“Confronting our feelings and giving them appropriate expression always takes strength, not weakness. It takes strength to acknowledge our anger, and sometimes more strength yet to curb the aggressive urges anger may bring and to channel them into nonviolent outlets. It takes strength to face our sadness and to grieve and to let our grief and our anger flow in tears when they need to. It takes strength to talk about our feelings and to reach out for help and comfort when we need it.”
Sometimes the hardest things to face are the easiest ones to ignore. Why? Well, because it is HARD. As a health/fitness coach, it is a huge part of my job to help people process through some of the emotions that are holding them back from achieving their goals. This quote can be broken down into sections and explained through the lens of health and fitness in order to help you break down barriers and find the STRENGTH to confront hard things.
1. “Confronting our feelings and giving them appropriate expression always takes strength, not weakness.”
Exercise is a funny thing, in that it can be so HARD in the process/act of doing it, but when you are done you feel like you can CONFRONT anything. If you are having a hard time understanding what exactly you are feeling, or how you are going to process those emotions, I highly encourage utilizing exercise. It will help clear your mind, leave you feeling better about yourself, and give you the strength (in more ways than one) to face something difficult. Go for a walk in nature, take a run to escape, join a class that will get your blood flowing, anything that gets you moving. Exercise gets your body, mind and soul kicking; kind of like jumper cables bring life back to a dead car battery.
Nutrition is just as important in helping to understand your emotions, and might be even more closely related to your emotions than you think. Eating certain foods can impact your energy levels, how you feel, etc. Have you ever noticed how you feel AFTER inhaling a bacon cheese burger and French fries? I do, because I just did it yesterday. Don’t get me wrong, it tasted delicious. HOWEVER, I felt sluggish, with no motivation, and all I wanted to do when I got home from lunch was take a nap…not a recipe for success. Just the simple act of eating something that is not very good for your body can impact how you feel, and how you process your emotions. Pay attention to the foods you eat and take note of how they make you feel.
Eating healthy and exercising, much like confronting hard feelings, isn’t easy or always enjoyable, but it can set you free if you are willing to put in the work and find your strength.
2. “It takes strength to acknowledge our anger, and sometimes more strength yet to curb the aggressive urges anger may bring and to channel them into nonviolent outlets.”
It is probably safe to say that taking your anger out on some helpless person or thing (either verbally or physically) is NOT a healthy way to process your emotions. However, acknowledging when you feel angry and letting it out in a healthy way can make you feel better. How can you channel angry feelings into nonviolent outlets? Go outside and scream at top of your lungs (you might look like a lunatic, but it does help a little bit!). Take up kickboxing, MMA, or hit the pavement with your running shoes. Getting your anger out is important to your health…just don’t do it at the expense of another.
3. “It takes strength to face our sadness and to grieve and to let our grief and our anger flow in tears when they need to.”
This is a tough one, because no one can tell you exactly how much time you get to grieve before you “move on.” I won’t begin to pretend that I know the answer to grief, and that is because it is different for everyone. I’m a crier. I let it all out in private. Some people don’t cry. Some do it in public. Regardless of the person and how they choose to deal with their grief, it takes great strength to face it head on.
In my opinion as a health/fitness coach, I’ve found that it is so important to have a healthy outlet to turn to. Food is a very popular outlet that people who are dealing with overwhelming emotions often turn to. Do you find yourself finding a pint of Ben and Jerry’s when you are feeling blue? On the other side, do you find yourself not eating at all when you are feeling blue? Turning to food in moments of despair does provide instant gratification, but it can become damaging to the body, mind and soul if used in unhealthy ways. What can you find as a healthy outlet instead of food (or not eating food)? Just like dealing with grief, that outlet might be different for everyone. Maybe it is writing in a journal, listening to uplifting music, getting a good sweat session in, confiding in a support system, volunteering. There are a million different options to choose other than the easy outlet of food. You just have to find the STRENGTH to turn to them!
4. “It takes strength to talk about our feelings and to reach out for help and comfort when we need it.”
If I’ve learned anything in my life thus far, it is that dealing with it all alone is not always the best way. As an introvert, I often turn inward to process my emotions. I will always be this way, and that is therapeutic to me. However, I know that I can’t do everything alone. It is so incredibly important to have a solid support system in your life. Reach out to someone that you look up to, someone you feel comfortable with. For me, becoming a health/fitness coach with Beachbody was one of the best things I ever did for my #bodymindsoul. It is so encouraging to know that I have a support system of like minded people across the entire US. When you learn to surround yourself with people that will lift you up, encourage you, and help you when you need it the most, and you are giving the same thing back, your ability to find the STRENGTH to CONFRONT the hard things in life will be there.
If you are struggling with finding a healthy balance in your life, let me help you. I don’t have all of the answers. But I can provide a support system for you. I can help motivate you. I can push you to find your inner strength and will power. Take a step of strength and join one of my monthly challenges. It won’t be easy. In fact, it will be hard. If you truly devote yourself to the process, however, you can come out on top. You can confront the things that are hard.
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