Emotional Fitness

I admit it — I stole the title of this blog post from Simon Sinek. He believes that we should change the nomenclature from “mental health” to “emotional fitness” and I couldn’t agree more.

We have been using the phrasing “mental health” mostly as a catch-all for anything and everything that offers a shoulder shrug explanation for someone’s problems or society’s crisis. There is such a debilitating stigma that is associated with the label of mental health that it less uncomfortable to just ignore it. It reminds me a lot of the stigma we had around breast cancer just a few decades ago. There is a correlation from what we have learned about breast cancer and what we are now learning about mental health. Early detection and preventative measures are game-changers.

The solid truth is our mental health is of integral importance to our quality of life and to our physical and cognitive health. It is time we normalize that. It just might start with a more acceptable and accurate descriptor — emotional fitness.

As we are coming to realize, many of us struggle more than we should with attending to our emotional fitness because we were not taught how to integrate our emotions with our developing brains when we were kids. As a result, we can have a very confusing and unskillful relationship with our emotions.

And it is not only our own emotions that we wrestle with, it is the emotions of all those we are in relationship with as well — most significantly our family members.

Here are some compelling reasons why we need to push emotional fitness to the top of our list for achieving our best overall health:

  • Poor emotional health contributes to inflammation, increased anxiety, depression, suppressed immune systems, cardiac and cognitive problems (just to name a few)
  • Poor emotional health negatively impacts our quality of sleep; sleep is one of the most beneficial factors for our overall brain and body health.
  • Poor emotional regulation negatively impacts the quality and deep connectedness of our most treasured personal relationships (i.e. secure attachment styles)
  • Poor emotional health taxes our energy, our ability to be clear-headed, and limits our capacity for resilience, problem solving and empathy
  • Poor emotional health is a carrier — we simply perpetuate dysfunctional patterns of behavior and hand them down to our children.

In other words, emotional fitness is the giant umbrella that arches over every other aspect of our quality of life. We can be incredibly physically fit and be emotionally miserable. We can be sleepwalking through our present moments causing collateral damage left and right and be oblivious to the harm we are causing to others with our unchecked emotional reactions. We may be prone to frequent colds and viruses, have chronic asthma, insomnia, indigestion, aching backs and migraines. We can numb our pain and simultaneously numb our joy.

The reality of how our emotional fitness impacts our daily lives and our families is undeniable. Take stock of how each member in your family handles their daily mood swings. If you created a graph and plotted each family member’s emotional highs and lows throughout the day, what correlations might you find?

There is no standardized way that we human beings respond to our emotions and experiences. Even shared family experiences will land slightly differently on each member. We each respond in a variety of different ways to very similar circumstances — and here’s the plot twist: how we respond changes in direct correlation to our emotional tides.

Our emotional states play a huge role in how we respond to unfolding events in our daily lives. One day we are resilient and can let things roll off our back; the next we are unmoored and have no bandwidth to handle even minor skirmishes.

Lots of things contribute to our mood swings. Some of those are external factors. Many are our own internal factors such as coping strategies, flexibility or rigidity, self compassion or harsh inner criticism, emotional triggers and personal preferences.

What is often invisible to us is that we are all contributing in some way to the emotional well being and level of emotional fitness for those we love the most. Yes, we know that our lives are inextricably connected but we are often not consciously aware that our nervous systems and emotions are equally intertwined. We get plugged in to each other’s emotional energies and it happens incredibly fast.

Just witness for yourself how the energy shifts and emotions rise or fall when one member of your family loses their cool, or breaks into spontaneous laughter, or sulks out of the room.

Have you ever held your breath as an emotionally intense situation unfolds and your mind immediately conjures up what the most probable reaction will be? You brace yourself for the worst, your body tenses and you get ready for the impact of strong harsh emotions. And then the unexpected happens, there is no anger — there is laughter. It takes more than a hot minute for your body to register this phenomenon and slowly you begin to feel the tension leaving your body. Now think about all those emotional gyrations you just experienced in under a minute. Not to mention the chemicals and hormones that were released and are still being processed in your body and brain.

In the above scenario, when you found yourself bracing for a bad outcome fueled by anger, that is what “conditioning” feels like in your body and brain. If you had a lot of those types of anger fueled, high intensity emotional events in your childhood, you are “conditioned” to prepare for the worst. Your body and brain braces for a negative emotional impact.

