Movement is essential to keep our bodies in good working order. We walk on the treadmill, lift weights or practice yoga to improve our physical health and increase our lifespan. The characteristics that determine peak physical health can also be applied to our emotional health.
1. FLEXIBILTY. Emotionally healthy people are able to adapt to various situations and responses. They can bend to accommodate different life realities, and are able to embrace the “gray” in life, rather than seeing the world as “black or white.”
2. RESILIENCE. Resilience can be defined as the ability to bounce back quickly from injury or setback. Resilient people see failure as part of the path to success; they don’t allow obstacles to keep them from their goals, and they can pick themselves up when life knocks them over with unexpected circumstances.
3. ENDURANCE. Emotionally healthy people can withstand the pressures of life without breaking. They have developed the emotional “muscles” to delay instant gratification and stick with a task or relationship fraught with challenges without giving in to the impulse to bail out or seek out the easy fix.
4. STRENGTH. Just as physically healthy people have bodies that can life heavy weights or hold challenging yoga poses, emotional healthy people have the fortitude to weather difficult emotions, longstanding pressures and psychological stressors without losing confidence in their abilities and self-worth.
A gym or yoga studio membership can provide us with a venue to work out our physical selves. Consider investing in your emotional health by engaging in therapy, reading self-help books, developing a meditation practice and surrounding yourself with positive, supportive people. Whether or not you can finish a marathon, enhancing your emotional fitness is a a finish line everyone can cross.