Care and Feeding of the Mind

Care and Feeding of the Mind

As a society we’ve come to care a lot about health and fitness. We read food and drug labels, go online for medical information, learn new fitness techniques, and fuss with diets. In other words, caring for the body is high on our priority list as a daily target. Maybe it’s irrelevant to ask amidst all the gasping and research, but are we happy about all this?

Watching the faces of runners puffing down the roads, or those at the gym toiling away on the exercise machines, I’d say, not much – and I’m a former athlete and multi-sport aficionado! The point is, we give far less attention to our mental and emotional states than we do to our bodies. Few would claim much interest, let alone passion, toward the subject of their own emotional fitness.

Yet, what is it that makes (or breaks) our day? It’s emotional uplift (or its opposite). Of course, there’s also boredom that creeps in so easily (as is, “someone please hit me upside the head, so I’ll know that I’m alive.”).

We think it’s events and circumstances that make us happy. Not so. It’s our brains that do it, secreting dopamine, the neurotransmitter that helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure centers. Dopamine also helps to regulate emotional responses, and it enables us not only to see rewards, but also to take action to move toward them.

The outer event (a promotion, a new house, car or baby) just triggers our uplift, like a pickaxe driving through a thick coating of “everydayness,” and releasing the joy of our souls that was already there, 24/7. So, what if you were actually happy and didn’t know it? What if there were things you could purposely do, not to make yourself happy, but to release the happiness that’s hiding there inside you?

Well, guess what. There are.

NationBlogIcon Nation on Leadership: Develop your emotional fitness, as it’s a critical driver of life and leadership health. Your truest gifts and emotions emerge from a power of spirit and light. Cultivate those emotions – workout every day.

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