Think about how many times that conditioning is reinforced over our lifetime. Not only are we well-practiced in a reflective response intended to protect us, we get taught at the very same time that it is normal for adults to react this way. And the next thing we know, we are in fact mimicking that reactive behavioral pattern in our marriages and in our parenting. The childhood conditioned response and the adult unchecked behavioral pattern go hand in hand.

When we lack the ability to ground ourselves before we respond to present day situations, we only reinforce bad emotional fitness habits. Those unhealthy emotional fitness habits are costly; to ourselves and to our family members.

We have a lot of devices these days that help us monitor our physical activity, our heart rates, how much and the quality of our sleep, keep track of our caloric intake and remind us to hydrate or move our bodies. But we have not devoted as much time, awareness and discipline to our emotional fitness.

Dr. Peter Attia often uses the image of a pyramid with a broad, solid base at the bottom to stress the importance of a core foundation for our physical strength. The top of that pyramid is the peak, where we can really distinguish ourselves often in short bursts or for competitive events. Perhaps we can use that same pyramid image to help us develop healthy emotional fitness.

That broad solid base at the bottom of our emotional fitness pyramid constitutes how we ground ourselves, in the present moment, in alignment with our core values, our family values and our goals for our emotional health. It only takes one or two deep cleansing breaths to anchor ourselves there in that foundation. It is that pause between stimulus and response that serves as a potent reminder of the goal for our emotional fitness. Choose responsibly.

The more we commit to building a strong emotional fitness base, the easier it will become to implement better responses on a daily basis. We will smooth out a lot of emotional bumps and turbulence for ourselves and our family members. An added bonus is that we will be much more emotionally skillful in those “peak” moments too — those times when something really adverse occurs and we are emotionally challenged in a very big way. We can become the rock that our family needs in those highly intense emotional adversities.

Just like any physical fitness regimen we have, it is the practice that brings results. We have to stay committed to attending to our emotional fitness. Yes, we do skip the gym from time to time and we do overindulge in comfort food occasionally.

We are going to slip up and we will show up with some unhealthy emotional fitness — that’s life. Let’s turn to Dr. Peter Attia once more for some advice on damage control. Dr. Attia has become one of the biggest advocates for emotional fitness and he stresses the importance of “repair”. Let’s be honest, we know when we haven’t shown up as our best selves; we know when we have lashed out too harshly or lost our patience without forewarning. Owning it and apologizing swiftly is the key. That’s emotional damage control.

Dr. Dan Siegel, author of Whole Brain Parenting, reinforces the value embedded in those times of emotional “rupture and repair”. It becomes the superglue of trust and respect for our most valued relationships. It is how we demonstrate a true commitment to our emotional fitness to ourselves and our family members.

The Wrap Up:

There is no doubt that our emotional health and emotional fitness is fast becoming a mainstream subject. One that is long overdue. We are witnessing a coalescence of neuroscience, psychology, epigenetics, modern medicine; along with mindfulness, meditation, self compassion, gratitude and self-awareness.

The tap roots for so many of the mental and emotional health issues we face today are integration and connection. We need to integrate our emotions with our amazing, complex brains and we need to attend to our hard-wired basic need for human connection.

For far too long, we humans have been operating without that emotional integration. As a result, we became disconnected from some of the most integral parts of our core operating system. However our emotions did not relegate themselves to the back seat no matter how much we tried to ignore or override them.

Our emotions hopped right into the driver’s seat and took us off on a wild ride, sometimes going full throttle and other times slamming on the brakes. Our emotions can barely see through the windshield and occasionally love the chaotic slapping of the wipers on high. They play tug of war with the steering wheel, beep the horn wildly and push all the knobs and buttons on the console.

How is that working out?

The answer is — not well. Our emotions have a vital role to play but they are not skillful drivers and seasoned life navigators. They are invaluable warning lights and the occasional alarm system.

We can take back control, put ourselves in the driver’s seat for our quality of life and the direction and places we wish to go. Rather than ignore, dismiss and override our emotional signals, we can pay attention and address important operating issues with preventive maintenance and early detection.

Let’s turn this whole well being concept on its head. Let’s start with our emotional health and ramp up our emotional fitness.


THE IMPACT OF STRESS ON PHYSICAL & EMOTIONAL HEALTH with ROBERT SAPOLSKY, Ph.D – This conversation is rich with insights from birth to old age…a very worthwhile listen

CHECK OUT THE EPISODE WITH GRETCHEN RUBIN AND HER NEW BOOK ON THE 5 SENSES TO REDUCE ANXIETY, INCREASE CREATIVITY AND IMPROVE YOUR RELATIONSHIPS https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/ten-percent-happier-with-dan-harris/id1087147821?i=1000608994488

Pop a Daily Gummy of Wisdom Supplement

I am so excited to announce the launch of a brand new initiative to support our emotional health and overall wellbeing. My Daily Gummy of Wisdom is intended to be an awareness supplement to help us all maintain our emotional fitness.

