Increase Your Emotional Fitness
Exploring the Inner Workings of Total Well-Being
Your heart doesn’t just require exercise, but a daily dose of loving-kindness that you were born to provide it. In one way or another, we all yearn for the closeness, intimacy, and fulfillment of love’s eternal grace. The question is, how do you learn to embrace your own heart the way you wish to be loved by others? Whether everything seems to be flowing in your life or in a constant state of transition, becoming the most thoughtful and dedicated supporter you’ve ever encountered is what it means to be emotionally fit.
When you are physically fit, you are able to feel empowered by the challenges of life, instead of exhausted, but what about fitness on an emotional level? When you are emotionally fit, the details and demands of each moment allow you to flow with the ever-changing current of reality, so you can ride the waves of your highest evolution without being consumed by the pressure. In a world where an “on-demand” lifestyle maintains an often frenetic pace of multi-tasking and endless busywork, it is the emotional discord that is sensed, often in response to life’s most frustrating and inconvenient of circumstances, reminding you when your heart demands more of your loving attention. By making time to increase your emotional fitness, you are able to thrive under pressure, develop deeper connections, handle the daily demands of life with greater ease, feel more aligned with your soul’s highest purpose, and feel better supported by those around you.
"When you are emotionally fit, the details and demands of each moment allow you to flow with the ever-changing current of reality, so you can ride the waves of your highest evolution without being consumed by the pressure."
In my book, Whatever Arises, Love That: A Love Revolution Begins with You (Sounds True, January 2016), I outline a foolproof way to open your heart, expand your self-worth, and step into the light of your highest potential by becoming the source of your own loving fulfillment. As a preview of this process, here are some helpful tips to help you increase your emotional fitness, as a gift of healing for yourself and everyone you love:
Tip #1: Emotional Fitness begins with the breath. Just as breathing is essential in allowing cardiovascular conditioning to strengthen the muscles in your heart, it is your willingness to focus on your breath throughout the day that increases your emotional fitness level. Simply by taking “breathing breaks” every few hours, you are offering yourself the space to restore and replenish your energy, instead of rushing toward the finish line of each momentary task. While it is essential to take lunch breaks during work hours to feed your body, it is equally essential to make sure you are nourishing your heart with the gift of relaxed breathing.
Even just one slow peaceful breath taken in the midst of a hectic day can provide you the pause you require to invite greater inspirations and fresh ideas to emerge. No matter how busy things seem to be, your level of stress acts as a barometer to remind you how often your heart requires slower breaths for the benefit of your total well-being.
Breathing slowly is simply a matter of turning your attention towards your breath, while taking each inhale and exhale in the most relaxed manner. Instead of breathing deeply, simply take a moment to savor your breath on a more intimate level. I invite you to take as many breathing breaks throughout your day as need be. In the name of increasing your emotional fitness, always remember, “when in doubt, breathe it out.”
Tip #2: Your reality changes when you love yourself. While you are not the cause of anything you see in the world, it is your willingness to embrace your heart with more patience, thoughtfulness, kindness, and care that over a period of time helps to draw the highest potential out of each character around you. Perhaps loving yourself can be as simple as resting for a few moments with your hand on your heart, allowing your innocence to know that you are always here for you.
In my book, Whatever Arises, Love That, I detail a process called “creating your own personal love statement”. This invites you to come up with the sentence or phrases that you always wanted to hear or never heard often enough from those from your past. Whether such words are “you are safe”, “you matter”, “I always want to hear how you feel”, “I believe you”, “I love you”, or even “I’m sorry”. Whatever words you’ve always wanted to hear can become the phrases you say to yourself on a regular basis. You can even take it a step further by offering those you encounter the complimentary words of encouragement that you wish to receive more often.
By offering yourself and others the verbal gifts of heart-centered support, you are no longer held emotionally hostage, waiting for others to say the very words that you have the power to provide yourself. As you become more of a loving supporter throughout your own life, you may see how the way you view things and how things feel begin to change in such a miraculous way. If you wish to live in a reality of kindness, peace, and joy, it is essential to invite unconditional love into your inner world.
Tip #3: Focus on what you are doing right. While many were raised in households where loving attention was a reward for good behavior and the withholding of love suggested doing something wrong, the evolution of your soul’s journey hinges on your willingness to offer yourself positive, supportive, and encouraging attention. Instead of dangling a carrot of approval in front of you, believing how everything will be right in your reality as soon as you get everything done, it is essential to replace each lofty pursuit with opportunities to recognize how incredible you already are.
What have you done right today? What are the natural talents that allow you to provide benefit to others around you? How can your day be a celebration of tiny victories, instead of holding out for accomplishments that always seem out of reach?
The more you focus on what you’re doing right, instead of micromanaging yourself in attempt to overcome whatever you believe you are doing wrong, your body, mind, and spirit unite on a holistic level to bring forth your highest potential at the rate in which you become nicer to yourself. Human beings are naturally talented on so many levels that because certain actions and qualities are instinctive, it’s easy to overlook them as an accomplishment to embrace. One of the reasons why the world around you may seem unhappy, stressed, or run by fear, is to show you a contrast to the qualities and characteristics within you. By taking the time to feel good about the things that come easily to you, you begin to feel better about yourself, the roles you play, and more aware of the positive effect you already have on others.
Not everyone is always on their best behavior, therefore any moment of kindness, patience, generosity, and humility is worth celebrating. The more you celebrate the things you do right, the more often your soul’s highest conduct can manifest from the inside out. To take it even a step further, by taking time to honor what other people are doing right whether they view it as an accomplishment or not, you are serving to increase your emotional fitness level by offering others a moment of gratitude. Because we are interconnected on a soul level, the gratitude you offer others is equally delivered into your own heart. Meanwhile the greater heartfelt support that you provide your own heart becomes blessings of healing offered to all.
When what you seek to accomplish is balanced with an awareness of how you feel while getting things done, you are assisting in the evolution of your total well-being with gentleness, peace, and ease. Whether it means taking breathing breaks throughout the day, repeating to yourself the words you’ve always wanted to hear, or focusing on the positive things that you and others do so effortlessly, you are increasing your emotional fitness level as your personal contribution toward a more peaceful, heart-centered world.
If you’ve always strived to “be the change you wish to see in the world”, perhaps these tips, along with the teachings practices, and exercises outlined in my book will offer you the faith, encouragement, focus, and inspiration to bring that change to life for the well-being of all.
Matt Kahn is an author, spiritual teacher, and highly-attuned empathic healer who rose in popularity through his YouTube videos, where he offers profoundly practical and healing wisdom that is delivered with kindness, compassion, and a big dose of humor. As a personal 30-day challenge, Matt utilized the teachings and practices in his book, Whatever Arises, Love That to lose 30 lbs. in 30 days simply by focusing on eating and exercising as acts of self-love. Matt travels the world helping people of all faiths and backgrounds to heal themselves and transform their lives in the most heart-centered way.