles were torn entirely from the knee to the toe. But the young boy said, ‘Pain lies in the brain, not in the Leg.’

Once a reporter asked him why he chose to be part of the Indian Army and said, “I wanted to see Siachen and see who is stronger, me or Siachen”

While he was with his Regiment, his commanding Officer Colonel Umesh Bawa, who told him that “An opportunity to fight only comes to the most fortunate soldiers, either you can brave and be remembered forever, or you do not fulfill your duty and be branded a coward for life”

During Operation Vijay in 1999, Captain Anuj Nayyar took charge as Company Commander of Charlie Company of 17 Jat Regiment.

He led his team for a counter-attack on Point 4875, where Pakistani infiltrators had constructed bunkers with more ten enemy personnel.

During the battle, Captain and his team killed 9 Pakistani soldiers and destroyed three medium machine gun bunkers. 

Captain Nayyar showed extreme courage and grit in the enemy’s face while leading from the front in dire circumstances.

He had sacrificed his life with Jat Regiment war cry “JAT BALWAN, JAI BHAGWAN(The Jat is powerful, Victory to God” to our Mother Land.

Capt Anuj Nayyar was awarded “Maha Vir Chakra” for his exceptional courage, unyielding fighting spirit, and supreme courage on 15 August 1999.

In short, the person’s mental stamina can only get success rather than physical and medical fitness. 

This mental stamina can only generate in our mind through continued and constant practice and self-motivated training, as explained above.

The psychologist, Ground Tasking officer, and Interviewing officer individually and jointly assess and evaluate the candidates through various techniques and tools. 

In the end, clearing SSB and becoming an officer of the Indian Army is not Catwalk, but it is beginning to the Indian Combat (the way of extraordinary life).

Other Articles to Read

Important Tips To Prepare For SSB Physical Test At HomeHow To Prepare For SSB Medical Test and Avoid Permanent Rejection

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