We take vitamins and supplements to support our physical and cognitive health, so why not have a little daily boost for our emotional health and overall quality of life?

If you are a regular follower of my blog, Inspired New Horizons, then you might really enjoy getting these small, and potent, daily supplements to help you stay in shape as you develop better life skills and emotional regulation.

My Daily Gummies of Wisdom incorporate my love of photography with my passion for sharing information about personal growth, awareness, parenting, life skills and emotional health.

Here’s a sample of today’s Daily Gummy of Wisdom:

Daily Gummy of Wisdom – Monday, May 8, 2023

Create a little buffer zone between you and your different roles and varied experiences throughout your day. It is a simple little practice that can make a big difference.

Think about all the hats your wear in a day – parent, spouse, child, co-worker, friend, customer, neighbor — the list is endless.

We often just jump from one role to the other without a reset or refresh. When this happens, we drag some residue from each role or experience into the new one. That residue might be sticky — like a strong unsettling emotion that adheres to everyone and everything we touch.

We wouldn’t let our child run around the house, into the car or out into the neighborhood with sticky hands. We’d take a minute or two to wash those little hands that are capable of leaving gooey fingerprints all over the place.

This is what a brief buffer zone can do for you — it’s a little hand washing for your emotional and experiential residue as you transition from one role to another, or from one task to a new one.

It doesn’t take much time to do this — and the benefits are enormous.

Before you leave the house in the morning, as you close the front door, take a deep breath and let go. You’ve done as much as you could and how you are off to work, taking the kids to school, or heading to an appointment. Let go and look forward. Howe do you want to enter the new experience and greet those you meet there?

When you return home, as you close your car door and make your way to the front door, repeat that process. Let go. You’ve done all you could out and about today. You are home now. You may have pressing things you want to share with your family, but pause before barging in. You have no idea how their own day unfolded. Mentally wash your sticky residue so can listen with good intention and focus when you are reunited with your family.

If your emotional or experiential residue hacks some of your attention, you. may miss the smallest yet most rewarding moments of your day. That absolute delight on your child’s face to see you, that “there’s no place like home” feeling that washes over you.

When we give ourselves a little transition “hand washing”, we are more attentive and less reactionary. We treat ourselves to being more fully present and organically take in more of the good we often miss in life.

HERE’S THE CALL TO ACTION: Sign up below to get my Daily Gummy of Wisdom popped right into your inbox each morning. It only takes a minute or two to read….is great food for thought and has a lovely slow release factor all day long. The Daily Gummy will increase your awareness, help you stay in alignment with your core values and foster all those better life skills you are honing.

We read a lot of worthless brain junk food in our social media feeds throughout the day. Why not trade a little of that mindless scrolling for one high quality daily supplement for your emotional fitness and overall wellbeing?

Sign up right here: Click this link: https://inspired-nehorizons.ck.page/3381cf137f

We Are the Change Agents

I’d like to give an enormous hat tip to Dr. Peter Attia for championing the integral role our emotional health plays in the overall quality and length of our life. He is shining a beacon on the many ways that our emotional health impacts our physical and cognitive health, our most treasured personal relationships and maybe most importantly — how well we actually know ourselves.

From the outside looking in, Dr. Peter Attia certainly seems to be a shining example of living the good life. He has a hugely successful career in medicine, is a renowned authority on the subject of longevity and good health, is in great physical and cognitive shape, and is married with three children. He practices what he preaches. In other words, he has checked all the boxes for a successful, happy life.

Yet in recent years, while writing his newest book, Outlive, Dr. Peter Attia became acutely aware that there was a gaping hole in the complete picture of longevity and quality of life — emotional health. What good is checking all the boxes that outwardly give the impression of success and happiness, if in fact inwardly we are miserable?

Yes, we can be physically and cognitively very healthy; we can be proactive with preventive measures and early detection to ensure we live longer — and possibly longer without illness, disease or cognitive decline. But if we are unhappy, discontent and lack emotional regulation, we will continue to be miserable no matter how physically fit or mentally sharp we are; no matter how many measurements of success we seem to have achieved.

