There’s an obsession within our society with being as physically fit and healthy as possible. So we’re constantly scouring the Internet, reading all the magazines and buying all the books for the latest and greatest diets and health products, along with the best exercise programs.
We then work feverishly to sculpt out and tailor the best possible body that we can get as we obsess with the seemingly futile attempts of attempting to mirror those chiseled physiques which are plastered on all of the latest Health magazine covers.
But how much attention do we actually pay towards improving our Emotional Fitness Levels.
We as children constantly exercised our physical muscles to develop coordination, increase our strength, improve our balance and agility. We ran around freely while enjoying a wide range of physical activities.
But there was never not enough time or effort dedicated to exercising or exploring our emotional muscles. This would prove important later in life, allowing us to be able to openly express our full range of emotional experiences and thoughts.
It’s easy to pick out those people as adults, who were encouraged and given the liberty to be able to fully flex and use their emotional muscles as children. They are acutely more aware and vocal of their feelings as they will voluntarily express their views appropriately and precisely, without hesitation or embarrassment.
These are the individuals which are known to have high “emotional intelligence.” Others have learned this skill later in life however, either by their words written, their voice spoken or by their actions.
They have learned which emotions to use as well as knowing what the appropriate outward expressions of emotions are acceptable, and which ones are not.
Based on that old notion of decades ago, “Children should be seen and not heard.” Kids from that era, talking and freely giggling may have been considered a little too disruptive and as a result, was discouraged.
Anger, eventually resulting in aggression are usually considered inappropriate and thus not allowed. It’s easy to understand why kids who were raised in these types of restrictive environments quickly learned to bury all of their emotions.
It’s also easy to understand why these individuals might find it a little harder to build as well as maintain close relationships, which usually require emotional openness, vulnerability and honesty.
Some of our physical muscles as adult remain underdeveloped, while other muscles become overdeveloped. The same can be said about our emotional muscles as well.
These imbalances or distortions can cause physical as well as emotional fatigue, inflexibility and pain. When you eventually begin assessing your own emotional fitness, you may realize that your emotional muscles may not have developed evenly.
Your sadness or your pity muscle may be overdeveloped, while your assertiveness muscle may be underdeveloped. When things don’t go your way, you might begin to cry or get mad. You might also have difficulty when expressing your anger or disappointment.
You will eventually realize that you have to work on developing your emotional fitness program. You’re aware that to be emotionally fit, you’ll need to know your feelings and then find the healthiest ways to be able to express them, all this on a daily basis.
So do you consider yourself emotionally fit? If not, then are you willing to begin exercising all of your emotional muscles, much like how you work out your physical muscles. Surprisingly, the actual processes are similar.
First off, you’ll begin to feel a lot better, similar to that highly intensive physical workout that you just finished at the gym. Then you may also begin to feel worse, much like the sore muscles that you get after that workout.
Eventually, overall, you’ll start feeling a lot better as the stiffness and soreness will subside, you begin to realize that you’re a lot stronger and more alert. Just like physically working out, emotional fitness is a process and will take time, commitment and effort.
Think what happens to your body if you frequently disrupt or stop your physical fitness routine. You eventually begin to lose all of that energy as well as the muscle tone. Similarly, you’ll begin missing the full benefits of what emotional fitness has to offer when your emotional muscles are not flexed enough or regularly.
Like any well planned physical fitness program, an effective strategy or plan for emotional fitness requires a dedicated sequence of steps. The first is to identify exactly where you’re at emotionally, and then knowing where you want to be.
So begin by asking yourself the following questions.
• What are the emotions which I experience during the day?
• Does one distinct emotion usually override over others?
• Is the quality of my daily life compromised because of an unexpressed emotion?
• Why is it that I’m unwilling to express certain emotions?
• How am I able to put that particular emotion to better use?
• How am I able to build emotional fitness, so I can optimize my personal as well as professional life?
Take note as well as reflect on these questions, and you’ll have taken that initial step towards bettering your emotional fitness. The next step may be just talking this over with your family, spouse or close friends while also accessing pertinent information from books or from the Internet.
Maybe even seek out a counselor or a life coach who can help you in initially sorting out your emotions. You can realize and then develop your most underdeveloped emotional muscles, while curing or toning down the most overdeveloped ones.
Almost guaranteed is the difference that it can make in your personal as well as your professional life. It’s encouraged that you begin to embrace all of the concepts of emotional fitness. It will definitely help you feel a lot better!