Emotional Fitness pt 1
Resilience is the capacity to adapt successfully in the presence of risk and adversity. Today we continue this series by exploring another aspect of resiliency, emotional fitness. This will be the first of two posts on emotional fitness, so stay tuned for more info.
Emotional fitness is the ability to enhance positive emotions, self-regulate emotions, and enhance one’s relationship to emotions by tapping into acceptance and mindfulness strategies.
The following are strategies to enhance the positive emotions.
Learn to purposefully engage in pleasurable activities, things that make you feel good and enhance positive emotions, such as enthusiasm, joy, contentment, awe, pride, compassion, optimism and curiosity.
Reflect on past positive emotional experiences to reconnect with those feelings. Look at photos and videos from the experience, and talk to others about it. This enhances both positive emotion and relational connection
Develop a bucket list of pleasurable things you want to do in the future. Right now we might be more limited, so look to the future to the things, both big and small, that you want to do that will increase pleasure. Schedule in fun, enjoyable activities for yourself on a regular basis.
Increase your use and engagement with humor. Spend time with people who make you laugh. Watch a funny video, or a stand-up comedy special or read a funny story. Whatever engages your sense of humor.
Develop gratitude. Convey your appreciation to those around you, in the moment as you appreciate them or by reaching out to thank them for things said or done in the past. You can keep a gratitude journal or make it a daily habit to reflect on what you are grateful for from the day. Engage in kindness to those around you.
Much of the above information is taken from Dr. Donald Meichenbaum’s book Roadmap to Resilience: A guide for military, trauma victims and their families.