This is a true fact for so many of us. We have a very big blind spot about how our emotional health has taken its toll on us and our families, all while we have been actively checking off the boxes.

We can be so unaware of the impacts of our emotional health that we will unconsciously sabotage ourselves over and over again. Dr. Peter Attia uses the metaphor of Formula One racing to help us grasp the magnitude of ignoring our emotional health:

Just a few short decades ago, Formula One racing had a very high rate of death among its drivers because of the risk factors. The cars were engineered for performance not safety. Today that risk factor for death and serious injury has been dramatically reduced. What changed? The cars are now engineered for safety first and performance second. Minimize risk.

As Dr. Attia points out, we use risk factors all the time to help us minimize the risk to our physical and cognitive health. We intervene early to prevent infection, illness and disease. Yet we have been ignoring emotional health all the while.

No one asks the questions — “What is your risk for poor emotional health and what are we doing about it?

It has become very clear over the past decade or two that it behooves us all to reflect on how the old parenting models impacted us — and especially our emotional health. The risk factors for our emotional health are imbedded in those old parenting paradigms that disconnected us from understanding and effectively utilizing our emotions. Our emotions are an integral part of our brain/body connection and we are long overdue for a major upgrade to our human operating system.

Just look at all the advances that we have made in modern medicine to fight genetically inheritable diseases. We have been blind to the generational inheritances of poor emotional health. And now our eyes have been opened – we have a brand new pathway to addressing the quality of our emotional health.

Not only are we able to intervene early for our own emotional health, we can begin to ensure that our children get a head start on a lifetime of good emotional health.

We are the change agents; the ones that will break the cycles of dysfunction that got passed unconsciously from one generation to the next. We will advance human evolution by proactively integrating our emotions with our complex, developing brains.

Dr. Peter Attia shared with Dr. Andrew Huberman in a recent podcast that for most of his life he got really good at drywall repair – because he was dealing with an unconscious inner rage from trauma in his childhood – and that anger often had him punching a hole in the wall. In fact, it was that same anger and strong urge to punch a guy in a parking lot that made him realize he had to get help for his emotional disregulation. He realized in that moment that he could have lost everything he had spent his whole life building — his reputation, his career, his marriage and family – because of unchecked emotional health.

I just have to say that Dr. Attia still packs a punch — a positive and very healthy one. He punched a big hole in our blindspots when it comes to emotional health and the integral role it plays in the overall quality of our life.

As I was reading Dr. Attia’s book, Outlive, I was delightfully surprised to discover that he had turned to two of my favorite resources to help him in his search and recovery process for emotional health — Esther Perel and Terry Real. I have long followed their work, participated in their seminars and read their books. It was Terry Real’s relationship summit in May, 2022 that prompted my blog post “Whatever He Has, I Want It” featuring Hugh Jackman’s journey with personal growth and emotional awareness.

Little holes have been being poked into our need to focus on emotional health from a diverse array of sources for several decades. Neuroscience has been paving the way as we make tremendous breakthroughs in understanding how our brains, bodies and emotions need integration in order to function optimally.

Changes are happening at a very fast pace now. Old methods once used for parenting, for treating trauma and mental health issues are being tossed out and replaced with protocols that focus on integration of emotions. Dr. Bessel van der Kolk even emphasizes that it is not necessary to go back and revisit all the re-traumatizing details of a childhood event. Instead, the focus and therapy becomes on how a person is feeling today, what they are experiencing in the present moment – and integrating that into more manageable responses to current experiences.

Dr. Attia explains that we can reframe this work as an “invitation to view our own young experiences through the eyes of our own child”. I wouldn’t be surprised if he learned that from Terry Real, who often says that the best motivation in the world for personal change is our children. Terry says that we might not change for our partners or ourselves, but we rarely resist change if we know it will help our kids.

Our emotional health is rooted in our childhoods. There is no doubt about that. It is crystal clear that we will be the change agents for breaking generational patterns of poor coping skills, unhealthy attachment styles, maladaptive patterns of behavior and lifelong poor emotional health.

Dr. Attia would encourage each of us to view our emotional health and its risk factors the same way that we view our physical and cognitive health. Dig into our family history, intervene early, develop healthier approaches and incorporate a daily maintenance program to support an ongoing healthy trajectory.


Develop a list of podcasts that become your “go to” playlist to support your emotional health. Here are a few of my favorites:

Gummies of Wisdom – Cultivating Awareness

Now that we are beginning to fully understand just how significant our emotional health is to our overall quality of life, we need to develop a game plan to attend to it, just as we do for our physical health, nutrition and sleep. Part of that plan should include daily maintenance for our emotional health. That is why I created my “daily gummies” of wisdom — a supplement to boost awareness for our emotional health.

