Ralph Waldo Emerson once said that “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm”. It’s true – motivation is an interesting thing. It is human nature to be affected by our environment, and we can in turn be motivated by fear or motivated by pleasure – or the prospect of pleasure. Motivation is a strong human emotion that can be a big driving force. However, it’s only natural to sometimes find yourself in a slump, feeling demotivated and as if there were “no way out”.
Especially in times when the news is filled with negativity and distress, it’s hard to find the positive to be motivated by. It then becomes important for us to keep our “emotional fitness” in check, in order to remain motivated.
What is “emotional fitness”? We place a lot of importance on physical fitness and definitely should not ignore our emotional health. To be emotionally fit is to find fulfillment in our human relationships, which are at the core of what it means to be “human”. In order to be emotionally fit, we should consciously try to be more self aware in our social interactions and in the way we treat ourselves. We should develop empathy and strive to deepen healthy relationships and move away from negative ones.
Some tips to hone your emotional fitness would be:
- Alone-time is important: Take time to be alone with yourself. This gives you time to understand what your body physically needs. A well-rested body is a well-rested soul. Your emotional health is very much linked to your physical wellness. If you want to be emotionally fit, you should understand that your body works together with your brain.
- Understand your emotions: Try to identify your feelings and label them. If something upsets you, label it as upsetting. This helps to decrease your stress hormones. We are always told to ignore negative feelings in order to “make them go away”, but this just will not happen. Quit bottling things up – face them and find a solution.
- Quit being defensive: We try to defend ourselves from being hurt, but being hurt is all part of being human. When you are defensive, you stop being open to new experiences. Learn acceptance instead.