Just like you need to stretch your physical muscles to keep them flexible, healthy and prevent atrophy, you also need to stretch your emotional muscles or they will also experience atrophy.
Emotional atrophy can effect every area of your life from your mood, relationships, physical wellness to your career or business pursuits.
So how do you stretch your emotional muscles?
1) Identify some of your emotional muscles (fear, sadness, anger, happiness, excitement, hope, etc). Sometimes that’s an obvious process and other times you might have to dig a little to find them just like those hidden physical muscles that require special movement to stretch them out. If you’re just starting your emotional muscle workout, then it’s easiest to start with the big muscles just like in your physical workout.
One of the biggest emotional muscles that needs to be worked out is fear so that’s always a good one to start with. And since the big physical muscles require a lot of energy to workout, the big emotional muscles may require a lot of energy too, so it might be best to just start with one emotional muscle at a time. If you’re working on fear, the next step is to take inventory of what you’re afraid of? If possible focus on emotional fears, like fear of being alone, fear of being rejected, fear of failure, fear of success, fear of lack or fear of ________. Pick one fear from your fear list to focus on.
2) Start asking yourself why you have this fear and what may have caused it. For some, your intuition might lead you directly to the answer. For others, you might have to get quiet, be still, and even do some mindfulness exercises to get out of your head and into your heart…where all the answers to your life live.
3) Now that you have identified the fear and potential causes of the fear, I want you to notice if there are any parts of your body that feel tight or constricted when you think about this fear. You will most likely notice the constriction down the front of your body i.e. throat, chest, diaphragm, lower abdominal areas. Put your hands on the constricted area, close your eyes, breath into that area and send love to it.
Not sure what I mean by sending love? How about starting with positive affirmations—so for fear of being rejected—you would say I am loved, I am accepted, I am worthy. Or maybe you come up with your own version of sending love. The goals is to overwhelm the fear with love because love is more powerful than fear. Some of you will notice the fear dissipate right away. For some the fear will feel greater before it diminishes. And for others the fear will slowly erode over time. Just like physical stretching, keep repeating this emotional stretching until you feel more love than fear in this area. And then move on to the next emotional muscle.
Now you can also use this process for positive emotions like joy, peace, contentment, hope, etc. I actually recommend alternating your emotional stretching between a negative emotion i.e. fear and the a positive emotion. This will help to balance out your emotional stretching.
I use an active meditation to do guide me through the above three steps of emotional stretching. I am happy to share it with you. Just message me below if you’re interested.