Working on our physical fitness has become a part of our daily routine in some shape or another, and we often make the time in our day to work on this. But how many of you have heard of emotional fitness? Or take time to practice it?
Emotional fitness is the idea that exercising our mind is as important as exercising our body in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. How do we do this, this practice of thriving rather than simply surviving every day?
Have you though about how you handle every day stressful situations or big life changes, and how this impacts your behaviour and attitude toward those in your life? Mindfulness is the practice of redirecting one’s attention, to be able to choose what to focus on or disengage from. Eventually, this useful life skill allows us to focus away from negativity to focus on positive thoughts, actions, and behaviours that will transform our life.
Watch the TED talk ‘Want To Be Happy? Be Grateful’ by David Steindl-Rast. His talk highlights the fact that happy people are not automatically grateful, but rather grateful people who are happy people, regardless of how many possessions they own. It is often how we interpret an event that gives it its meaning, rather than the objects or people themselves. By changing our thinking patterns, we change how we interpret and respond to situations.
Finally, we need to check in with ourselves a bit more on a daily basis rather than coasting through life on autopilot. Check in with what you’re feeling rather than hide from it throughout the day. Only by constructively confronting an emotion are we able to make positive changes, hiding from negative emotions only feed them.
Just like we can’t expect to play in an orchestra after a handful of violin lessons, we cannot expect results after practising any of these skills only a few times. Every single moment presents a new opportunity for growth and learning.