Are you emotionally fit?
“In the abyss of emotions, I cannot quit BUT surely I can learn how to swim”
Are you fit? While trying to answer this simple question one will ponder upon their BMI, eating habits, exercise routines (especially physical ones) or one might also give a thought about yoga and similar practices. But have we taken into consideration our emotional fitness? We human beings are emotional beings. Emotions are fundamental to our very existence. It is a common place knowledge among psychiatrists, psychologists and other enthusiasts that our emotions (How we feel) determine our Thoughts (What we think) and Behavior (how we act). But, are we doing enough to keep our emotions in check, under a balanced and healthy state? Is emotional fitness a part of our routine? Let’s ponder upon this.
What Is Emotional Fitness?
Coming to basic things, what does emotional fitness actually mean? For me, ‘Emotional fitness is the ability to identify and label all the six basic emotions (anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness and surprise), at the very moment you are feeling them (Emotional Awareness), it is being mindful of all the emotions, paying complete attention to them, fully getting absorbed in those emotions, without judging them as good or bad (Emotional Acceptance), it is the ability to bounce back swiftly from distressful encounters and to maintain your calm in the face of emotional setbacks (Emotional Strength) and finally it is the ability to modulate appropriately your emotional expressions and coping strategies, as per your age, situations, places and other people (Emotional Regulation).’
Emotional fitness is as basic as having a healthy breakfast in the morning or having a sound sleep in the night. You can surely skip these things but the consequences of this ignorance and denial gradually take the form of a tornado, whose arrival is easily visible but the loss it brings along is unmanageable. When a person is not emotionally fit, his unfitness pushes him/her into a black hole of vulnerability leading to a lack of self-esteem, reduced motivation, strained relationships, decreased productivity, increased stress and it may reach up to serious psychiatric ailments; most common being mood disorders.
All of us have experienced this emotional turmoil and trust me that is not a good place to be. This shakedown has helped me come up with the idea of Emotional Fitness Training. This is an exhaustive yet simplified training to keep the emotional muscles in shape. have experienced this emotional turmoil and trust me that is not a good place to be. This shakedown has helped me come up with the idea of Emotional Fitness Training. This is an exhaustive yet simplified training to keep the emotional muscles in shape.
All these exercises are not distinct to serve some particular element of emotional fitness, rather they serve emotional fitness in its totality.
What Does It Include And How To Begin?
This training includes three phases:-
1) Emotional Fitness Checkup- This is the very first phase. In this, the assessment of emotional needs of an individual is done through the use of various techniques like individual history, family interview and psychometric assessment tools. On the basis of this checkup, immediate requirement/need for the patient is jotted down and the process is carried further.
2) Training- In this phase, an individual is taught several techniques and she/he is also guided to do emotional fitness exercises under proper supervision. This may be done during individual consultation or during group exercises, through workshops or regular classes. To bring more clarity below is the diagrammatic description of a few of the techniques /exercises that may be adopted as a part of the emotional fitness routine for an individual.
3) Daily exercises / Emotional fitness routine– After an individual has learnt to perform the above-mentioned exercises, he/she is instructed and guided as to at what time and on which day particular exercises should be performed. This is how a personalized emotional fitness routine has been framed.
Is There A Silent Call For Emotional Fitness?
In a recent study published in the Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine, it was found that among other problems, children and teenagers have a staggering 14.70 % of problems which are emotional in nature. Among adults also, the prevalence of mood disorders are on the rise. According to a study conducted by NIMHANS; at least 13.7 per cent of India’s general population has been projected to be suffering from a variety of mental illnesses. All this clearly points out that emotional fitness is giving a silent call. BUT, Are we prepared to answer? If not, start your emotional fitness today and always stay ready to answer the call.
• TOI , Vandana Kamath (Oct 12,2016) .Retrieved From https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bengaluru/13-7-Indians-are-mentally-ill-study-says/articleshow/54805096.cms
• Kaur, R et.al (2018), A descriptive study on behavioral and emotional problems in orphans and other vulnerable children staying in institutional homes, Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine , Volume 40, Issue 2, Pg 161-168.