Everyone wants more energy. We consume energy drinks, some people even take risky drugs, all just for a temporary boost even though they know that a crash in energy will follow. (OK, I’ll confess . . . I’m drinking iced coffee right now.) Certain foods, and exercises do boost energy; but there are certain energy boosters that most people overlook.
Most of us actually drain our energy every day by doing several pervasive, unnecessary things. The following is a list of some fo these energy drainers, and how to boost your energy by counteracting them.
- Worry: Most of us worry over things that simply do not matter in the long run. We look at the immediate situation that is frustrating, aggravating, somewhat threatening, but forget that this situation does not really matter in the long run. It might cause temporary inconvenience or even a temporary setback; but it is truly inconsequential when you actually analyze it. There are indeed some real frustrations and inconveniences, even painful situations that occur every day in our lives; but we know from our past in dealing with the challenges of our lives, that we always survive. Sometimes great good comes from a difficult challenge or temporary setback.
The antidote to worry is to pause, take a deep breath, and remember that you will get through this challenge or crisis, you will find the solution, and that ultimate good will come from it.
2. Judgement/Criticism: Most humans think that they are in a position to judge. We judge others for whatever they are doing that does not measure up to our standards (I will admit, mine are pretty high). We judge ourselves for current or past mistakes, or for not living up to our own standards. Some people think that to judge yourself or someone else will motivate them to do better; but sadly, it does the exact opposite. Judgement makes people feel bad about themselves, and increases the likelihood of them making another error.
Judging others is a waste of time and energy; so save yourself the time and frustration by getting out of a judgemental mindset. Judging yourself is self-defeating in addition to being an energy drain. When you screw up, just remember your potential, and encourage yourself that you are capable of living up to it. You might even need to adjust your standards for yourself. At this point in time, though I look perfectly healthy and act perfectly healthy and live an active life with hours a day of exercise, the reality is that my blood sugar is constantly in a delicate balance, I am on dialysis 3 times week for 4 hours a day, so I just don’t have the stamina that others have. I have a tendency to look at all the things that other people my age are able to accomplish in a day and think, “Why can’t I do that; am I lazy?” So, I am constantly reminding myself that I am doing the best I can at this point. So, an occassional readjustment of your own standards while living with a chronic disease might be in order from time to time.
3. Resentment: Most of us have people from our past, or maybe our present, who have wronged us in some way. Some may have wronged in a very significant ways. But, another real useless waste of energy is to hold onto the resentment that naturally occurs when we have been wronged. You don’t have to condone what a person has done to you, you can certainly confront the person and set boundaries, and you don’t have to associate with the jerk if you don’t need or want to; but you do need to just let it go. This includes when you are in an immediate situation that angers you. Most times, it is best to just calmly approach the conflict while standing up for yourself, or wait until later to confront it, or just let it go completely.
4. Lack of Assertiveness: When we just put up with continued mistreatment of ourselves from anyone, we drain energy. Too many people do not stand up for their own human rights. Yes, a certain generation these days is overly sensitive, entitled, and is outraged by the slightest perceived injustice. That’s not what I’m talking about. I am talking about actual emotional or physical harm that comes to you through the way certain others may be treating you. Stand up for yourself. Set boundaries for the way you want to be treated. Learn assertiveness through any one of the good books or workshops on the subject.
When you stop wasting energy on some of these useless habits of thinking, you will find that you have more energy to do what you want to do, and be who you want to be. May you find more energy in your life every day.
Christopher Knippers, Ph.D. October 26, 2016