When we hear of strength training we immediately think of lifting weights or something to do with physical strength. It seems as if more focus is given to physical fitness and to a lesser degree on one’s emotional fitness. Emotional fitness must receive more attention because without it we can become emotionally, mentally and physically paralyzed, unable to achieve the kind of success we deserve.
Some of us are emotionally stronger than others. Some of us even have an inherent resilience. The emotionally strong person can handle enormous challenges. Even though the pressures of life may be overwhelming and they may become fragmented, the emotionally strong person is resilient, gaining knowledge from their struggles and developing emotional ammunition to recover and move forward. The emotionally fit person will stop at nothing to find solutions for whatever difficulties arise while maintaining a forward struggle. The not so emotionally strong person will also become fragmented when faced with the pressures and challenges of life but they are not as resilient. Some may become depressed, others may give in to drugs and alcohol to cope, while others may become overwhelmed and give up.
Many people invest in self-help books, searching for answers while others meet frequently with therapists to find solutions. Some attend seminars or purchase offers of feeling better, longing to feel something inside they know they lack. What many don’t realize is that the “use it or lose it rule” that applies to physical strength training also applies to emotional strength training.
Let’s examine further a workout training schedule to develop emotional strength. There is no one magic formula for achieving emotional strength, however, we will examine why it is important and the different ways in which we can improve our emotional strength. The first step to emotional strength training is defining your boundaries. By setting emotional boundaries you are identifying how you want to feel and what it would take to feel that way. For example, if you want to be treated with respect, you must know how much you are willing to tolerate and accept from others. When your boundaries are defined, you are teaching others how to treat you. By defining your emotional boundaries you are protecting yourself and building emotional muscle at the same time.
By knowing your emotional boundaries, the subconscious take over and helps to alert you when the boundaries have been crossed. For example, if you have your boundaries set and you are in an unhealthy relationship where you despise the way you are treated, your subconscious will keep reminding you of your boundaries and will instigate action for creating change. It will assist you in taking the necessary steps to protect yourself. In the meantime you are strengthening your emotions and building self-respect.
Setting emotional boundaries helps you to stay motivated in achieving what you want to feel. As you realize new boundaries each day you will establish a new set of rules for yourself. As you live by these rules the feelings you want to feel will emerge. The emotional muscles will just keep growing and before long you will have the stamina to handle more challenges that arise in your life.
Determine how you want to feel, Know what you are willing to accept. Know what you are willing to do to begin to feel emotionally strong. Remember, this is how you set your emotional boundaries.
Weight training helps to reduce the risk of injury and allows the body to withstand stress. So it is when strength training emotionally – you are more equipped to handle the crises in your life and are less vulnerable. An important step towards emotional strength training is letting go of the emotional baggage that you’ve been hauling around for years.
It’s amazing how emotional baggage can take up permanent residence in our lives because letting them go at first feels too uncomfortable. You may have had to endure severe trauma as a child or adult, feeling guilty or shameful over some past event, or festering with anger or resentment. You may have difficulty forgiving someone who hurt you and have developed an emotional wall, impossible for love to penetrate. Emotional strength training can only take place when you can free yourself of unnecessary weight and allow yourself the freedom to emotionally breathe.
In order to let go of the emotional baggage you must never allow events of the past to define who you are. The past is the past and must be used as lessons for the future but never to block our emotional pathway. It can become easy to allow others or certain experiences to define you – now it’s time to put an end to the old way and get ready for emotional liberation.