FIRST THINGS FIRST
Emotional Fitness Training’s (EFT) Twelve Easy Exercises turn everyday happenings into exercises that strengthen your emotional fitness – what the gurus call #EmotionalIntelligence.
Each exercise is based on both research and what wise men and women have taught those seeking the good life to practice down the ages. To be most helpful each exercise must be practiced with full awareness. That is done by meditating before and after the exercise. Sound too difficult? Not once you have learned and practiced EFT’s One Minute Meditation. Read on:
Four Easy Emotional Fitness Training Exercises
Exercise number one: The One Minute Meditation better known as the OMM. Here is how to 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 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, if you do it with full awareness 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. Look at the picture below and OMM. First, breathe in the all that is beautiful about the picture; keep your focus as you hold your breath; finally as you breathe out remember to smile and say thank you.
Extend the power of this exercise by learning to find beauty where ever you are; 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.
Use the picture above to practice narrowing your focus. Find beauty in the water, the setting sun, the sun’s reflection, the moss covered log, or the sand under the log.
When you go out into the real world look for beauty and breathe it in and always remember to be grateful.
Also surround yourself with what you find beautiful you can practice this exercise off and on throughout the day. Use pictures, beautiful music, flowers, sea shells or even rocks to create beauty spots wherever you sit.
Visit my Be With Beauty Pinterest Board. If you want to be a Be With Beauty photographer, let me know at 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. Thinking more deeply about what matters builds emotional strength. Read this quote and reflect on its meaning.If of thy mortal good thou art bereft
And of thy slender store two loaves alone to thee are left,
Sell one, and with the dole
Buy hyacinths to feed thy soul. Saad, Persian poet
Saad’s quote reminds you of the value of keeping beauty in your life. Quotes are sound bites of wisdom; sound bites often contain hidden truths. If you think a bit more deeply, about Saad’s quote, it can only apply to those who will not starve if they give up a loaf. When you can sell a loaf without starving you or your family you are blessed by life. Thinking more deeply about any thing develops critical thinking and that is an Emotional Intelligence skill.
Dr Anders Ericsson said in the early 1990 that it takes 10,000 hours (20 hours for 50 weeks a year for ten years = 10,000) of deliberate practice to become an expert in almost anything. While many have since disputed his claim, it is clear mega stars in almost every field prove his point. Ericsson also claims the practice must be deliberate and practiced with full awareness; what many call perfect practice.
The good news? EFTI promotes starring in your life, not on the stage or the athletic playing field. Good enough gets you there when it comes to everyday life. Moreover, most of you already practice some of the exercises that built emotional intelligence. Adding another of EFTI’s daily exercises makes good enough better.
EFTI’s Poster coaches
EFTI POSTER COACHES are practice reminders. Printed up and posted where you will see them regularly reminds to OMM and practice the exercise related to the post. Many of the posters found at our EFTI Store are quotes specifically designed to help you think about what matters. Here are two samples: The OMM and Create Calm.
Visit the store for some quick inspiration. Practicing kindness is an important emotional fitness exercise; internet liking, commenting, or sharing is an easy way to practice kindness. If you like what you found here sign up for our blog and share it with others.
Need more? Consider purchasing the eBook, Twelve Easy Emotional Fitness Exercises to Tame Mad, Bad, and Sad Feelings.