Developing Your Emotional Core - the Powerhouse of Your Soul!
By Lorie Rosenberg
Have you ever wondered why it's important to develop your core strength? Or why personal trainers are always pushing you to tighten your abs and do exercises that strengthen your core?
It's probably because your core is the powerhouse of your body. It's the central link that connects your upper and lower torso. It doesn't matter if you're swinging a golf club, sweeping the floor, or getting up out of a chair, you're using your core to help you make the necessary movements that will allow you to complete each of these actions.
In addition, your core houses your vital organs and protects your nervous system. When you have a strong core, it protects you against injury when performing your normal routine each day...and enables you to engage in a sport or other more strenuous activities that use the various muscles in your body.
When your core is weak, you lose muscle strength, stability, and balance. You're more prone to injury and you may even experience pain, especially in your lower back, because you lack the muscle strength to adequately support your spine. This weakness can also lead to bad posture and chronic back pain.
If you've decided it's time to get in shape because you want to be able to do a variety of physical activities, then it's extremely important for you to train your core to maintain the integrity of your body. This will help you stay healthy and injury free.
Strengthen Your Emotional Core
Likewise, it's also vital to your success and well-being to strengthen your emotional core. When you have a strong emotional core, you're able to handle the stresses that challenge you each day. You're also better able to withstand the emotional traumas that life occasionally sends your way.
When your emotional core is weak, the daily grind between work and personal issues can wreak havoc on your emotional stability. It can paralyze you and leave you so emotionally vulnerable that anything, no matter how big or small, can basically send you over the edge. You can become depressed and your outlook on life may seem so overwhelming and bleak that you don't know how you're going to make it through another day.
So what can you do to turn this around and develop an emotional core that can withstand today's stressful life? First, you must not let your life get too out of whack. Try to recognize your issues as they come up and take action before you become so ill that it takes drastic measures to improve your health so you can get back to your old self again.
Anything you want to achieve in life takes work and effort. Maintaining your emotional - as well as your physical - health takes the same type of commitment. You can't assume that you'll be fine if you do nothing. Sooner or later the stresses are going to catch up with you and you're going to be caught by surprise when your world starts falling apart around you.
Here are some things you can do to help you strengthen your emotional core, develop a strong confident posture, and get ready for all that life brings your way:
Eight Ways to Pump Up Your Core:
1Carve Out Time for Yourself–Life is extremely hectic. We tend to fill up every minute of our lives with activities, tasks, or responsibilities. If we're not at work, we're taking the kids to a sport's activity, running errands, doing yard work, making dinner, or collapsing in front of the TV. That's why it's so important to take time out of your hectic schedule to relax and focus on yourself. Whether it's taking a leisurely bath, reading a book, or working on a personal project, it's important that you not overlook your own needs for everyone else's. You'll end up feeling used and abused. So take time for yourself and enjoy every minute of it!
2Nurture Your Relationships–People should be your top priority after you take care of yourself. It's your relationships that nourish you. But relationships have to be sought after and nurtured. People usually don't seek you out to be their friend, even though they may also be looking for someone they'd love to talk to. It has taken years to develop my current friendships. I've found that when you ask people to dinner, you're more likely to be asked back, and chatting over food and drinks is a great way to develop closer friendships. Also, doing an activity together like working out or running a race is a great way to get close to someone. It's important to have friends or family you can talk to that will help you when you're down, need to vent, or want some advice or feedback.
3 Eat Healthy–Many people skip breakfast and start their day with no fuel to get them going. They drink coffee and think that's going to sustain them during the day. It's really a good idea to start your day with a good breakfast so you'll have enough energy to get through the day. Plus, you need to take time for a break at lunch to eat and rest so you'll be rejuvenated for the afternoon. Fast food is no substitute for a good healthy meal. It all starts with planning. Use your time on the weekend to plan meals for the week. You could cook several meals on the weekend, freeze them and then you'll have quick, easy meals during the week that you can throw in the oven or microwave. Remember that food is fuel and you need fuel to maintain both your emotional and physical health.
4Do Some Physical Exercise–You've all heard the benefits of physical exercise, yet most people hate working out. It's important to develop some type of physical activity that you enjoy so that you'll do it regularly. It can be a brisk walk, swimming, tennis, aerobics, dancing, or any type of physical activity that elevates your endorphins and helps you feel better. It's good to do this activity at least three times per week, but if you can't, then at least try to walk around your neighborhood every day - any exercise is better than no exercise.
5 Get a Good Night's Rest–There's nothing more important for your emotional core than a good night's sleep. When you sleep well, you can face almost anything during the day. When your sleep is interrupted or is erratic, you're likely to be more emotional. Lack of sleep can be attributed to hormonal problems, stress, thyroid issues, or a number of other issues. If you can't sleep well, it's a good idea to contact your health professional to help you get your sleep back on track.
6Develop Personal Interests–It's good to love what you do. But sometimes our jobs don't always fulfill our interests and desires. That's why it's a good idea to find a hobby or other interest beyond work to fill your day. I find that work for me is not always as creative as I'd like it to be. That's why I have projects like planting flowers, decorating the house, or cooking nice meals. This helps fulfill my creative outlets and makes me a much happier person.
7Meditate–Meditation is a good way to relax your body and your brain and get closer to your inner self. Some people find it a great way to connect with their inner source and it helps to reduce their stresses from the day. For me, traditional "sitting" meditation is difficult to do. But meditation can take many forms. I would rather take a walk, ride my bike and listen to music or an audio on some spiritual topic. It helps me regroup and think about issues that are important to me. It's also time I carve out to take care of myself and it really does work.
8Seek Help–You may find that even though you're doing a lot of the things above, you just can't get out of your funk. If life is too stressful for you, and you feel as if you're at the bottom of a hole where the dirt keeps piling up around you and you just can't seem to dig yourself out no matter what you do, then it may be time for you to seek help. A therapist or mental health professional can possibly shed some light on what you've been feeling and determine if you need some additional therapy or medication.
I believe as humans our instincts have not caught up to the current lifestyle we're living. There are so many people nowadays that need help managing the life they're currently living. It's not a failure on their part, it's just a symptom of the reality of managing the chaotic and stressful life we're living these days.
Choose the Path to Happiness
Happiness shouldn't be a noun. It should be an action verb. That's because you can't expect to be happy without doing something about it. You need to surround yourself with people who are good for you, who support your efforts, and nurture your goals and desires. You need to take time for yourself and make sure that you're not over-functioning at work or in your personal life. You can only do so much, so just do the best you can every day; stop complaining and take action on those things you can change; and then let the rest of it go because it's probably not that big a deal...anyway.
Start taking time to strengthen your emotional core...because it's the powerhouse of your soul!