A Key to Mental or Emotional Fitness Is…

We often label emotions as positive or negative.

But are they?

Are fear, shame, guilt or frustration negative? Not necessarily.

If we feel frustrated, and remain frustrated unnecessarily, I’d consider that quite a negative, unwanted or futile response to the initial feeling of frustration.

I’m going to feel frustrated, because I am a human being. Not a humanoid. So if that frustration is treated as information, instead of being compounded into guilt or shame, then it can be quite a positive, wanted or productive feeling to have felt.

Without working on our mental or emotional fitness, the emotions we tend to listen to the most, the ones that shout the loudest, are fear-based.

But when we work on our mental fitness and our emotional health, we tend to respond quickly and productively to the so-called ‘negative emotions’.

A key to mental or emotional fitness is how quickly you can recover from a negative experience (feelings, thoughts, emotions) with a resourceful response.

When you were a toddler, if you touched something piping hot, then you pulled your hand away. You protected your physical health by responding to physical pain.

Are our emotions much different?

If we feel disappointed, angry or hurt, are we not better off identifying why and then responding to the cause of that feeling? If we continue to allow the domino effect of fear-based emotions to knock one another over, we’ll be wallowing in negativity and self-pity unnecessarily. We’ll disempower ourselves, limit our performance and curtail our happiness.

Simple. But it’s not so easy to practise ‘in the moment’!!

Not when one of the kids refuses to do what they’re asked when you’re rushing somewhere.

Or you see a self-promoting colleague take credit for someone else’s good work.

Or when you’re tired and feeling sorry for yourself at the end of a long day.

That’s okay though, wouldn’t you rather be a human being than a humanoid?

Thankfully, you can build our mental and emotional fitness to respond more effectively to these challenging circumstances and fear-based emotions.

What do you do to build and develop your emotional or mental fitness? Paying attention is where it all starts.

For the next week, when you feel the emotions ‘formerly known as negative’….

  1. Pause.
  2. See it for what it is.
  3. Enquire – what’s causing it? (the trigger, and the part inside of you that is activated…what are they?)
  4. Thank yourself for the information.
  5. Choose your response.
  6. Act on your choice.

Let me know how you get on. There’s a huge amount of control that you can assert on your own experience in this regard.

All the best