Start with yourself first. If you are calm and in control of your feelings, your children will be better able to control their feelings. Here are six Emotional Fitness exercises to get you started.
Exercise number one: The One Minute Meditation (The OMM)
- Breathe in slowly to a count of five.
- Hold your breath for a count of five.
- Breathe out slowly to another count of five.
- Breathe normally and simply observe how it feels to breathe in and out.
- If thoughts make their presence known, observe them and continue breathing; the same with feelings.
- At the end of a minute, sooner if you want, take a deep breathe in, hold it for a count of five.
- As you breathe out, say a silent “Ahhhhhh” or “Thank you” and smile softly.
Practice the OMM until you can do it comfortably and without having to read the exercise. That takes as little as five times for some, twenty-five for others.
Here’s an added bonus: the OMM can be used to calm you when stress mounts. When you are aware of being stressed, OMM. To strengthen its effect as a calming tool, after the first breath, add a two or three-word calming mantra as you continue to slowly breathe in and out. “Life goes on” works for some, “Staying strong” for others, still others craft their own mantra.
Exercise two: Practice Gratitude. Every time you say thank you , you are building your emotional fitness. Get in the habit of thanking not just people, but all the good things you encounter as you go about your day. Moreover, when bad things happen, look for a lesson, and when you find it OMM and say “Thank You.”
Exercise three: Be With Beauty: Beauty is everywhere; as the sage Confucius noted, “Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.”
One trick when beauty is not immediately visible is to narrow your focus. Find a picture in a museum unappealing? Focus on what you do find appealing. Perhaps that is a color, the way a line swirls or a form takes shape.
Surround yourself with what you find beautiful you can practice this exercise off and on throughout the day. Use pictures, beautiful music, flowers, seashells or even rocks to create beauty spots wherever you sit.
Point out beauty to your children.
Visit my Be With Beauty Pinterest Board. If you want to be a Be With Beauty photographer, let me know firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you details about how to share your Being With Beauty pictures with others.
Exercise four: Remember what matters.
Some say buying the newest car, the latest fashions, the most up to date gadgets; others say how you look; still others think it is how smart you are or what school you went to, how much money you have, have many jewels you wear, or how fancy a car you drive and life’s important missions. They are wrong.
Research shows these are less important than being kind and caring, forgiving others for their flaws, forgiving yourself for not being perfect, and working with others to make the world a better place. The importance of caring is a long-recognized value. Across all ages, throughout all religions and all philosophies, it is believed the good life cannot be found unless it involves being caring and just.
Exercise five: Use rating scales to help you stay focused on what matters. Anything can be rated.
Exercise six: Set SMART GOALS:
THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU DO
Practice kindness by liking, commenting or sharing this post. Liking encourages others to read. Commenting says you have read and thought about the post. Sharing is a gift to three people: me, you, and those who benefit from your sharing.
LINKS OF INTEREST
These links are for those not familiar with Emotional intelligence or the idea of Emotional Fitness.