Sunday, July 24, 2011

Fitness of the Mental kind

For about the past 8 months, I have been focusing intensely on my overall physical health and fitness. I began blogging about my fitness journey and have made some pretty awesome changes. I feel better than I ever have in my entire life, including my teen years. For the most part, I have the body composition that I have always wanted. I feel like an athlete, I feel strong, I feel less stressed, I feel at my best, I feel in control.

While I'm still striving for goals in that area, I have felt for some time that it is time for me to shift my focus over to my mental and emotional fitness.

I have started to realize how much my perception of other people has to do with my own thoughts and feelings. I've started to realize how powerful my own thoughts are. Labeling someone is a human, flawed trait that we all have. Learning to see deeper takes work and patience.

Everyone is coming into a situation with their own background, emotional baggage, and perceptions. The thing I am working on that is very difficult for me, is to step back, not take things personally (really hard because I am SO SENSITIVE), and see from someone else's point of view. To sympathize with their feelings, to understand emotional reactions vs. rational thought, and to view them as a COMPLETE person. Not as a label.

We all have faults, we all have traits that could very simply place us in a "category". But to do so is dangerous. To do so is to then see every move that person makes as "controlling" "passive aggressive" "ex-hater" "slut" etc. etc., you get the point.

I really feel that getting away from labeling and to focus on sympathizing is one of the keys to true happiness.

It has done wonders for me in a short time in my relationships.

Another thing I've been working on is gratitude. Gratitude seems to be a big "thing" in pop culture lately, a product of the Oprah phenomenon. It has been preached to death in my opinion. I don't like the general attitude of the public that seems to shame people for having any negative feelings or emotions and "be grateful for what you have". To me, it is so important to process ALL feelings, good or bad. However...

Recording the things I am grateful for on a daily basis, privately where only I can see, has been an incredible exercise for me and my daily attitude. It doesn't eliminate emotions or hurt feelings, but it helps me keep focused and get through those times. It exercises my "happiness" muscle, even when I don't want to. My physical fitness training comes into play here...I know how to push myself to do something good for me, even when I don't feel like it, because I know the reward is worth the work.

I'll be continuing my journey to emotional health and being a better person and try to write about it here as much as possible. Surviving the struggles was one thing, becoming the best I can be is another, but worth working for.


  1. I can totally relate to this post, as I had the same realizations last year just months after getting married. Replacing being sensitive or taking things personally, and instead shifting your preception to a more empthatic and understanding view will transform your relationships not only with others but with yourself.

    I learned to listen and find out what the problem was so that a resolution could be made. This can be a hard task when you are so sensitive. I may not agree or even like what he is saying or feeling, but it's his reality and the only way to be a good partner is to listen to him and then we both come up with a solution that will hopefully solve the problem.

    I agree that you should deal with all of your feelings, good or bad. Personally, I try to focus on the positive and what I'm grateful for. However, if something does arise then I usually do the following so I/we can move forward:
    1. Address whatever the feelings are, and why you feel that way.
    2. See the other side/perspective
    3. Try to see the lesson to be learned
    4. Figure out a solution/plan of action for the future to ensure it doesn't happen again
    5. Take action to shift to positive, whatever that may be, so that we replace the negative feelings with something positive (happy or fun or whatever).

    Keep up the great work!

  2. I love this post. So proud of you, and so happy to have you as a cheerleader in this process. Love you.

  3. I started my 6-year old with a Gratitude Journal too. It is heart warming and often pretty hilarious.

    I blogged about it last year.

    Congratulations on all the positive changes you are making - you're an inspiration!!