Did you ever wish you could manage your emotions better, not swing from high to low like a pendulum? We all envy a person who simultaneously runs a business, enjoys a great relationship, exercises with crazy regularity and appears so calm in a heated arguement. They do not have extra hour, or easy lives, or a superpower. They are true Master of their Emotions.
Reading all the best books on running marathons won’t actually lead you to winning a marathon. You must train and put in the miles. The same goes for Emotional Mastery. To master your emotions, you need to build Emotional Fitness. You need actions. You need habits: to become more resilient, more passionate, more balanced, and emotionally fit version of yourself. These are the 8 most effective habits I practice myself for Emotional Fitness and have given results to many of my clients in coaching.
1. Create Your Happiness
Happiness will not get served to you. You have to create it, own it. Those who do rate themselves as happy are 36% more motivated, six times more energized, and twice as productive. If spending that extra dollar for a piece of chocolate is what’s going to do the trick, then by all means, do it. Life’s too short not to be smiling.
2. Collect Positive Memories
Write down 1 positive memory from last 24 hours, small or big. Sometimes I write a positive memory as simple as “I heard from a friend I was thinking about. I feel so happy” When something exciting happens, I write them down, too. I wrote about the moment I received the author copies of my first book, the hiking adventure in the mountain. You will train your mind to scan for positive memories than negative as autopilot.
3. Speak Up! Your Emotions
Trying to push back your emotions, it not just feels bad, it is bad for you. A study in University of Jena in Germany even suggested that how long you live is related to your ability to express your emotions. Even if you are not a person who always speaks his mind, at least learn to say no when needed. It’s for your health. Okay?
4. Be Engaged, Not Rushed
Not every situation need to be a race against the clock. People around you might try to drown you with ‘what’s next’ ‘5 year plan’ and you might have answers for some of them. But hey, it’s okay not to have to all figured out at once. Engage in the moment right now to live it more richly. Life is not a race or competition but what you make of it.
5. Reward Yourself
Don’t let your victories pass by without acknowledging them with joy. It can be big as getting your much awaited promotion or small as how to bake a cake for the first time. Treat yourself with a doughnut from your favorite bakery or toss some confetti in the air. It’s important for you even if someone else has done it or been there before. Indulge in self-love.
6. Actively Choose Gratitude
Not as a chore, but as a fun ritual. Whenever you feel low, write down 3 things you are grateful for. You will be surprised how easily 3 things can lead to more. Even if your emotion doesn’t change immediately, persist with the ritual. It has a cumulative effect like meditation. It will train your mind to focus on positive outcome.
7. ‘Me Time’ before bed
People who sleep well feel more fulfilled in life. Don’t get into ‘heavy debates’ about business, relationships one or two hours before bed that add fuel to your anxiety. Get off technology at least an hour before bed and allow yourself to unwind and relax.
8. Take A Meditation Nap
This is the love child of meditation and nap. It is not important to sit with a perfectly erect spine for 1 hour. What is important is to start small, get comfortable, be here, be now. Maybe you will get some Zen inspiration. Meditation should be enjoyable. Be in a state of rest, stillness, and bliss for 10-15 minutes daily. You will find an immediate boost of positivity and productivity.
9. Work Out for Happy Hormones
Be on it. Run, do yoga, pilates and get that daily dose of feel-good hormones dopamine, endorphin, serotonin. Know that every time you sprint, or really feel the burn, your endorphins and dopamine kick in too.
It is not a miracle to be Emotionally Fit, it just need consistent awareness and practice. Experiment with different strategies, and tweak them to suit your needs. Then, you can incorporate the best habits into your daily ritual and custom make your specific version of Emotional Fitness.