April 10, 2017
How to utilize emotional fitness
What do successful people all have in common? They don’t allow challenges and setbacks to hold them back; instead, they use these moments as opportunities to propel themselves forward. They are resilient and determined, and they bring that positive energy wherever they go.
In other words, they have emotional fitness.
When you experience something difficult or painful, do you bounce back and continue on your journey, or do you dwell on it and let it control your state? The emotional fitness definition includes being resilient, positive and focused. It means you can change your mindset from angry, anxious or sad and instead focus on constructive emotions and tasks. Ultimately, you’re able to bounce right back and continue on your journey even stronger than you were before.
If you have trouble controlling your emotions or finding the lessons in life’s trials, you’re not alone – there is emotional fitness training you can do to help yourself become more adaptable. Just as you need to exercise your body to make it as strong and resilient as it can be, you must exercise your mind to ensure it’s equipped to rebound from life’s endless obstacles.
Why do I need emotional fitness?
Emotional fitness is your best armor against all of life’s challenges. Nothing can throw you off course because you know your purpose – and it gives you inner strength. You’ve cultivated the skill to block difficulties from infiltrating your mission. This is the meaning of emotional fitness: the ability to think positively, practice gratitude and find the lesson in everything can help your career, your relationships and your state of mind.
Whenever you feel your emotions bubbling up – maybe someone cuts you off in traffic, you receive a rejection at work or you simply feel exhausted and overwhelmed by life – take yourself through the following emotional fitness training steps to strengthen your resilience in much the same way a workout strengthens your body.
Identify the feeling
Ask yourself what you’re really feeling. It sounds simple, and it is. Yet many of us don’t take the time to do this in the heat of the moment. Usually, the first thing we feel is a symptom of a deeper, more difficult feeling we’re avoiding. For instance, we commonly feel anger at the surface when, deep down, we’re actually feeling rejected or unheard. Or, the deeper meaning of feeling sad may be loneliness and abandonment. We may feel uninspired because we have a fear of failure. Finding clarity on the true emotion behind your feeling is the first step to overcoming it.
Find gratitude for your emotion
Emotions can be so incredibly uncomfortable that it’s hard to remember they’re actually there to help. They’re guideposts for life’s trajectory, letting us know what is and isn’t working. And suppressing them is never helpful – emotions have a way of coming out, whether you want them to or not. Instead of pushing down feelings like sadness or anger, work on developing an appreciation for them. Even if they’re making you uncomfortable in the moment, know that your emotions are there to tell you something. Emotional fitness means you’re willing to do the work to find out what that is.
Discover your confidence
Think about a time in the past when you’ve felt similarly sad, defeated or uncomfortable and managed to overcome it. Tap into that past experience and pull out confidence for the present. Think of healthy coping mechanisms you’ve used – perhaps you put on relaxing music or looked at pictures from better times in your life. Perhaps you wrote a letter that you never sent to the person who triggered your emotion. If you’ve handled it before, you can handle it again, and you can do it better this time because you already have experience under your belt.
Make an emotional fitness training plan
Become empowered by asking yourself the right questions that reframe the emotion into a solvable problem: What can I learn from this? How do I want to feel? What would I have to believe to feel that way right now? What am I willing to do about it? Once you’ve found the lesson in the emotion or event, you can create actionable goals that will help you let go of the emotion or event.
If you experienced a business setback or an argument in your relationship, you may be able to control your actions in the future to avoid a repeat of the scenario. And while it’s true some things in life are out of our control, as Tony Robbins says, “The secret of success is learning how to use pain and pleasure instead of having pain and pleasure use you. If you do that, you’re in control of your life. If you don’t, life controls you.”
Make a plan to deal with the emotion quickly next time it is triggered. You’ll soon find yourself remaining calm.
If you continue practicing these steps each time you experience uncomfortable emotions, you’ll develop a level of resiliency that will buoy you over any obstacle that comes your way. The true definition of emotional fitness is someone who is totally unstoppable.