A proverb notes, “The bird with the ruffled feathers must get out of the wind.” When your feelings are have you shaking in your boots, it is wisest to find calm before acting.
Emotional Fitness Tips
Emotional Fitness Tip One: Stop negative self-talk . The things we say to ourselves rev us up or calm us down. Can you remember what you told yourself the last time something good happened to you: I deserve this. Life is good. I’m great. Fantastic. Way to go. Did it right.
Now think of the last time something bad happened. What did you tell yourself then? Why me? I’m a loser. Failed again. Stupid me.
The more helpful slogans you embed in your brain the better. Here are four useful ones:
- One to comfort: “Now is not forever” is a comforting slogan.
- A second to motivating: Nike’s “Just do it” is a motivating slogan.
- Another to inspire. “Be all you can be” is an inspiring slogan.
- And finally “Remember what matters” to maintain perspective.
Raps, songs and prayers are also useful tools to replace negative self-talk. The important thing is that nothing in the song or prayer suggests hatred, anger, or seeking revenge until you have figured out if such songs release your negative emotions or inflame them.
Emotional Fitness Tip Two: Walking Meditations are a less well-known form of meditating, but very useful, particularly when fear has you shivering:
- At first, let the fear set the pace; fear says run, so run or walk fast.
- Gradually, walk slower.
- When you feel a bit calmer, take a Calming Breath (Breathe in slowly, hold, breathe out slowly, smile gently) and say “Thank you.”
- Repeat the above until calmness descends.
Emotional Fitness Tip Three: Of course, there are times you cannot walk, Then, what might help is imaging a walk. That is best done in you brain’s sanctuary. Here’s how to create such a sanctuary.
- Review your good memory file for places that you experienced as calming and safe. Pick the best of these and see it in as much detail as possible.
- Change any unpleasant features.
- Add sounds including some soothing music.
- Add a pleasant smell. For example, if you think of the ocean, smell the salt.
- Add movement: swinging in a hammock, rocking in a chair.
- Add mementos that remind you of good times.
- Add pictures of people who calm you.
- Add anything else that comforts and calms.
Do not rush this process. Visit several places from your childhood, take bits and pieces of vacations. I have made three different imaginary sanctuaries. One is from my childhood, the other two are bits and pieces put together from camping and seashore vacations. Over time I have figured out that I had to encase each safe place with a plastic dome. Why? My two older brothers used to enjoy jumping out from somewhere behind me and scaring me, so I need that dome to feel one hundred percent safe.
Emotional Fitness Tip Four: When calm decide how to act. All the experts agree that the way to act on a strong feeling is to do the opposite of what the feeling wants you to do. Fear wants you to flee or hide. Instead, check reality. Are you or someone in danger? Fear is reality based. Establish safety. All lesser fears need facing.
Emotional Fitness Tip Five: Buy my eBook Self-soothing; Create Calm in Your Life for more exercises that help you stay strong. As with all my eBooks, this one costs less than a latte is healthier and longer lasting.
Thank you for all you do
Remember to share all you find of value on the internet. All who post crave recognition. A like says “Thank You.” Comments say you have read and thought about the post. Sharing is a gift to three people: the blogger, the people you share with, and you for your kindness bless you.
Post Inspiration: This post was inspired by inspired by WordPress Daily One Word Prompt: Shiver
Links of Interest
These links are for those not familiar with Emotional Intelligence or the idea of Emotional Fitness.
- Emotional Intelligence (en.wikipedia.org)
- The five components of emotional Intelligence (www.sonoma.edu)
- About Emotional Fitness Training (emotionalfitnesstraining.com)
- An Emotional Fitness Program for Parents (amazon.com)