Summer is about exposed body parts and many of us race to the gym during the spring to work on our bodies to feel as confident as possible. While you're doing your crunches, consider putting yourself through an emotional fitness boot camp while you're at it. If you look good on the outside but don't feel so good on the inside, you're missing the mark. Why not go for the brass ring for the best summer ever!
The "emotional health bootcamp" is now in session. Print the following list and stick it on your fridge for motivation. You can do it!
- Practice staying in the present. Mindfulness has a powerhouse of benefits including helping us to see clearly, minimize emotional reactivity and can actually re-wire the circuitry of the brain! Begin with a few minutes of day of slow breathing, non-judgmentally noticing what's going on around you and in your body.
- Develop a gratitude practice. Positive emotions help the brain create neural pathways to help us respond to life with increased resilience. Every day reflect on three things you are grateful for.
- Practice self-care in your relationships. Whether in friendships or intimate partnerships, to be the best you can be for others you must know when it's time to put the focus on yourself via time doing what you love, boundary setting and sweeping out the toxic.
- Know thyself. Take time to get to really know yourself. Who are you? What's most important to you in life? What fills you up? Keep a small journal in your bag or by your bedside.
- Resolve your wounds. If you carry old wounds that block you emotionally or relationally, work on them. This can be done by reading books or seeking a therapist. You don't have to be held back by the old stuff. Set yourself free.
If you put the above into practice you are well on your way to emotional fitness. Even if you just get started on this work over the summer, that's great! Your well-being is not a race. Just as getting physically fit takes time - emotional health is also a process.
Lisa Brookes Kift, MFT writes about topics related to marriage, relationship and emotional health in The Toolbox at LisaKiftTherapy.com. She is the creator of Therapy-At-Home Workbooks® - a cost effective, do-it-yourself, therapist-guided alternative to counseling.