Now is the Time to Flex your Emotional Wellness Muscles!
Oct 18, 2021
At Fitness Together® studios, we know from experience that physical fitness is the result of cultivating healthy habits that are practiced regularly over time. Would it surprise you to learn that emotional wellness is, too? Though there is a belief that some people are blessed with a “happy gene”, or a “fitness gene”, genetics are only part of the make-up of a truly healthy, happy individual. Regardless of your biological predispositions, your daily choices still play a large role in your emotional (and physical) wellness. That’s why we’re so excited that October is Emotional Wellness month!
Emotional Wellness month provides an opportunity to focus on building daily habits designed to aid in living a healthier, happier, and more balanced life!
The National Institute of Health defines emotional wellness as “the ability to successfully handle life’s stresses and adapt to change and difficult times.” You could compare this emotional adaptability to preparing the body for a workout by doing a pre-workout warm-up. A dynamic warm-up prepares your body to handle any impact or stress that may result from physical activity. In keeping our bodies limber and loose we avoid harm and injury that could derail our fitness goals. Improving emotional wellness is similar: while it’s impossible to completely avoid stress, building an ongoing wellness routine that fits your lifestyle enables you to better manage stresses as they arise.
So, what is the best path toward emotional wellness? At Fitness Together studios, we believe it is to stretch your heart and mind through the regular incorporation of time-tested practices that have been handed down from generation-to-generation and scientifically proven to benefit emotional health. In this blog, we’ll share three of our favorite emotional wellness-enhancing practices. We challenge you to try one or all of them during Emotional Wellness month and are confident you’ll be happy that you did.
Like many people, you may be resistant to the concept of meditation. Whether the idea seems hokey, you don’t think you have the time, or don’t understand the point, the practice of meditation can be linked to many emotional and cognitive benefits. Embracing meditation as a part of a daily wellness routine may be easier than you think and also plentiful in reward.
So why meditate? Reason #1: meditation is good for your body. Studies show that meditating regularly can help reduce stress-related inflammation in the body and relieve other stress-induced conditions like irritable bowel syndrome, PTSD, and fibromyalgia. Reason #2: mediation is also good for your mind! More than 18 studies link meditation to a significant reduction in depression, an increased understanding of yourself, and an improved ability to think more constructively about challenges that you may encounter. Meditation can also be a powerful tool for outlining and reaching our goals. Meditation nurtures the ability to control our most precious instrument, our mind, in that it allows us time to turn our attention toward our aspirations and to nurture them to grow.
Given meditation’s positive results, why not give it a try? You could start by reading one of the many books on meditation, attending a local meditation class, or downloading a meditation app to your phone.
Another way to support emotional wellness is through the incorporation of routine massage as part of a regular wellness plan. Chief Wellness Officer, Eric Stephenson of the Elements Massage® [brand says:
"Massage therapy and the therapeutic benefits of touch can have a profound impact on your emotional wellness, as the mind and the body are powerful allies. Massage has many proven benefits including improved mental state, increased ability to cope with stress, and an increased sense of overall well-being. These benefits can help significantly with management of everyday stress or more debilitating emotional conditions, such as anxiety and depression. For these reasons, receiving a professional massage can make a huge difference in regaining a sense of inner strength and balance.”
Studies show that therapeutic massage is proven to relax an adult’s body and mind and is a great compliment to a fitness routine too! Massage supports flexibility, circulation, and positive feelings about one’s body. Already imagining what a series of personalized therapeutic massages could do for you? Why not book a massage session with a licensed massage therapist near you.
Movement & Exercise
It’s no secret that there is a clear link between emotional and physical health, and that movement and exercise are positively associated with happiness. A recent study in the Journal of Happiness found that not only does physical activity reduce a person’s risk of depression and anxiety, but it also contributes to feelings of joy and happiness. “Observational studies showed a beneficial relationship between being physically active and being happy,” Dr. Weiyun Chen, an associate professor of kinesiology at the University of Michigan, told the New York Times. “We know that exercise improves health,” she continues, “and feeling healthier might make people feel happier.”
While we know that exercise positively benefits emotional wellness, determining how to start your fitness journey can be intimidating. There are many ways to incorporate movement into your daily routine. You can start building healthier habits by conducting everyday tasks like walking the dog, scrubbing the floor, or dancing to your favorite playlist. If you work on a higher floor, take the stairs! If you work at home, take a walk around the block at lunch. Want more ideas, or need a little guidance and accountability? Chat with a Fitness Together personal trainer about ways to kickstart your physical and emotional wellness today!
These are just a few of our favorite tips for boosting your emotional wellness, but there are so many more! For more guidance on how to become your healthiest self, visit the National Institute of Health or contact your local Fitness Together studio today!