My daily gummies of wisdom are simple little reminders to help keep our emotional health on our radar screen. In this post today, I’m sharing a few of those gummies that turn the spotlight on cultivating greater awareness throughout our busy days. We can really level up our emotional health game plan through both self-awareness and “other” awareness.

Before we dive in, here’s a little food for thought. Have you noticed how much easier it might be for you to “show up” as calm, thoughtful and clear-headed when you are at work or with friends than when you are at home with your loved ones? What is it that keeps us from having a meltdown, losing it or shutting down when we are in those settings? Ironic isn’t it that often our “best behavior” is doled out to those who have a lower priority in our relationship schema.

Are you fascinated by the fact that we actually do have this remarkable capacity to “show up” or “meet the moment” with a boatload of agency, but we are often unaware of it? Our unconscious auto-pilot rarely lets us screw up where our integrity and character matter at work or with peers. But somehow it fails us when we are with those we love the most.

Here’s the giant clue: It is all about awareness. At work, with friends, in public – we have a keen awareness of how we want to be presenting ourselves. We are instinctively anchored in our values and personal integrity. Simply put, we are anchored in our self-awareness.

But when we are at home, we want to get comfortable, to relax, to be our true selves and that means dialing down the bright spotlight of self awareness. We need a break from being on our best behavior – and we often rely on the foundation of our most meaningful relationships to just accept us as we are; unfiltered.

I will let you in on a game-changing secret. When we can learn to pivot and bring all that public persona awareness into our personal relationships, we will be leveling up our emotional health in dynamic and transformational ways. And yes, we can still relax at home, be at ease and be our true selves. In fact, our most valued relationships will become our treasured safe haven and major recharging station for life.

It is the “unfiltered” lack of awareness of both ourselves and our family members that is the problem. Change your filter, change your life. Keep your filters clean and working optimally.

As you read through my “gummies of wisdom” today, keep that distinction as the backdrop. Think about how you “show up” for a friend and how you “show up” for a spouse or child in a similar situation (or even how you show up for yourself).

My first gummy really sets the stage for amping up our awareness:

We human beings are truly marvelous creatures — we have a plethora of senses to help us navigate our lives — not just the 5 senses with which we are most familiar, but actually 8 senses!

We are all quite familiar with our first 5 senses: hearing, sight, smell, taste and touch.

Our 6th sense is is our interoception, the perception of our interior. Interoception is all the signals we get from our body — from our muscles, bones, hearts, lungs and intestines. These signals feel like a racing heart, tense shoulder muscles or a clenched jaw, butterflies in our stomach, or labored breathing.

(Think about how your body feels when you are having a major disagreement with your partner, or when your child is having a temper tantrum.)

Our 7th sense is our ability to be aware of mental activity — emotions, thoughts and memories. The real superpower we possess is not only the ability to be aware of our emotions, thoughts and memories but to choose how to engage with them.

We become much more discerning about how our mental activities are “informing” our behaviors and responses to life when we hone our “awareness” of emotions, thoughts and memories.

Our 8th sense is our “relational” sense – our sense of connection with people, pets, nature, the planet. This is the big distinctive pivot. This 8th sense is on high alert when we are at work, with friends, in public. But for some peculiar reason, it goes offline when we are with our loved ones.

Here is a personal story to shed more light on this very subject: My husband Skip and I were playing golf. He was a scratch golfer and loved the game, but on this particular Sunday afternoon, he was struggling. And the more he let those disgruntled feelings show, the worse he was playing and the less fun we were having together. I asked him if he would be behaving this way if he were playing with his work colleague, Charlene Davidson. He gave me a puzzled look and responded, “No, I would be on my best behavior.” I smiled at him and said “I deserve your best behavior.” You guessed it — it was an “aha” moment; and that pivot turned our day around in the most pleasant way.

This gummy about our 8 senses is a super supplement. It is that 8th sense of connection to others that jumpstarts a major awareness shift. Think about this the next time you are at home with your loved ones. Think about how hard you work to support, provide and care for them and about the sacrifices you are willing to make for them. Now enter that conversation, that disagreement or interaction from the portal of what that relationship truly means to you.

If we break apart the word “responsibility” it completes shifts our relationship with it. In the context that we often use the word “responsibility”, it can feel like a burden….something we must do (i.e. take responsibility). However, if we break the word apart and recognize its two distinct components, we can see clearly that our “ability” to chose our “responses” is rooted in our personal agency. We are not burdened, we are empowered.

