Emotional fitness helps us feel in control of our emotions and our behavior. It makes handling life’s challenges more doable and leads to stronger, healthier relationships. Just as maintaining physical fitness requires effort; maintaining mental or emotional health requires some discipline and good habits. Choosing to take even a short time each day to strengthen our emotional health will benefit our lives. We will build our resilience, boost our mood, feel more confident and find more joy in the moment.
Being emotionally fit or healthy does not mean that life will always be easy. We all have bad days—all have insecurities and we all face disappointments, change or loss. These tough times can cause frustration, sadness, worry and stress.
When we are emotionally fit we will find that we bounce back from times of stress, trauma and adversity more quickly. We are more resilient. We take things in stride a little easier. We have a reserve to draw on, are more able to focus on solutions and be flexible and creative in our problem solving.
Here are some simple ways to strengthen your emotional fitness:
- Develop health-promoting routines
- Get enough sleep. Everything seems worse when you are sleep deprived.
- Eat a balanced diet. Physical health contributes to emotional wellbeing.
- Exercise regularly. Get those endorphins flowing.
- Spend some time in the sun; take a few moments each day to enjoy nature.
- Avoid too much caffeine, alcohol and other substances that unnaturally alter your state and have negative consequences for your health and wellbeing.
- Take care of yourself
- Practice gratitude. Choosing to focus on what you are grateful for is one of the best antidotes to negative thoughts, feelings and actions.
- Create and enjoy positive memories. You can benefits as you make and then later remember those positive moments.
- Take time to be still. Learn to meditate and practice meditation or listen to soothing music.
- Learn something new. Enjoy a sense of growth and accomplishment.
- Be kind to yourself.
- Set and maintain healthy boundaries. Learn to say no without guilt.
- Exercise your self-discipline muscle. Little positive choices made consistently can add up to huge results.
- Put a time limit on draining mental habits like negative self-talk and worry.
- Find healthy ways to reduce and manage stress.
- Practice being in the moment; pay attention to your senses.
- Make time for fun. Smile and laugh. Humor is also a great antidote to the negative and does wonders to build resilience.
- Vividly picture yourself as happy, healthy and emotionally strong. See your self responding well to challenges and enjoying good times.
- Reach out to others
- Help others. Volunteering can help build confidence and bring positive feelings.
- Shut off distractions (phone, TV, computers etc.) Make eye contact and talk to others.
- Join a club or group. Find something that gets you out of the house regularly.
- Spend time with positive people.
- Share your thoughts and feelings appropriately with those who support and have an interest in you.
Strengthening your emotional fitness will increase your enjoyment of life. You will enjoy a greater sense of contentment; find it easier to balance meeting the needs of other while meeting your own needs. Make strengthening your emotional fitness a priority. This will benefit all aspects of your life.