EMOTIONAL STRENGTH: How To Find It, Use It, Keep It and STRENGTHEN It…
I’m all about being a productive and accomplished person, but a big part of that isn’t just the techniques, it’s emotional and psychological concerns that need to be addressed at a deeper level.
“Doing the Knowledge” (getting focused and action-oriented) requires both an inner game AND and outer game – a yin & yang, if you will – so you have to focus on both if you want to experience long term, sustainable progress, development and success.
>> you experience a breakup that sends you into a short depression,
>> your self-confidence is so low that you doubt whether you even DESERVE the success you can achieve,
>> you move to a new phase of life (school, career-change, parenting, etc.) and have trouble coping with the change,
>> you just feel down and have no idea WHY,
…or any of a host of other things that can send you spiraling down a path of emotional pain that leaves you virtually INCAPABLE of doing some of the more practical things we talk about here.
So let’s cover a few tips for building emotional strength: for finding, sustaining and strengthening your ability to cope with the inevitable ups and downs as you do your best to become a better person.
Tip 1: Expand Your Threshold
“You have to be willing to go through the pain of your past in order to sort out your present. Many of us don’t have the emotional discipline, willpower and tolerance for pain that’s necessary to travel back into your psycho-history, so you can understand what went wrong and heal yourself now.”
So what I’m saying here is don’t be afraid of it. Teach yourself to be more comfortable with the side of you that’s not so pretty.
Most people enter a state of “frantic re-assurance” whenever emotional pain comes up…rather then allow themselves (or the person) to experience the pain so it can process, most people look at the emotions as a problem in and of itself.
Since emotional pain needs to be AVOIDED at all costs and solved immediately, we say things like:
“Oh no – it’ll be alright…don’t worry.”
“You have to remember that ____ (insert objective fact the person already knows that doesn’t help them at that point in time).”
“Stop crying…” and so on.
I remember one time I was sitting with my ex-girlfriend in her car when she started crying and I simply said to her “It’s okay to cry…,” because I couldn’t think of anything else to help out, but just saying that eliminated about %70 percent of what she was feeling.
She said that nobody ever told her that before…that she remembered growing up and always being ridiculed and condemned by her parents for being sad and feeling down.
So alongside whatever she was feeling, she had the added weight of trying to PRETEND and COVER-UP over it, with the additional GUILT just for feeling sad by and of itself. Those emotional habits carried out into her adult life and she didn’t even know it.
Don’t let this be you – expand your threshold for emotional pain. Allow yourself to feel down once in a while so you can explore the deeper issues that are plaguing you. This is probably the biggest thing…
Tip 2: Give Yourself an Allotted Time
It helps if you give yourself a predetermined amount time to go through all this. Before you consciously explore anything, say to yourself, “Alright, for the next 10 minutes, I’m going to feel down, but that’s okay, cause after that I’m going to go right back to what I was supposed to do.”
If you need 3 hours, make it 3 hours and if you need a couple days, make it a couple days…there’s something about an allotted time that makes the whole thing easier to digest. Not sure why…
Tip 3: Talk to Somebody
This is an OBVIOUS one, but I’m still amazed at how many people don’t feel like they have anyone to go to about what’s truly bothering them, so I’m saying it again
In relationships, we often assume that if we share too much of what’s wrong with our lives, that it’ll draw the other person further away. We assume it’ll damage the connection, the subconscious logic must be, “Since I don’t like that aspect of myself, he probably won’t like ME for having it.” or whatever…
But in my experience, the opposite is true: sharing weaknesses and concerns brings two people closer together. You may even find out that that person has gone through (or IS going through) a similar thing.
Just throw something out there one time (start light). You’ll be amazed at how energizing and rewarding the conversation will be.
Tip 4: Avoid Sweets (and Cheese)
I forget the actual science behind this one, but I read it somewhere in African Holistic Health, 4th Edition, a few years back.
Basically, I know from my own experience that if I eat too much sweets, breads or cheese I’ll feel down…I won’t feel as creative, as sharp, as witty or as motivated about doing ANYTHING, actually.
If I eat an overdose of raw fruits and vegetables (and drink water), I’ll feel up…I’ll laugh more, be more outgoing and have more optimism about EVERYTHING.
So whenever I have a meeting, a date or some work I need to do, I pro-actively know before hand, like “Aite, this is important, so let me not eat anything stupid before I mess it up.” and it always works.
…it’s actually getting to the point where I look at cheese and visually SEE depression. A good holistic health tip is to train your eyes to actually see the resulting state of eating something (depression, exhaustion, indigestion, etc.) when you look at food, not the material itself. It’s like having “3rd Eye Nutrition,” something.
Did you hear the metaphor I used earlier, “Don’t eat anything stupid“??? I associate negative states with malnutritious things intuitively, and it’s taken me a long way.
Again, you can actually condition yourself to get grossed out over the things that aren’t healthy for you, even if you’re drawn to them now. It’s like reverse-psychology over your diet.
But in any case, take notice (you can actually chart this out) of what foods put you in what emotional states, and if you HAVE to eat them, at least make it around times where it won’t affect you as much…
If You Really Need Help
I have this (and about 5 other ones from them) at home right now, and it helped me get through a traumatic break up a few years back. (If you can’t tell, I’m a pretty sensitive guy.)
In short, it’ll help you reach a state where you:
>> Replace dwelling on failure with focusing on success,
>> Let go of all unnecessary and inappropriate guilt,
>> Welcome intimacy and closeness with the people you care about and
>> Begin each day with genuine optimism and high expectations.
Hope this helps. Take care and be sure to check out the blog tomorrow for more great free tips.