Knee jerk reactions often leave us with consequences that aren’t reflective of our best selves. That’s why we feel guilt, shame or embarrassment. Knee jerk reactions set off a chain reaction that often involves our own personal discomfort, another’s hurt or discomfort, and accountability for rupture and repair. That’s a lot of time and energy that could have been used more productively.

“Response Ability” grounds us in our integrity and reminds us that we do have agency — that super power to choose. We not only choose to meet the moment calmly and more skillfully, we use our natural resources of time and energy wisely.

This gummy of wisdom fits like a puzzle piece with the first gummy about our 8 senses. Once again, it is another pivot that brings better results quickly. How we respond to a situation (rather than auto-pilot reacting) smooths out a lot of relationship bumps. Think of it like this — if we are paying attention to our driving when we are in heavy traffic, we ease on the brakes. If we are not paying attention, we may have to slam on the brakes suddenly. Our “response” ability is just like that.

With this gummy of wisdom, we are back to the “filters” we use. Think about filters like sunglasses or reading glasses. We slip them on when we want to protect our eyes or see something more clearly. It’s the same concept for the unconscious filters we are using for each situation and interaction we have.

So often, we are not consciously aware of all the filters we are using to take in a current situation. Our filters have been with us since childhood and they act just like water filtration systems to catch our 8 senses and our attention. If we haven’t cleaned those filters for decades, the old debris and outdated information that’s been accumulated traps the opportunity to take in new data.

Beginner”s mind is a concept often used in meditation, reminding us to be “unfiltered” and let all our thoughts flow — not to cling to them, or allow them to muddy up the waters of the present moment.

Beginner’s mind is also a tool we can use to hack our clogged filtering systems and begin to be with a current experience with a fresh clean slate.

There’s a bonus packed into this skill as well. The more we practice “beginner’s mind”, the cleaner and more current our unconscious filtering system becomes. Out with the old and in with the new!

Get into the habit of changing your inner filter and discover the magical difference it makes.

This last gummy is an invitation to spend a day discovering where you attention goes while you are busy engaged in life. We’ve all had that experience of pouring a cup of steaming hot coffee, and eagerly anticipating enjoying it fully. A few minutes later, our mug is empty and we don’t even remember drinking that coffee. Or we are driving to the grocery store and realize that our mind has wandered elsewhere and is not paying attention to the upcoming traffic jam.

The truth is that our attention is constantly activating our brain. We are “feeding” our brain all kinds of things throughout the day — and some of it is like junk food or junk mail. Do you want to be more discerning about what you activate in your brain?

If you answered yes, then start paying attention to your attention. In fact, play with your attention — it’s about the same experience as playing with a busy toddler who is always on the move. You wouldn’t let a toddler on their own for a day, but we often do just tat with our attention.

We let our attention run off and meander into all kinds of places while we are simultaneously driving a car, making dinner, playing a game with our kids, or talking on the phone with a friend. Start paying attention to your meandering attention. See if you can bring it back to the present moment. See if you can keep it focused for even a few minutes on the task at hand.

We can become very skillful at using our attention intentionally. This is so good for our brains and extremely helpful for our emotional health. Dr. Peter Attia, author of the longevity book, Outlive, reinforces the fact that we are most content and satisfied with our life – in the present moment.

Where attention goes, neural firing flows and neural connection grows. We are actually activating important parts of our brain with our focused attention. If we want to cultivate a growth mindset and keep our brains upgraded as often as we do our phones, we need to pay attention to how we are using and directing our attention.

By the way, there is a bonus feature to paying attention in our present moments. We become much more skillful at tapping in to all 8 of our senses. The salient qualities of our remarkable brains tend to come online and stay online in an integrated fashion.

The more we cultivate greater self-awareness, the more we are likely to equally grow our “other awareness”. This helps us tap into another awesome ability we have — the ability to “attune” to others. Think of this skill set like putting on your oxygen mask first. You attend to yourself and get grounded, calm and clear-minded. (A few deep breaths will fast track this practice). Then you attune to what your child or partner may be experiencing. We co-regulate each other, so if you can meet the moment with some empathy and understanding, chances are you will be offering what you instinctively know would feel helpful to you in a similar situation.


Be sure to follow me on Instagram @inspirednewhorizons to get your daily gummy of wisdom. I distill lots of research into short supplements for your personal growth