Eliminating Energy Drains
Each of us can probably recall a time when we clearly had an energy drain. Those energy drains are easy to identify. But energy drains can come from numerous sources so it is important to realize what is causing our energy drain. All of us have a certain amount of energy to put into our day in creating and connecting. Most of us have limited energy and can often feel depleted at the end of the day. But we can learn to gauge what drains us and what energizes us by paying attention to our inner barometer. Everything we do during a day adds to the energy level or depletes it. For instance, having a healthy lunch gives us more energy. Starting our day out with enough hours of sleep starts us off with a better energy level. Things we do throughout the day impact our energy level.
It is easy to realize that “what we do” impacts our energy level. But also, what we “don’t do”, impacts our energy level. This is where our procrastination can hit us hard. Anything we have sitting, unfinished, weighs on us and takes energy. This can mean that the project you are avoiding immediately hits you when you walk into the office and remember it is sitting there. Right off the bat, you have had energy depleted from you before you hardly started your day. Perhaps you have some things that are cluttered and disorganized. This is another area that will zap you of some energy. These are some small things that we can all relate to although we may not have thought of them as energy drains. But then add the bigger things, such as worry about finances or a health concern that you have avoided. Perhaps, you know you need to start an exercise program but you just don’t get it on the priority list. These are bigger situations that weigh more heavily and take more energy as they hang in the backdrop of your life.
Cheryl Richardson talks about this in her book, Take Time for Your Life. She explains that we can think of this as cords running energy from our body to everything in our past, present and future that is unfinished or undone. Unfinished or unresolved issues from the past have a cord running the energy out of your body into the world. And similarly energy is carried out when we are focused on future concerns (e.g. when we worry). Consequently, if we have things from the past that take energy or we worry about things from the future, these cords carry the life force energy that could go into our present moment. So often, because of these unfinished tasks or issues, or because of energy spent worrying about future situations, there is not much left for the present moment. Anything that is unfinished and unresolved that you are focused on is taking away from what you have to give in this moment right now which then becomes an extreme loss – the loss of your life and living it fully. (Richardson, 1999)
So the first step is to begin to identify all those areas in your life that take energy. If you need ideas about what all this can include, check out Richardson’s book as she covers common areas of energy depletion. Richardson states that 75% of what is using our mental energy is often distractions from our daily living. (Richardson, 1999) After you identify the areas, you can begin to assess where you want your energy focused and take steps to cleaning up the areas in your life that are stealing energy from your present moment. Pay attention as you begin to plug the areas that you have energy drains or maybe we should say “as you unplug from those areas” and pull the cords back in for present moments. You will most likely notice a huge energy high as you clean these areas up and have more energy for your present living.
Richardson, C. (1999). Take time for your life. New York City: Broadway Books.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker
Licensed Independent Mental Health Practitioner
- Janie Pfeifer Watson, LICSW, is the founder and director of Wholeness Healing Center, a mental health practice in Grand Island, Nebraska with remote sites in Broken Bow and Kearney. Her expertise encompasses a broad range of areas, including depression, anxiety, attachment and bonding, coaching, couples work, mindfulness, trauma, and grief. She views therapy as an opportunity to learn more about yourself as you step more into being your authentic self. From her perspective this is part of the spiritual journey; on this journey, she serves as a mirror for her clients as they get to know themselves—and, ultimately, to love themselves.
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