Crossfit Training: Strengthening Your Emotional Muscles

Crossfit Training: Strengthening Your Emotional Muscles

Speaker: Sharsheret’s Director of Navigation Services Shera Dubitsky, MEd, MA

During springtime, many of you may be spending more time outdoors, biking, hiking, walking, or going to the gym and working out. This is also a good time to think about where you are emotionally and implement exercises and strategies that will help bolster your inner strength.

With each thought we have and action we take, we are establishing neurological pathways in our brains. The more frequent the thought or action, the stronger the pathway.  Just as with physical exercise, repetition and frequency of thoughts and actions impacts strength, flexibility, balance, and focus. CrossFit training consists of different exercises to achieve your goal of physical and emotional fitness.

Change your language.

  • Instead of repeating the phrase “What if?” switch it to “What now?” If you look at your history of coping, you will see that you will know what to do, when you need to know it. Often we plan for contingencies that never come to fruition. Focus on what you know and less on what you fear.
  • Add the word “yet” to the end of your sentences. For example, “I don’t feel like I have energy…yet,” or “I don’t know what decision to make… yet.” This implies moving forward with hope.
  • Refer to yourself as “someone living with cancer”, rather than as a cancer patient.  You are a cancer patient in the moment when you are seeing a doctor or receiving treatment – at all other times, try to focus on living your life as “someone living.”

Channel your thoughts. You can’t choose what thoughts meddle with your life, but you can decide how to respond.

An old Cherokee chief was teaching his grandson about life…

“A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible battle and it is between two wolves.”

“One wolf represents doubt, fear, anger, envy, sorrow, regret, guilt, resentment, and despair. The other wolf is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. This same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

The old chief simply replied, “The one you feed.”

Set up goals for yourself that keep you in a forward momentum.

  • Create daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly goals for yourself and allow for flexibility. These goals can be large or small, time consuming or requiring only momentary attention. They can involve others or be done on your own. This keeps you focused on living the life that you are fighting for.

Keep moving.

  • It’s important to engage in physical exercise. In addition to the medical and physical benefits, exercise can improve mood and focus, lower stress, and can be a social activity.

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