Get Up And Go: Developing Your Emotional Energy
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By Mia Bolaris-Forget
Now that you’re married and part of (your own) household, you may find that time is “running out” quite literally. With a husband, apartment or home, job, pets, and perhaps a family or impending one, you’ll likely have more obligations and less time to complete them in. For many this results in what mental health experts classify as an energy crisis.
People try to squeeze in more (activity) in one day, often staying up later, depriving their body and mind of proper nutrition, rest, exercise and of course “personal” time, simply to wake up lethargic and despondent about what the day has in store.
While there’s no contest regarding the fact that lack of sleep, and inadequate diet and activity will leave you physically drained (surviving like most of us on a steady (intravenous) intake of caffeine), professionals point out that people statistically are healthy today than at any other time in history, and are bereft of psychological energy.
Experts classify this type of exuberance and enthusiasm as emotional energy and note, that, unlike physical energy, (that tends to diminish with age), emotional energy is a veritable endless resource that is available to all of us all the time, and has nothing to do with health, wealth, age, genes or upbringing, (just look at many highly accomplished people who maintained there veracity through chronic and debilitating life circumstances and illness). It’s all about remaining positive and reminding yourself (daily) to focus on the bright side. Besides “talking to yourself”, experts note some other simple strategies for staying emotionally energized.
1. Get Out Of Your Rut: We all know easy it is to fall into a comfortable routine (even a detrimental or draining one). Experts assert that, that’s precisely why we become drained of energy or enthusiasm. There’s really nothing to look forward to, but at least we know what to expect. They suggest that the damage is gradual (like a slow tire leak), and because of that we hardly even notice its effects until its too late. The biggest mistake is remaining in your rut. Professionals point out the need and effectiveness of staying adventurous, altering your routine, and remaining willing to “take a risk” and try something new. Join a gym. When that gets rote, consider changing your workout routine or taking a break and working out at home or outdoors. Consider trying a new type of cuisine each week, either via a new recipe or a different type of restaurant. If you only like one type of cuisine, consider a variety of different restaurants specializing in that kind of comestible. Change your hairstyle, change your tablecloth, your curtains etc. Even small gestures go a long way.
2. Take Back Your Life: There’s probably very few of us who never aspired to fulfilling some pretty grandiose dreams, but somehow life got in the way. According to experts it’s imperative to first redefine priorities and identify things that mean the most to your. Identify those things that bring you joy and satisfaction. Consider investing time and effort in those areas in addition to just the “typical” areas of obligation or income earning. Professionals point out that engaging in something that’s challenging but fun and has meaning (for you) is sure to boost your energy.
3. Head For The Fun Zone: Experts are quick to assert that most of us are deprived of fun and enjoyment. With little time (or money), or both, many of us simply can’t enjoy the things we would like to. And, according to experts we are also guilty of not finding any joy in the things we “must” do. It would seem that we have difficulty looking on the bright side and only focus on the negatives. For instance, home projects are seen merely as infringements to enjoyment and constraints cutting into our ability to have fun. Experts suggest that we need to change our perception and approach. Embrace your project and just think of how wonderful it will look once it is done and how proud you’ll be, and about all the possibilities it will offer.
4. Check Your Baggage: A popular 70s expression was “that’s YOUR bag, man”…and experts suggest leaving it at the door, in order to find peace, happiness and feel revitalized. They suggest that most of us have made mistakes or poor choices that we carry around with us and allow to drain us of energy and the ability to move forward effectively. While experts “do,” suggest reflecting on our mistakes in an effort to learn from them, they also strongly recommend letting go of the guilt, frustration and regret.
5. Establish An Alternate Energy Source: While many professionals agree that, for the most part, we are all responsible for our own happiness or misery based on the internal dialogue we feed ourselves or have allowed ourselves to believe, they also recognize that sometimes we all need a little extra inspiration. Experts encourage identifying what serves as an uplifting experience and turning your energy to that for an energy boost. For some it may be exercise, for others perusing antique stores, and still for others sight seeing, gardening or playing sport. Besides serving as a way to reflect, refocus and possibly reconnect spiritually, finding an energy source will also give you a reason to eagerly anticipate and otherwise mundane day.
6. Take Action: Many people experts note lack enthusiasm because they are unable to follow through on those things they’ve identified as having the potential to bring them joy. Unlike their high-energy counterparts, those lacking energy are more inclined to make excuses than take action. According to experts the emotionally exhausted tend to over think the options, alternatives and consequences focusing more on the potential “disappointment” and “failure” instead of the possible success. And, because they are reluctant to make a decision, they also rarely experience the derived rewards.
7. Practice, Practice, Practice: As with most things in life, the more you practice the better you get. Experts say, that unlike physical energy that you must first “possess” in order to “exert”, emotional energy is obtained BY exerting it. From simple gestures such as smiling more often, being friendlier to people, cook a special dinner just “because”, etc. They more (emotional) energy you “put out”, the more, according to experts, you’ll receive in return.
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