What your Emotional Fitness says about Your Relationships

Relationships are like the weather because they go through seasons. Your relationships will go through many ups and downs and Your Emotional Fitness is the biggest factor in how well you handle the cold harsh seasons.

The feelings you continually experience on a day to day basis determine the choices you make and how you act in your relationships.

Why Your Emotions Usually Trump Common Sense in Relationships

When encountering relationship problems, often your common sense and emotions are in an intense battle for who gets to control what you do.

Anytime you interact with someone, all five of your senses gather information about this person and send it all to your brain. This information must travel through your brain’s limbic system where your emotions are produced. If your lucky, the information than travels to it’s final destination in the front part of your brain where you have access to common sense, reasoning and rational thought.

Thus, your emotions have an advantage over your common sense and reasoning. All information must pass through your emotions and if they are intense enough, they can prevent information from ever reaching the common sense part of your brain.

If you’re lacking in emotional fitness, your emotions will trump your common sense and control how you act in your relationships.

Imagine you’re in a new relationship with someone your friends and family tell you is bad for you. If you experience intense feelings of love and attraction, you will probably overlook a lot of other things about him or her that you “know” could be trouble down the road. At this point, you probably don’t have access to the common sense part of your brain because of your intense feelings.

If you have high emotional fitness, information passes freely from the emotional part of your brain (limbic system) to the common sense part of your brain and vice versa. You will be able to balance your emotions with common sense a majority of the time and you’ll act in the best interest of your relationships.

Wait a minute! But I’ve always been a jealous person!

Are you a jealous person?

Are you a depressed or angry person?

We used to believe that how we felt on a moment to moment basis was determined largely by genetics. Some of us are just born angry, depressed or worried right?

No, you are not a jealous, angry or depressed person. In fact, we believe you aren’t any of your actions or emotions. You are an alive, fallible human being who does the best you can in each moment.

What you do or how you feel says nothing about you as a person. How you feel right now is not a fixed trait or an emotion you necessarily have to experience forever.

When we think of emotional fitness, we often think the ability to control our emotions is a god given talent that you’re either born with or you’re not.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

We’ve seen people struggling with anger or depression for years completely change how they feel simply by learning new habits.

You’ve learned to feel the way that you currently do. You can just as easily learn how to feel confident, loving, empowered, energetic or any other desirable emotional states.

What is Emotional Fitness?

Most of us don’t understand what emotional fitness is and certainly have no clue how to condition the way we feel to help our relationships.

Your emotional fitness is your ability to:

  • Face life’s challenges head on
  • Take control of how you feel
  • Take positive actions that are in your best interest and improve your relationships

In school you learn how to spell, add, subtract, and read, but you’re never taught how to take control of your emotions or how to deal with all of life’s challenges on an emotional level.

This is alarming since your emotional fitness is the biggest factor in the quality of your relationships.

The feelings you routinely experience are not solely determined by your genetics and are overwhelmingly a result of how you’ve learned to communicate with yourself and communicate with others.

The way you feel right now is not the result of what is happening in your life.

How you feel is the result of how you communicate to yourself and to those closest to you about what is happening in your life

So, conditioning your emotional fitness is the most crucial habit necessary to improving your relationships.  That means figuring out how to communicate to yourself and others about what is happening in your life in ways that are empowering.

Low emotional fitness = Relationships Problems

High emotional fitness = Successful Relationships

Say Yes to Love,

Dr. Michael Arn & Dr. Ashley Arn