Lack Energy? It might be emotionalMar 30, 2017
In recent months I have been surveying friends, neighbors, clients, potential clients, strangers even, in regards to some of the challenges they face in regards to their well-being. Roughly 60% mentioned a lack of energy as their biggest obstacle. What was interesting was the way they described how the lack of energy felt.
They used variations of a similar theme:
” I feel stressed all the time”, ” I feel stuck, discouraged”, “I just want to get through today”, “I am so quick to get angry these days.”
What they are describing is a lack of EMOTIONAL energy.
In her book, The Emotional Energy Factor, Mira Kirschenbaum talks about how 70% of our energy stores are emotional, yet often our focus is on restoring physical energy. We restore physical energy with rest, hydration, the food we eat, exercise, but how do we restore our emotional energy stores?
You can have high emotional energy even when low in physical energy. High emotional energy shows up as lightness in spirit, generous, hopeful, happy, encouraged, resilient. Kirschenbaum shares in her book that people with high emotional energy are not lucky, did not have better childhoods, perfect health, or lack of life challenges, they just approach life differently.
Depending on which source you read, numerous components contribute to emotional energy. Those that showed up most often in what I read were: ruminating/worry; trying to live up to the expectations of others, lack of meaning in one’s life, unresolved issues from the past; lack of anything fun, or anything new. There is definitely a recurring theme. What came to mind as I read this list is a sense of “no control” over various aspects in one’s life, that those low in emotional energy feel they are at the mercy of outside forces.
What can you do if you find yourself in one of these scenarios? In both Kirschenbaum’s book, The Emotional Energy Factor, and numerous articles and blogs on the topic, TAKING ACTION, in of these areas seemed to be key. In Padhia Avacado’s article in MindBodyGreen, she says instead of playing out all the negative outcomes until you feel doomed, take action to address the situation. If keeping you awake at night, get up and write it down, get it out of your head. Play out potential positive outcomes.
In the case of living up to other’s expectations, According to Kirschenbaum, those who feel bound by other’s expectations, (let’s face it everyone has expectations of others), have “somehow bought into others expectations” for them. She goes onto explain that the problem arises “in the extent to which they agree with those expectations.” An action step here would be to make a “personal declaration of independence…declare from now on what counts is living up to your own expectations.”
As you see from these examples, the action is the key, something you do have control over. Plan something fun on a regular basis, confront your issues from the past, learn something new, find meaning in your life, don’t wait for it to find you.
Restoring emotional energy is a mindset that takes as much intention as restoring physical energy. It is just a matter of recognizing the difference, understanding what is depleting your emotional energy stores, and taking action to restore them.
Take a minute today to assess your emotional energy levels? If running a little low, what can you do to take action to restore them today?