The Three FFF’s of Emotional Balance

AdminDr Michael Mantell


OK, before you go all holier than thou, critical, or laugh so hard you can’t pay attention to the content of this article, here’s what being “All FFF’d Up” means when it comes to preventing emotional turmoil during this COVID19 unbalanced time. It means you need to have Fun, include Friends and be Focused. C’mon, what’d you think I meant? Besides, I like it better than Conviction, Commitment and Consistency. Three C’s or three F’s? See what I mean?

You see, there are “lumpers and splitters” in this world when it comes to science. There are those that dissect the tiniest of tiny and separate out every imaginable strand of information, and then there are those who see links and broad connections in life and bring things together.

When I searched Google under the heading of “emotional balance,” it came up with 319,000,000 hits in 0.52 seconds!

You wonder why so many are so confused about staying cool during this unbalanced time? Lumping many of these hits – with more than four decades of experience – together, I believe it comes down to getting all “FFF’d up” to become and remain emotionally balanced now. Getting all FFF’d up propels your emotional balance.

Developing and maintaining a) emotional agility, b) mental coordination, c) psychological endurance, d) intellectual balance, and e) rational strength, hallmarks of emotional wellbeing and balance, depend largely on internal motivation. I’ve found the most successful, commonly relied upon and in one way or another most frequently referenced tools to gain these mind assets in order to endure the challenges we all currently face, are as follows:

Fun How can you have fun during a quarantine? Sure, you can stream a movie, visit a museum online, take a virtual safari at a distant zoo, attend a concert with a group of your buddies digitally, take a luxurious bath, sleep later, work on a family puzzle, play with your pet, go for a group jog on a virtual social media app…you get it, there are many ways to create enjoyable activities.

Hate to jog? Then dance. Don’t like to dance? Take a walk. Get the idea? As long as you’re having fun, you’ll keep a healthy mindset. Play brings joy, it’s the oxygen of adult life, so give yourself permission to play, be physically active daily, and you’ll do more for your longevity and your emotional balance than you can imagine. Hey, speaking of imagining, spend some fun time imagining how grim you could make yourself feel, smile large, and then be grateful you are more sensible than to do that to yourself. Smiling often during the day, even at the silliest of things, will add to the fun of this whole experience. Remind yourself it’s at worst a hassle, not a horror.

Friends How can you rely on friends when you can’t be with them? Huh? Who says you can’t? Friends will have a significant impact on your health and emotional wellbeing. Keeping up with positive social connections, especially when physically distant, helps maintain important thinking skills, slows cognitive decline, fuels a sense of purpose, motivates physical activity, promotes healthier lifestyle habits, and reduces levels of stress hormones.

Friends have a “defending effect” on emotional balance and physical wellbeing. Using apps or other virtual “face to face” time, even the phone (remember phones?) to say engaged, will promote accountability to live life more optimally. Did you know that maintaining close friendships, regardless of time or distance increases your life span at a rate that equals that of quitting smoking?!!

Focus If the only thing you’re focused on lately is the news, the media hype about COVID19, how “awful, catastrophic and horrible” this time period is, keep thinking “it’s awwwwwwful and I can’t stand it,” it’s time to refocus your attention, concentration and focal point. Isolation has negative effects on your emotional, mental and spiritual wellbeing. It is destabilizing. It reduces your lifespan, increases your risk of chronic physical illnesses and reduces your ability to fight off infection.

So, begin by going to sleep tonight asking yourself what couple of things went well, were positive, went right? Wake up tomorrow morning, first of course, focused on your gratitude in waking up, and then turn your focus to what may go well, right, positively today? May, not will.

Mindfulness, paying attention purposefully to the present moment with minimal or no distraction, is a wonderful way to invigorate your focus and grow to become indifferent to those things that really don’t matter around you. Find fun in practicing this experience a few times a day and share your proficiency with friends.

It will take some planning to insure you build fun, friends and focus into your daily quarantined life right now. Think about how much added strength you’ll have built into your emotional balance when this current challenge passes.

There you have it. Millions and millions of Google hits on “emotional balance” come down to “get FFF’d up.” Not bad, right? Now, go create some fun and enjoyment with friends and stay focused. You’ll live healthier, longer, with far more joy through this current “coronapocalype.”