I will never be the kind of dad who bullies his son to “toughen him up.” I have seen that attitude go terribly wrong in my own life, and in the lives of many family members. The world can be a rough, mean, frustrating, and disappointing place some times, but having an emotional callous built up from hard treatment by someone you ought to be able to trust is not going to help.
What will help is being emotionally resilient. You can make sure you have the emotional strength, courage and energy to handle anything the world can throw at you if you take care of yourself well.
This is why I suggest you take time for stillness, why you need to take care of your media diet, and practice gratitude regularly. All of these things will make you stronger and wiser. They will help you weather the rough parts of life with poise and courage. It is also why I am going to teach you how to keep a journal, to read books that engage your mind, plan your day ahead of time, and use affirmations. it is why learning to create rituals to center yourself is so valuable.
Your emotional strength is like your physical strength: it takes exercise, preparation, and time to build. You will want to try a lot of different things to see what offers you the most benefit. Once you know what gives you strength, do it regularly, just as you exercise regularly.
Here are some exercises that will help you build emotional strength:
- Read a few pages from a good book.
- Set your goals for the day first thing in the morning.
- Write down five things that you are grateful for.
- Spend ten minutes doodling or free-writing.
- Vigorous physical exercise.
- Relaxing in the sunshine.
- Listening to your favourite upbeat music.
- Yoga or Pilates.
- Playing (non-video) games with others.
- Hanging out with your friends.
- Spending time honing or practicing a hobby skill.
- Write or recite affirmations.
- Work on a vision board.
I hope I can help you build up an emotional exercise routine that works for you. Right now these letters are a part of mine.