The Step-by-Step Guide to Emotional Fitness - Goodlife Zen

The Step-by-Step Guide to Emotional Fitness

Our culture is emotionally out-of-whack.

We live in a maze of thoughts, media, culture, people, noise, words, screens, air, and confusion.

Through our lives, we’re expected to move through these experiences and derive meaning from them.

We’re supposed to figure out our lives.

We’re supposed to have it all together.

But we don’t. We fail.

We’re not perfect people – we weren’t born with the ability to do things right on the first try.

And we all – regardless of who we are – come to this life with our own set of problems and issues. It’s just that some of the problems we carry, are mental.

They’re emotional.

And they’re ruining our lives.

More people with emotional issues are seeking treatment than ever before.

We live in a world where everyone is just as lost, as scared, and as confused as you are, but no one’s talking about it.

In a word, we are emotionally unfit. So how do we fix this?

The first step toward gaining emotional fitness

It doesn’t seem acceptable to say, I don’t feel like I’m enough, or, I don’t feel emotionally together. It doesn’t feel acceptable to tell regular friends that you feel shame, fear, or emotional stagnation.

But the truth is that the first step to solving your emotional issues is taking responsibility for them. It’s addressing that hey, this is real. And hey, this needs to be fixed.

Because if you think the strongest people on the planet are people without problems, guess what? You’re dead wrong.

Because from the famous to the unknown, the strongest people on this planet are people whose lives are defined by difficulty.

So what do you do now? Address it. Commit to working on your emotional fitness. And then, proceed…

The Underlying Catalyst of All Emotional Problems

There’s one thing that determines whether or not you are emotionally healthy.

What is it?

Your thoughts.

Any emotional health book that tells you not to watch your thoughts or even address them, is lying to you.

So what do you do? First, do a self-diagnosis:

* What are your thoughts like?

* What are the things you say to yourself?

*When you do something, what goes on in your head?

The root of solving your emotional problems, is solving the issue of your reaction to everyday life. Because life packs a punch. What matters is how you mentally handle those punches.

How you handle the punches is how you handle your life.

And these reactions all start as thoughts, whether immediate or drawn out.

So look at them, play with them, and understand: they can be changed. Your brain is a neural patterned network.

Even if  you are used to telling yourself, ‘You are not good enough’, the brain has the neuroplasticity for you to actually go in, say something different, and create a positive thought loop.

All it takes is work.

The Weird Way That Routines Can Revolutionize Your Life

You are what you are repeatedly do.

It’s your job to set routines in place that produce a result in your life.

You want to be clean? You have to carve out 10 minutes to showering. You want to be healthy? You have to carve out another 45 to working out.

But what if we want to be emotionally fit? You have to carve out time for the routines that will help your specific issues.

*Do you have doubts holding you back?

Take 10 minutes a day to write down those thoughts (the specific sentences that you’re telling yourself), then formulate a rebuttal and logically figure out why those doubts are wrong. Now memorize the rebuttal and when the doubt comes up, mentally bring back the logical argument against it.

* Do you feel unhappy with what you have?

Take 10 minutes a day to write down what you’re grateful for in the morning, and start the day off right.

* Do you have a dream you want to go after?

Write it down. Figure out all the barriers – including yourself – that are holding you back and think about how you can get past them.

*Is your mind unfocused and dizzy with negative thought loops?

Meditate everyday right after your wake up, and focus on something you’re grateful for.

Action means routines, and routines keep you emotionally on point.

As Charles Duhigg, author of the Power of Habit,  says:

Change might not be fast and it isn’t always easy. But with time and effort, almost any habit can be reshaped. – Charles Duhigg, The Power of Habit

The Secret to Figuring Out The Answers

Many of the solutions to our problems are simple.

But alas, simple doesn’t mean easy.

When people say getting healthy is as easy as exercising 45 minutes, yet you don’t have the motivation to workout, they’re missing the point. The problem isn’t, “I don’t know how to get healthy”, it’s, “I don’t know how to motivate myself to get healthy”, which is a different problem you need to solve.

Fix the right problems, fix your life.

Commit to reading about these issues and commit to figuring out the answers.

What is the Way Forward?

My entire life, from my teens into adulthood, I was emotionally screwed up. I started a multi-million dollar company but sold it in a heartbeat to be with my son. I partied my way through high school and sat confused in a desk chair in college, as I tried to start a career in writing that didn’t take off.

Life is tough, but the great thing about life is that people smarter than you, had the same problems you had.

Everyone on this planet has dealt with getting fat, feeling unhappy, losing a loved one, not feeling enough, not feeling cool, not feeling part of the group, not feeling happy with their friends, not feeling loved, not feeling funny enough, not feeling stable enough  – you name it.

But the smartest people wrote it down and got after it. The framework to attack any emotional problem is simple:

* Accept that you need to work on your emotional health.

* Analyze your thoughts and ask questions about them.

* Create routines every day where you work on your specific emotional battle.

* Figure out where the real problems are and fix them.

* Read about research and apply the best advice!

No one is saying it’s easy.

But is it worthwhile?

Well – if we want to solve the cultural and systemic problems of our times (like a lack of emotional fitness), we have no other choice.

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About the Author:

Laura Coe is a mom, entrepreneur, yogi, and writer. She’s working to bring emotional fitness to our daily lives using practical techniques steeped in ancient wisdom. Her first book, Emotional Obesity, is available for purchase now. For more about it and more of her written work, check out her site here

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About the author

Mary Jaksch

Mary is passionate about helping people create a happy, purposeful, and fulfilling life. She is the founder of GoodlifeZEN and also the brains behind, one of the biggest blogs for writers on the Net. Mary is also a Zen Master, a mother, and a 5th Degree Black Belt.

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