The following 4 Powerful Ways to Strengthen Your Emotional Fitness, is a guest post by Trevor McDonald, a freelance writer.
You hit the treadmill or elliptical for your physical fitness, but what about your emotional fitness? The human body is a machine that needs to be maintained as a whole unit to function properly. Physical fitness is an important facet, but emotional and mental fitness is too. These two have a lot of overlap, but there are some key differences. For example, mental fitness might include brain workouts such as Sudoku to increase mental clarity—emotional fitness digs a little deeper.
Caring for our emotional fitness is critical, but so often put on the back burner. We’re expected to multi-task around the clock and truly work 24/7 thanks to all the ways we’re connected. That can seriously drain all of our well-being. We’re still at the start of 2018, and there’s plenty of time to make emotional fitness a priority for the year. Here are four powerful ways to quickly up your emotional fitness for a happier, healthier you.
How to Strengthen Emotional Fitness
Therapy is for everyone, and there are many types of professionals. Mental health therapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists are all available to help you better navigate all aspects of your life. Some focus on specific issues, such as depression or eating disorders. However, not everyone has the time or resources to see a therapist regularly. Choose a virtual option for zero commutes and often lower costs. Some insurance plans cover mental health, too, so make sure you check with your provider. Having a non-biased, professional third party to discuss challenges with can be a fantastic avenue to improve your emotional fitness.
Spend Time Outside
Go outdoors. It really is that easy, and it doesn’t matter where you live. Even those in the biggest of metros have parks nearby, and it’s immersing yourself in the great outdoors that offers incredible emotional healing opportunities. Go on a brisk walk, an urban hike, or explore the outdoors with a pet (yours, or you can volunteer to walk a friends’!). Getting in touch with nature is an age-old, proven way of feeling better and decreasing your stress levels. The best part? It’s totally free and often right outside the door. It can also be a way to walk away from work and refresh yourself. In some cases, it can even take the place of your afternoon caffeine fix.
Be Honest & Open Up
Tell someone how you’re really feeling. Our culture encourages us to bottle things up until we explode—sometimes all over social media. It’s not always realistic or safe to tell someone why you’re upset or how they hurt you. In some cases, it’s best to walk away. However, chatting with a therapist or writing them a letter you’ll never send can help ease emotional blocks. Our interactions with others can cause lasting residue on our emotional well-being. If you’ve ever known someone who talked for years about someone who wronged them, you know how sticky these situations can be. Find a way to let go, often by communicating, and ease your emotional burden.
If you’re struggling with overcoming emotional residue, 10 Steps to Overcome Adversity can help.
There is a myriad of mental health and wellness apps available, many free and fun to use. However, both therapists and apps can take some trial and error. You might need to test out a few before you find the one that clicks for you. For those who are tech-savvy, but not tech addicted, an app can be a convenient and intuitive way to track your emotional fitness for the day and see what you can do to improve it—perhaps taking a break or choosing a soothing activity like journaling.
Nobody can navigate life completely on their own with no outlets, at least not in a healthful manner. Our emotional fitness is just as important as our physical. However, it’s not always a priority because it’s not as obvious as our physical well-being. Do your emotional self a favor and give it a little TLC. You might be surprised at the results.
Trevor is a freelance writer and recovering addict & alcoholic who’s been clean and sober for over 5 years. Since his recovery began, he has enjoyed using his talent for words to help spread treatment resources, addiction awareness, and general health knowledge. In his free time, you can find him working with recovering addicts or outside enjoying about any type of fitness activity imaginable.
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