Take this test and it might give you a better idea…be honest with your answers!
How did you do? And if you are too impatient to take the test, do a quick self evaluation….are you emotionally fit? Do you even know what that means? Why is Leslie making me ask myself so many questions? I thought this was a fitness blog?
Well you’re right, it is, but what I have learned through many years of experience as a personal trainer is this; a majority of people’s issues that prevent them from ‘getting fit’ or ‘building their dream body’ or ‘getting their life under control’ or ‘living a healthier, happier life’ or simply the main reason why people struggle with their self confidence and ability to take better care of themselves on a daily basis all comes down to this….they lack emotional fitness.
So what is emotional fitness you ask?
“The ability to deal with life’s challenges in a positive way. It means taking control over your choices and actions, having the inner strength to be who you want to be. Becoming emotionally fit is important because it enables you to live at peace with yourself and those around you. By becoming emotionally fit you will be able to resolve conflicts faster and avoid and sand traps of self condemnation anger and resentment”
WOW I LOVE IT! Especially this part….”having the inner strength to be who you want to be…avoid the sand traps of self condemnation anger and resentment”….who doesn’t want that?!! There would be a lot less depressed people in this world if more people worked on their emotional fitness don’t you agree?
Now you might be someone who is very emotionally fit but I am sure there was a period of your life when you weren’t. I am one of those people…
When I was younger I can remember times when I would be EASILY upset, be super hard on myself, and if things wouldn’t go my way I would deal with the disappointment by eating bad food…which would lead to guilt…which would lead to me feeling worse about myself etc etc. Can anyone relate to this?? It’s a vicious cycle! I would shut off the world, stop working out and taking care of myself and turn into a very negative person. Self destruction was my thing. Since I started taking better care of myself the past 5 years or so, and have become a personal trainer/coach I find myself being much more stable with my emotions. Yoga teacher training also helped improve my self image and how I treated myself physically and mentally as we did a lot of self study and reflection. But I find myself practicing and working on my emotional fitness everyday…it has almost become automatic now….but the most important thing I had to conquer was self awareness! It is crazy how this can make such a huge impact in my everyday life! I went from being a very hyper active, crazy, loud, unrealistic, party animal, poor listener, super busy, go go go, type of person (which still comes out at times but I catch myself and self correct much quicker now!) to a more calm, under control, level headed, realistic, good listener, ambitious. hard working (yet know my limits) and for the most part an emotionally stable person (correct me if I am wrong!?) This obviously didn’t happen overnight (just like building big muscles and a lean physique doesn’t happen overnight), it took quite a bit of work, deep self study, lots of practice and surrounding myself with the right people who brought out the best in me! It also helps that I am doing what I love as a career, helping people feel better about themselves!!!
If you are someone who needs a little boost and you’re not sure where to get started the first thing you have to do is to FEEL BETTER ABOUT YOURSELF! Sounds hard right? Well for some people it is a daily struggle! Here are some tools to help you overcome your negative thoughts you can’t seem to get rid of….
10 Ways to Feel Better About Yourself (from PsychologyToday.com)
1. Keep going. Don’t let life’s changes throw you off track, but remember that most challenging situations are temporary. Gain more clarity by staying the course and channeling your energy in a positive direction.
2. Trust yourself. Believe in your inner resources, no matter what, and you’ll grow from the experience. I believe that the answers usually lie within and you are probably smart enough to figure out what you need to do. Give yourself a little time and have patience.
3. Be friends with life. Remember that the world is not out to get you and it does not punish you. You do that to yourself. Learning to focus on other opportunities or in another direction can give you some perspective.
4. Watch your thoughts. Your thinking will never be 100 percent positive. You must learn to dismiss the negative thoughts and stay open to other ideas that will help you move in a positive direction. Start recognizing negative thoughts and use your mind to quell them.
5. Summon the strength you have inside. Learn to access and direct your strengths to the highest good for all concerned. Believe that your strength and intelligence can help you deal with anything. Remember that you have survived worse.
6. Learn to love yourself. You do not have to be who you are today, and your life is not scripted. Changing how you feel about yourself means creating a strategy, gathering some new tools, and making yourself into the person you want to be. A good way to start is to stop doing things that hurt.
7. Don’t want too much. Desire can be a powerful motivating tool, but wanting something too much can be very painful and very expensive, so don’t live beyond your means or covet the unattainable. Seek your desire, but keep your integrity.
8. Don’t get insulted. It is wise to be dispassionate about critical comments. Human’s will always bump heads, but consider the source, and if it’s the other person’s issue, ignore it. Learn to respond instead of react, and don’t show your ire.
9. Recognize that disappointment is part of life. Even the most successful people have to deal with disappointment, but they’ve learned how to use it to get to the next level of life. The trick is to process your feelings, then take some kind of action.
10. Deal with your fears. Overcoming fear makes you stronger, and being a little scared can make you better. You want to have butterflies; you just want them flying in formation. It helps to understand and admit your fears. Then you can kick them to the curb.
Feel good about yourself, no matter what life brings. Know that each time you wake up, you have another chance to make things better. Don’t waste it!!
It’s hard, but just like anything else you want to strengthen or improve YOU MUST PRACTICE! Here are some more things to consider practicing that will help you strengthen your emotional fitness muscles…..
1-Always remember to be grateful for what you have instead of focusing on what you don’t have. 2-We all have a purpose on this earth, so find out what yours is and LIVE IT! 3-Exercise is the best medicine, it is the most important for your overall health, and no matter what kind of day you are having, you will always feel better after exercising, so….MOVE EVERYDAY! 4-Remember someone who cared or someone who cares, try your best not to focus on the negative people or things in your life, surround yourself with people who lift you up not those that bring you down. 5-Practice kindness with friends, family, co workers, strangers, whoever, just because, not because you want something in return! 6-Laugh, play and have some fun…smiling is contagious, you should do it EVERYDAY! 7-Indulge in a healthy pleasure…in moderation of course! Mmmm dark chocolate…just 1 piece won’t hurt 😉 8- Forgive one another and most importantly 9- FORGIVE YOURSELF! No one is perfect, we all need to love ourselves a little bit more each day.. 10-Put it in perspective…is what you’re upset about really worth it in the grand scheme of things? Probably not!
If you’re still not sure what emotional fitness is after reading this blog post, you can always hire an emotional fitness coach (yes they do exist!) I am actually pretty interested in the training that is required to become an emotional fitness coach…
Happy New Year blog readers! I hope your 2014 has been off to a great start…