We understand that physical fitness has far-reaching benefits, including reduced risk of diseases, improved mood, and increased energy. While the importance of physical exercise is common knowledge, emotional fitness is equally as important, and incorporating it into our lives is essential to our well-being.
What is emotional fitness?
Emotional fitness is a state wherein an individual can remain resilient, focused, and positive in stressful or challenging circumstances.
Improving your emotional fitness helps you achieve and maintain your well-being while simultaneously cultivating awareness of your thoughts and feelings. In addition, emotional fitness exercises can boost poor memory, help you decompress, and increase your ability to choose pathways in life that serve you better.
Emotional fitness is comprised of seven core components:
- Self-awareness is considered the basis of emotional fitness. Understanding our emotional triggers and biases is crucial for building successful relationships. According to research on emotional intelligence, most people (95%) believe they are self-aware, while only a small percentage of them (10-15%) are.
- Empathy is the ability to understand and share the emotions and feelings of another. It enables us to see things from a different point of view.
- Mindfulness is the awareness that arises through paying attention. Free from distraction judgment, it helps us fully engage in the present moment.
- Curiosity is a crucial component of growth. The desire to know or learn something helps us understand the difference between what we wish to be true and what really is true.
- Play is the ability to allow yourself to build connections and let your creativity flow. You can get a different perspective on the world by trying new things.
- Resilience is invaluable in the face of challenges. Cultivating resilience lets us bounce back from failures and setbacks that may come across our path.
- Communication is at the core of emotional fitness because expressing our thoughts, needs, and boundaries is crucial for building healthy relationships.
Improving your emotional fitness isn’t as challenging as preparing for a marathon. Still, it takes time and effort. With consistency, improvement should be noticeable. There are many examples of how you can implement mental exercises into your daily routine and we’ve gathered a few examples:
- Create a gratitude journal. Whether you prefer a hand-written notebook or a document on your computer, cultivating an “attitude of gratitude” has many benefits. Most importantly, it shifts your mind to a more optimistic outlook.
- Try new things. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, trying new experiences is beneficial for retaining your brain cells and connections. Studies show that keeping your brain active also boosts its vitality. Discover new places, taste fresh food, and explore new hobbies.
- Move your body. Physical exercise is a great way to exercise your brain, too! When working out, your brain must learn new skills and practice balance. Remember that your body is a complex, unified system: you will feel at your best when you take care of it as a whole.
- Daydream. Take the time to sit back, close your eyes and picture yourself in a beautiful space. Choose an environment that brings you comfort. Whether it’s a lush green forest, a sandy beach or a dramatic mountaintop, let this visualization give you peace and tranquillity.
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