Emotional Fitness

Moving beyond emotional intelligence (EI or EQ), emotional fitness is a living practice that asks you to be open to growing, learning, and changing. Our emotional health isn’t limited to our mental health, but looks at living in a whole-hearted way, through its 3 steps. 

The three-step path to finding and living emotionally fit is what I call “EQ Fitness” (EQF) at work, and emotional fitness is its application for all of life. More can be learned through my book, Fully Human

This growth process creates personal satisfaction, harnesses healthy emotions for fulfilling productivity, and builds successful, fully-human workplaces and cultures. 

EQ Fitness

Step 1: Willingness

EQ Fitness begins with self-discovery: your gifts and strengths, your limits, and your motives. Reflect on your life and look for important moments — or inflection points — where you had to make a choice or decision. Your thoughts and actions at those inflection points are the most telling about who you are and where you can increase your emotional growth.

In this first step, you’re also confronting thoughts, actions and beliefs to discern patterns that may be keeping you stuck in unhealthy identifying habits. This is where you ask yourself: “Why do I keep doing x?” Some of us can do this through talking to friends, or journaling. Some of us need therapists to help. I know I did.

Are you emotionally fit?

Take the quiz to understand where you are on your EQ Fitness journey.

Step 2: Trust

Being willing feeds directly into building trust. The next step asks you to continue being vulnerable, but not just with yourself. Take an emotional risk and share your gifts with others, letting them know the whole, true you. Of the many rewarding emotions out there, trust is the best barometer of healthy work relationships; it takes two to tango with trust!

But face it, not everyone is trustworthy. Use your EQ to read people, and if they’re manipulative or too slick, don’t bother engaging with them.

Step 3: “We” Principles

Step Three is when we move from “me” to “we”.

Once you’ve taken a chance with those closest to you, it’s time to share those gifts more widely by helping to build more emotionally-fit cultures and workplaces. Driven by a higher purpose, by your self-knowledge, and by the rewards of connection and trust built with others, you are at once and continually moving, feeling, dealing, and healing your own emotions and influencing the environments you are part of to do the same.

EQ Fit Cultures

Get the stories from readers about emotional fitness practices in the workplace.

The three steps of emotional sobriety can be found through the stories in Little Book of College Sobriety. They are very similar to emotional fitness, only applied to living a happy, healthy, hope-rich recovery. Learn more here.