So you’re doing well with your physical body – exercising, making healthy choices, losing the fat, gaining the muscle tone. Good work! How well is your emotional body? Or your mental body? And did you ever stop to consider you may even have a spiritual body in there too? Yep, that’s a lot of bodies! No wonder life doesn’t always run smoothly, there are so many aspects of ourselves to keep in check, to give some attention to! Maybe it’s a great time to stop for 5 minutes and check in with yourself to see how you’re going? Really going. If one of those areas is out of whack, the others can quickly get out of balance too.
Let’s take an example. One of your goals has been to fit into those old jeans and feel more energetic and toned. You may have been progressing quite well, have moved into a regular fitness routine and are eating healthily. You’ve dropped some kilos, feel stronger and have muscle definition once again. Yay! Things are looking good and you’re feeling pleased that you’re well on your way to your goal…… until…. the new guy at work gets the promotion you’d been working towards and to top it off you’re now working harder to support him. Resentment is building; you’re putting in late hours and haven’t made the time to cook dinner so you’re grabbing fast food on the way home. You’re tired, feeling rejected, overlooked and likely bitter so you reach for chocolate or chips to make yourself feel better, or several glasses of alcohol to numb the emotional pain. You skip your gym session, then feel guilt and self-loathing, so you eat more junk. Do you recognize this cycle?
That’s okay, most us have been there at least once. Things do happen. Life happens. What helps us keep on track, however, is keeping a check on ourselves, becoming our own observer and taking positive action early when things start to veer off course.
In our example above, the person could have likely avoided that downward spiral by airing their emotions early on. Expressing their dissatisfaction. If it’s not wise to do this with the person involved, then there are other ways to safely release these emotions, one way being to write it out. Ripping up the paper afterwards is also very therapeutic! If negative emotions aren’t addressed, worked through and released, they sit inside the body and fester. They can cause you to sabotage your goals and negatively affect your health. We don’t want that.
So, what can you do now? Be proactive about your health, all areas of your health. Find out which areas of your life are out of balance and take action to correct it.
Here are some questions to ask yourself, to get the ball rolling:
- How am I feeling lately? And “good” doesn’t cut it, go deeper than that.
- How are my relationships – work, friends, family? And do any of these areas feel neglected or show signs of wear and tear?
- What activities and time do I allocate to my mental needs? Am I learning new things and does my mind feel stimulated?
- My emotional needs? Do I have a sense of fulfillment or do I feel like there’s something missing?
- My spiritual needs? What’s that you ask? Spiritual practices or activities can mean a wide range of things for different people – from attending organised groups on spirituality or religion, to reading self-development texts, to taking time out to sit and connect under a tree.
We all need some “down time”, some time for connection and to plug out of our busy daily activities and plug in to just “be”ing. This can be a difficult task for us to do. And no, chilling out in front of the TV is not the “down time” we’re talking about. Did you know that although your physical body is sitting there on the couch looking like it’s in a veged-out state, your adrenals are still working in over-drive from the stimulation from what’s on TV? Time to switch off, relax and just “be”.
So how did you go? Did you manage to have some answers for each of those questions? Are there any areas that aren’t being attended to? Jot them down, that’s a start, then you can begin taking action or find someone to help guide you. Being proactive in your health and bringing in some life balance will have you feeling much happier and you’ll soon be “kicking goals” again.
Published in The Fitness Report, September 2014 edition, “Emotional Fitness” column