Monday, March 26, 2012

Being Emotionally Fit

I was thinking about being physically fit the other day and about how when some people who are on a lot of medications then get physically fit end up being able to reduce their medications. I love seeing that on The Biggest Loser, when one of the contestants start rattling off all the pills they don't have to take any more. As I was thinking about this it occurred to me that maybe the same thing was possible for people who get emotionally fit.

I have been on an antidepressant for almost two years now and can't help but hope it is just a temporary thing. And if it is just temporary, what do I need to do to be able to get off the medication? That's when I thought about the Biggest Loser contestants. I wondered if I get emotionally fit, will I then be able to reduce my medications?

Yesterday I was reading a book my therapist gave me called "Hand Me Down Blues" by Michael Yapko and I read this:

"Realize that much more is required of you to manage depression well . . . , specifically learning and applying key antidepressant concepts and skills."

It was the phrase "antidepressant concepts and skills" that really stood out to me. I know there are things you can do that help with depression like eating right, exercising, etc. but it was the author's naming it as antidepressant skills that I just loved. So there are antidepressant medications and there are antidepressant skills. It is the things that I am learning now on how to treat myself better that are the skills the author is talking about.

Being emotionally fit is working on those emotional muscles to be strong, such as feeling and getting out your emotions, talking kindly to yourself, being able to say no when you need to, connecting with your spiritual self, doing things that make you feel beautiful or handsome and having fun. These are skills that come naturally to most people but for many others they are a daily, if not hourly challenge.

I don't know if taking antidepressants are a life long thing for me or just temporary, but I do know that it won't be until I am emotionally fit will I be able to find out for sure. I would rather be on antidepressant skills. Time to flex those emotional muscles and get fit!

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