Physical fitness is easy to see from the mirror, or a scale and if you want to work on this try beginner tennis lessons. But emotional fitness is quite hard to see so it makes it difficult to manage. I thought I have done so much work on myself the past two years, and I am pretty good at understanding and managing my emotions. But the holiday brings so much mixed emotions and I was surprised by how emotional I was, again!
I hosted our annual family Thanksgiving dinner at my house. We had great food like usual and a great time hanging out with my step-kids, especially my two adorable grand daughters. After everybody left that night, I suddenly felt so lonely. I haven’t had this feeling for many months. Then my friend called me. During the conversation, somehow I was hoping this friend can save me from the horrible loneliness I was feeling at that moment. Since we are quite close, I thought this person should not just understand me, but also should take care of me by fulfilling my neediness. Obviously, this friend was quite confused and frustrated with not really knowing what to do.
It took me about two days finally understood myself and re-center my emotions. This event was a great opportunity for me to notice that maybe I have gotten my physical body back through almost two years of gym routines and healthy eating. I am at a pretty good physical fitness level. But my emotional fitness level is still low at certain areas. So how to improve my emotional fitness became my recent focus.
The first thing came to my head was, how to improve? I didn’t really know at first, then a few days ago when I was in my gym class. I figured it out. To improve my emotional fitness just like the physical fitness, I need to know where I am first and then set a goal with what I would like to achieve in 3 months, half year or one year. I have pretty clear self-awareness for the most part, but for certain areas, I have to just put more effort to figure it out so I can get the inner peace that I always wanted. Those emotional areas are like the stubborn tummy fat. It will take a lot of work to see the results.
Then the second question was, how to figure it out? Or what is the action to reach my emotional fitness goals? At this moment, what I have learned the most effective way for me, was to step out of my emotions for a while. It sounds weird, but I have learned that I must pause my feelings, then step out to watch it like a movie, or a play. You know we often become very clear when we listen to others story but so struggled when we are IN the story? So I observe it like others story and this way I can understand it better. I also tried a new approach after I have learned the golden rule of “Focus on what I want”. If you are not sure what I am talking about, you can read my previous post “BEING THE BEST OF ME || FOCUS ON WHAT I WANT” to get a better idea. Basically, if I focus on the problem, all my brain can see, my body can feel is this problem. Eventually, this problem became the major thing of my day and my life. For example, I lost my late husband. It was for sure a huge problem. I can focus on “Why this happened to me? What I have done wrong to get punished so badly? Why I am always having bad luck?” Obviously, this focus will result in me being angry, suffering more in pain and depressed. But if I shift my focus on other things, like my fashion dream, I started to feel the joy of life again and it helps me to rebuild my confidence and emotional strength. Temporally not thinking about the problem that I lost my late husband, helped me gained the power to revisit the problem again with a better level of emotional fitness. I was used to so focus on the problem because I want to find out why and how to solve it. It only made the problem bigger and I suffer even more.
It is just like the physical fitness, emotional fitness takes a lot of effort to work on daily by observing, reflecting, letting go for a while, learning more ways to handle it and eventually to gain a more powerful mindset that can turn everything into possibility and make the best out of everything happens in life. Practice, practice and practice, I am determined to lose my emotional stubborn belly fat! Lol! Where are you at with your emotional fitness?
Photo credit: Grace Liang
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