Of all the five areas of fitness, this will likely be my toughest to write about. Not because emotional fitness is not important; it is. It will be the toughest to write about because I know so many people have been wounded so deeply emotionally because of past abuse and current stigma surrounding mental health (note that I have another category for mental fitness, I may at times use mental health and what I am calling emotional fitness as interchangeable terms) and I do not want to cause any further hurt through a flippant comment or otherwise be confused as trying to present a simple formula to good emotional fitness (mental health).
While there is no formula to achieve good emotional fitness there are some good practices that can improve our likelihood of achieving and maintaining “good” emotional fitness. I will talk about these things from a standpoint of both first and second hand personal experience (what has helped me and what has helped a close family member). I will recommend a few tools and resources that may be beneficial to anyone seeking to improve or maintain their level of emotional fitness. I may link to and discuss recent scientific research on the topic as well. What I will not do is talk about medication. If anyone is suffering from a severe mental health condition they should seek medical attention. I believe medication may be a necessary and important tool for a lot of people and there is no shame in using medication while under a doctor’s care. While I have opinions related to when and what may be good in certain situations it would be totally irresponsible of me to offer those opinions here as I have zero medical authority to do so.
So, as I mentioned, I will attempt to tread lightly through this area of emotional fitness and hopefully you will find some benefit to practices, tools, and resources I present in this section.