Why Emotional Fulfilment Is Just As Important As Diet & Exercise
The power of emotional fulfilment in your life cannot be understated.
This is especially true today when the pace and stress of everyday life can really take its toll and impact your overall health and wellbeing.
It might seem like a leap to connect emotional fulfilment so directly with our overall health, but it's as every bit important as diet and exercise. No matter where you’re at in terms of physical health, emotions are strong electric forces that can either boost or deplete your energy.
The main drivers of emotional fulfilment are your relationships, your passions and your sense of purpose and belonging.
Even conscious breathing and spending time in nature can help to regulate your emotions, reduce stress and even help reduce the impact of a less than perfect diet or lack of exercise.
Keep reading to find out how each of these influencers of emotional fulfilment protect and solidify your entire being for a healthier, more satisfying life.
It's been said that your close relationships can either be the greatest sources of pleasure or pain that you'll experience in your lifetime: they’re that mercurial.
The key is to recognise the signs that make you feel unfilled in a relationship, so that you can figure out if the relationship is adding to or detracting from your life. If your relationship is a constant source of frustration and anxiety, it’s probably not emotionally fulfilling you, but it also probably triggers some unhealthy behaviours like stress eating, lack of energy, mental health stress, and more.
On the flipside, if your relationship consistently makes you feel happy, energetic, motivated and content, you’re more likely to engage in healthy, positive behaviours.
In this way, emotional fulfilment from your relationship can be just as important as your diet and exercise, because it can actually drive and influence these things. Other relationships like friendships and family ties are important too, and their influence on your life shouldn’t be overlooked: surround yourself with happy, uplifting people that help you become your best self.
Learn more in How to Heal Toxic Relationships Before They Break.
Finding something that you’re passionate about isn’t just to keep you busy during your free time; it’s the force that propels us towards an emotionally fulfilling life.
If you’re passionate about something, you’re more likely to try until you excel at it or achieve the desired results. For example, if you’re passionate about running, you’re more likely going to become a very good runner and get in the best shape of your life. You’ll achieve the desired outcome, bringing yourself happiness and satisfaction, while also building a lifestyle that you love.
Liking something isn’t the same as being passionate about it: liking running isn’t going to get you up at dawn to squeeze in a ten-mile run before work, it’s not going to want to pay for the quality running gear you’ll need, and it’s certainly not going to want to suffer through the blisters, chafing and the constantly sore muscles.
Being passionate is about spending time doing the things that you love that light you up. It could be gardening, reading books, playing music or drawing. Anything that brings you joy.
Finding what you’re passionate about takes some introspection and you have to be willing to try new things, but it is well worth the effort when you feel the emotional fulfilment of being passionate about something.
Sense of Purpose
Having a sense of purpose is surprisingly connected to our health; after all, it motivates us, it inspires us, and it keeps us fuelled when life gets us down.
A sense of purpose is a life force that drives us forward, arguably even more so than a regimen of healthy diet and exercise. As humans, we crave a sense of purpose. In fact, one of the ways to achieve happiness is to solve problems. You feel focused, in control, more satisfied, and overall more content in your day to day.
Losing our sense of purpose can lead to anxiety, depression, boredom, and more, making us much more vulnerable to developing unhealthy habits while also taking a toll on our mental health.
Motivation for exercise and eating healthy may come and go, but a sense of having vision, direction and meaning for your life can be a constant source of energy and drive that you can draw from.
Power of Breathing
You can live for days without food, hours without water - but less than a couple of minutes without breathing.
Breathing is not only vital to life, when done consciously, it can be a powerful way to help help regulate your mind when you’re anxious and stressed and restore a sense of calm, emotional wellbeing and focus on the things that truly matter.
Unfortunately, most of us don’t give our breath the attention it deserves, since it happens so automatically.
Our breathing is closely related to our emotions; when we’re angry or scared, we use short, quick breaths, but when we’re calm or relaxed, we have longer, deeper breaths.
If you want to add a deeply restorative and emotionally calming dimension to your breathing activities, diffuse essential oils next to your bed when sleeping and in the immediate area when meditating or performing yoga indoors.
Tip: try “square breathing”, a technique that can be immensely calming. Breathe in for four counts, hold your breath for four counts, slowly exhale again for four counts, and then hold again for four counts. Repeat as long as necessary to feel the relaxing, de-stressing benefits.
Learn more in 7 Ways to Deal With Anxiety & Find Inner Peace.
Sense of Connection & Belonging
Further to our relationships, having a sense of connection or belonging is incredibly important for emotional fulfilment and it can have an extremely important impact on our mental and physical health.
There’s a reason belonging is listed on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.
Losing the sense of connection or feeling of belonging can lead to depression, anxiety, loneliness and more; connections bring purpose, create valuable relationships, and gives us somewhere to turn to when life gets bumpy. All of these factors are intertwined into our emotional fulfilment, and together they can create a solid defence against anything that might come up in life that could keep you from being fit and healthy.
Learn more in Emotional Life Energy: Living with Joy and Gratitude.
Emotional fulfilment is a non-negotiable part of a vibrant, healthy life.
It’s a basic foundation of self care which should not be underestimated.
Remember, you can eat right and exercise, but that doesn’t guarantee that you’re going to look and feel your best self.
Taking care of your emotional fulfilment first can actually be as beneficial as exercising and eating well; you’ll be able to consistently draw on your emotions for energy and purpose, so that you can overcome almost anything that comes up without sacrificing your physical health - which is vital in today's, digitally connected and yet increasingly, emotionally 'disconnected' world.
Tolman Self Care.