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Developing Emotional Fitness and Resilience

Being resilient and “emotionally fit” is to understand your emotions and have control over your reactions to them. People who are calm under pressure, do not lose their temper and provide a peaceful atmosphere around them are emotionally fit.


Don’t confuse this with Emotional Intelligence which is to be able to read your own emotions and emotions of others effectively.


Emotional fitness is defined as the state we are in when the mind is capable of staying away from negative thoughts and can focus on creative and constructive tasks.


Emotional fitness is to learn to stand back from your own emotions and observe them without immediately reacting, it is the calm ability to investigate the feeling and then reason separately.


Relax and accept the fact that things and events have happened then look at how you can respond to make it better, without your emotions having an influence.


We are all blessed with emotions they are our way of experiencing the world and being able to survive. The first step is to be kind to yourself. Express gratitude for them but know they are separate from the real you.


Being emotionally fit means, you can look at what is happening around you and remain in the now, the present, being mindful to the situation. While there is nothing wrong with feeling any emotion the problem arises when people can’t seem to act rationally in response to them. The lose control and exert reactions on others.


How to become emotionally fit:

Here are the seven elements you need to be aware of to be emotional fit:

1. Metacognition – thinking about your thinking. Being aware of your thinking.

2. Attention shifting – deciding on which thoughts to focus on.

3. Self-Compassion – Being able to forgive yourself and stop beating yourself up over mistakes.

4. Emotional Tolerance – getting on with regardless of how you feel.

5. Cognitive reconstruction – Getting over your self-talk lies.

6. Assertiveness – Overcoming passiveness, make sure you are heard.

7. Values Clarification – Identify your values and see what’s missing.


Most of the time our brains are working on auto pilot, and we are subject the instructions it gives us. But when we interrupt that normal process by deciding not to lose our temper, or we decide to show some kindness without expectation we do it from a position beyond the brain or ego.


The big bonus here is that when we dictate our conditions of thinking onto our brian it influences our emotions, we can by default change the way we feel. It takes a little time but the more we ensure our thinking is positive the more we show emotional fitness. This overtime will ward off depression, anxiety and low mood generally.

Just as we exercise our bodies to stay fit the same applies to our brain. The mind can take charge and the real you, the decision maker, can shine through.


Exercises for emotional fitness:

1. Focus, pay attention to the now, the present. Less projection mean there is less opportunity to make meaning our of situations.

2. Ascertain your beliefs and values and then prioritize them, ensure they are all positive.

3. Face your anxiousness and uncomfortable emotions. Look at the situation and know how you feel about them. Facing up to the reality is the only way to relieve the tension not ignoring them.

4. You are in a race against your past self no one else. Don’t compare yourself with anyone.

5. Accept that some things will not work out, not everything can go well.

6. Break down large tasks into small ones and the celebrate each small accomplishment as they are reached.

7. Write down dreams, make goals, organise plans and write lists for daily activities. Tick them off every day.

8. Mix with positive people. They can influence you greatly.

9. Affirmations, make them simple and positive.

10. Give as much as possible to others, encouragement, acts of service, gifts and support.


Gratitude is the key; I often write down what I’m grateful for at night before going to sleep. If sets the mood and a positive attitude for the night and even the following day.

We are naturally a tribal animal and that means we are wired to need to be accepted in the tribe. In today’s world that can be a bit hard, so it’s important to realise we need friends around us, we need encouragement as well. So, what you give out is what you receive.



The main message is that we can control our thinking and in turn over a bit of time that will influence our emotions. Happiness is our default position so think positively about people places and events and eventually you will be choosing happiness.


Tony Steven

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