Most people will say a firm yes when asked if they would like to experience more energy. We all want to get more done, to have more time to do the things we want to do, to enjoy life more.
So what allows us to gain energy, and what drains our energy?
You can access an amazing amount of information when it comes to nutrition, exercise, stress and sleep to gain physical energy, but what about your emotional energy?
Dr Terry Orlick, author of books such as ‘Positive Living Skills’, ‘Embracing your Potential’, and ‘In pursuit of Excellence’, among many others, is also the expert collaborator and supporter of the Positive Living Skills initiative here in Australia.
Over Terry’s extremely successful career coaching elite sportspeople and high performers from a range of disciplines in the areas of mental focus and positive mindset, he has taught that one of the keys to living a life of positive focus is to manage the ongoing balancing act between energy gains and energy drains.
Energy gains come from love, kindness, appreciation, positive experiences, and embracing the wonder of life. They come from positive people, connected moments, overcoming challenges and following positive pursuits. They also come from relaxing and uplifting experiences, and working, studying, learning, training and performing and achieving or applying yourself physically and emotionally to any task you pursue.
Energy drains on the other hand come from negative experiences, people, and environments; from stress, fear and scarcity, and from anger and a lack of appreciation for life. Energy drains encourage feelings of low self worth, discomfort and lack of appreciation of self or life, and promote feelings of expectation and entitlement, disconnecting us from others and sapping our mental and also our physical energy.
So how can you experience more energy gains and less energy drains?
Here are some tips that could help you to shift the balance and feel more emotionally energised more often.
Begin to disengage, with complete love and compassion, from those people in your life who repeatedly drain your energy. You know the person or people this refers to. They offload to you every time you see them, without any balance between you as far as communication or support is concerned. This person keeps telling the same negative story over and over again and they don’t really want a solution to the situation, they just want to keep getting your attention or sympathy, and your energy. And it’s strange because despite every new job they get, or new partner they meet, they end up telling the same story. At the end of the catch up, they leave feeling great and you are left feeling exhausted and mentally depleted.
If you want to maintain a positive relationship with this person, learn how to lovingly disengage from their story, change your response, or move the topic, or better still learn how to assertively and compassionately tell them how you feel. They might be surprised at first, and seem a bit irritated too. Eventually they will see that you are there for them but on equal terms, or you might have to see them less, of fully disengage.
Avoid gossip. Getting repeatedly involved in ‘he said, then she said, then I couldn’t believe I heard her say, and did you hear about,’ type of conversations is energy draining, and really not very positive for anyone. Yes it might make you and the person you are talking to feel more connected somehow, and you might both feel temporarily superior to others, and maybe better about your own lives, for a little while. Usually though, after participating in this sort of communication you feel a bit tainted and ashamed, and that is an energy drain.
Make a deal with yourself that you won’t engage in this. When someone starts to tell you gossip, tell them you'd rather talk about something else, and remember the old saying, ‘If you haven’t got anything positive to say, then don’t say anything at all!’
Start noticing your language. If you are constantly saying, to yourself or others, phrases like ‘I really must…..’, I really should ….. ‘They should….’, ‘I have to’, ‘I have got to’, then you are placing some real pressure on yourself and others. Short term pressure could be good if you need to give yourself a quick 'call to action', but if we use it repeatedly and don't take action then it's not healthy of helpful.
If we replace these words with ‘I would like to……’ and hold a believe that we can do whatever it is, then we can move our language to ‘I will…… . From there we can make a plan, take ACTION and stop talking about it.
Create moments of peace for yourself. We all seem to have lives full of tasks and responsibilities, and your time could be structured and accounted for, down to the wire. You must make time for some quiet relaxation, even if it's 5, 10 or 15 minutes. You can even start by taking just 30 seconds to take a few slow deep breaths, from down in your tummy, at the traffic lights if you have to.
Just focus on being present in the moment, for a few moments, in your body, and you will feel energy begin to surge through your body, and your mind will become more centred and ready for the next task or challenge.
When we start to notice and really appreciate the most simple positive experiences in our lives, we are gaining energy. Noticing how the light bounces off the leaves of a tree, or feeling the breeze on your skin, or enjoying the sensation of a warm bath, or a cool drink, or sharing a simple smile with another person.Embrace the simple joys in your life.
All these things can get us back in touch with the positive experiences that are all around us waiting to give us energy , so we can love life just a little bit more.
Focus on giving. When you do something good for someone else, with no expectation of a particular reward or response, the feeling is fantastic and such an energy gain. Plus it stops you focusing on yourself and your own perceived problems.
Give, give, give. Give your time or your effort or energy (while maintaining your balance) to something or someone else, as often as you can, and the feeling of contribution will be more of an energy reward than you thought possible.
Each of us has a limited amount of emotional energy that we can give away without receiving some positive energy in return. Make a commitment to yourself to do something to replenish your positive energy – every day.
‘The energy of the mind is the essence of life.’
Until next time,
The PLS Team