Health And Fitness - The Emotional Self

What does the concept of health and fitness really mean to you? When we talk about healthy living, healthy lifestyle and health & fitness, it's easy to assume that it is in the context of your physical health. Health and fitness however is as much to do with emotional and mental wellness, as it is to do with healthy living or having a healthy lifestyle.

You'll recall that in a definition of self concept, we discussed the importance and role of your self concept in relation to your esteem self. We also considered a rapport building exercise to help you develop your 'healthy sense of self'.

To complete this series on 'self-concept', we're now going one step further on this aspect of your health and fitness. That is, how you go about managing the different parts of yourself and by that I mean, - when one part of you say yes to something, while the other part say no.

The 'Yes', 'No' elements in your emotional health and fitness

I'm sure that many if not most of you can relate to the scenario where you feel that 'one part of you want to do xyz, yet the other part wants something else'.

This is a normal experience and can often indicate that you're not fully in a state of internal rapport with yourself. Here's an example of what I mean:

You're torn between dumping your fella or keeping him (that's not very nice is it)! Never mind! (Sorry fellas it was the first example that sprang to mind). You see, one part of you know the relationship is going no where but at the same time the other part of you cling on in hope of a miracle. Not to mention the fact that you don't want to be spending Friday nights in on your own since all your friends are settled in relationships.

What this indicate is a conflict between your personal values (what you really want), your interests or your goals. This can impact significantly on your emotional health and fitness.

So, what do you do about it? In such circumstances, some women will take the approach they perceive will lead to the least conflict. This might often mean sacrificing what their instincts tell them is the right thing to do in favour of the option that will cause the least upheaval. However, this can be a false economy because the impact on your emotional health & fitness may far outweigh that of the perceived easier or safer option.

You might chuck your partner, which in your mind is the right thing to do, but find that you're totally and absolutely lonely and miserable on your own. On the other hand, if you decide to hang on to him, you continue to endure all the stresses and strains - the reason you wanted to end the relationship in the first place.

Which part of you will decide?

Coping with the two conflicting parts of your emotional health and fitness

O.k. You've made your choice but you're now beating yourself up about your actions. You might also be prime candidate for winning the 'I'm such a mug' competition you're running all by yourself. Can it be that you're at war with yourself! What will that do for your health and fitness?

If you have read rapport building and completed the exercise: a definition of self concept, you will by now be aware of the paramount importance of this aspect of your health and fitness. You will have learned:

  • How to interact with yourself on an internal level

  • How to draw on your own ability to enter into a polite and    respectful    self-monitoring and self-supporting dialogue with yourself

    You will also be aware of how to sensitively enquire, reason with, be fair and kind with yourself when things don't go according to plan - (building rapport with yourself).

    Achieving this level of health and fitness will help you appreciate and value that when two parts of you want something different, that each part is only trying to achieve something important for you. That is the tremendous capacity of the human mind to do its utmost to ensure your emotional health and fitness.

    Quoting Gallwey, Jago et al refers to one of these well-intentioned parts as 'Self 2' - (which is recognised as playing a highly significant role in our internal dialogue). Further, that 'this internal voice tells us how we should be doing and what we ought not to be doing; it exhorts and sometimes bullies us; it frequently criticises, reminds and belittles us but it is, in its own way trying to do its best for us'.

    If you think of the above in terms of an exchange with someone else rather than with your own self, you might well, on reflection, rebuke yourself for having taken the moral high ground and for being judgmental of them. To re-establish rapport, you may apologise and try to see their point of view.

    And this is exactly what you need to do with that moralistic part of yourself - your internal voice, in order to establish what it is trying to achieve for you. This is as important for your own emotional health and fitness as it is for others.

    You may well find that the other part of you has some other health & fitness agenda; may be it is trying to save you from trouble, embarrassment, disappointment or pain. So treat it with the courtesy it deserves; your emotional health & fitness demands it.

    You can work to further promote this aspect of yourself by:

  • Listening and treating it with respect

  • Learn to sometimes run with it to hear what it has to say rather than    being bullied or giving in

  • At times you might need to explore other ways of achieving the    same aims

  • Or you might need to listen more attentively and refocus on the bigger    picture - on what is actually going on around you, because it may be    rather different from what that part of you fears or    foresee happening.

    Your health and fitness is as much about managing that emotional part of you, as it is about managing any other aspect of your health. Learn to listen keenly to what is going on - and especially when you notice you are giving yourself a hard time. What are you saying to yourself? How are you saying it? What are your reasons for saying it etc.?

    Have you ever noticed that when you enter into a prolonged internal dialogue over something that has happened, how you find yourself saying something along the lines - 'I suppose it wasn't so bad after all' or, 'may be I am being a little bit hard on myself' or, 'it needed to be done'? This only happens when you pay attention and invest some time in yourself. And, did you not feel a whole lot better for it! Of course you did. Your emotional health and fitness depends on it.

    "What was an enemy has become my ally" . (Unknown)

    The information on this site is purely of educational value and is not intended to replace your seeking medical advice. You must consult your doctor over all your health concerns.

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