Every morning I step onto a scale in order to weigh myself. I don’t HAVE to do this, but I CHOOSE to. Some days I’m encouraged by the progress I’m making in terms of “dropping a few lbs” and other days I want to get the scale professionally checked for accuracy (know what I’m talking ’bout?).
Being faced with the truth can be frustrating. But the numbers don’t lie, and neither are they personally invested; they are merely reporting information. It’s our responsibility to consider those numbers and give them subjective weight (pun intended).
What will we do with the information that the scale has revealed to us?
How will we process it?
What actions will come as a result?
Information should lead to introspection.
Truth begets thoughtfulness.
To get physically healthy we must wrestle with what the scale reveals. Such is the case with the physical, but what about the emotional? We can’t weigh JOY like we can pounds. Can we say no to ANGER like a donut? Friends, it’s difficult to quantify our emotional health, and much easier to hide than the physical aspects. Don’t you wish we could simply step onto a scale, get a read out of emotional health, and then take appropriate steps? But alas…
What are some things that we can do in order to enhance our emotional health?
1. Enlist Coaching and Accountability. Get yourself a team of quality people that are rightly aligned with your desires for better emotional health. You cannot afford to go at this alone.
Who will coach you? These ought to be people that are further along in their life journey, and have seen a degree of success in areas of emotional health.
Who will cheer you on? These are folks that you can be completely transparent with, and that will in turn spur you on.
For me personally, I have enlisted a couple of older, wiser, Godly men that graciously serve as my coaches. These are not “buddies” (although we have mutual friendship), but rather they are “clear voices” that I have chosen to listen and respond to. As well, I have those that cheer me on; “emotional health running partners”, if you will, that are on a similar track as I am, and get the rigors of the race.
2. Set Goals and Plans. Once your team is in place, then together you are able to set some targets and timelines. Perhaps you are determined to focus your energies towards increasing your joy quotient, lowering stress, or getting a handle on depression. Set some goals regarding those areas of emotional health, and then expand upon that with clear and reasonable plans (how the goal can be achieved). This all seems very ethereal, I know, but the process is well worth it.
Perhaps you may set a goal of waking up happier three days a week. Or you may want to respond to adverse situations with less anger. Set those goals and plot out the plan. It’s important to write it down and then communicate it with your avenues of accountability. In other words, inspect what you expect!
3. Celebrate Wins and Forward-Progress. An important step in our emotional health is to celebrate successes (or even hints of success). It’s been said: “What gets celebrated gets repeated.” Of course, we know from various schools of thought such as child psychology, that positive reinforcement is an important facet in the forming of habits (hopefully good ones).
So, if you or those you’ve enlisted to help you, see areas of emotional growth, then be quick to celebrate! That kind of energy can be marshalled in order to tackle other aspects of emotional health and growth.
Why is all of this so important? Well, because Proverbs 4:23 tells us “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Other translations of this passage call our heart the “wellspring of life.”
In other words, our emotional and spiritual heath matters.
Keep up the good work.