How to Identify Activities That Drain or Boost Your Energy - dummies

How to Identify Activities That Drain or Boost Your Energy

By Shamash Alidina, Joelle Jane Marshall

Some activities act like holes in a bucket — leaking your energy away. You can stop those energy leaks by identifying and then avoiding lifestyle and mental energy drainers and carrying out energy-boosting activities instead. Examples of your energy drainers could be excessively watching television, missing out on your daily exercise, or working overtime.

Here are some useful physical energy boosters:

  • Exercising regularly: Ensure that you perform some physical activities every day.

  • Eating sensibly and regularly: Ensure that you have time to eat your meals and avoid eating too much sugar or fat in each meal.

  • Going to sleep and waking up at the same times each day: Doing so helps to regulate your body clock and ensure that you get enough rest at night.

  • Working in a balanced way: Working too hard is a common energy drainer; seek balance in your working life.

  • Doing what you enjoy: Following your passion in life is energizing and uplifting. Consider what you value and look for ways of fulfilling that need.

The following list contains some great mental-energy boosters:

  • Being mindful through the day: When you focus your attention on the present moment, you’re not thinking excessively about the past and future, so you give your brain a break from over-thinking. Your brain uses more energy than any other organ in your body — about 20 percent of all the body’s energy.

    By living in the moment, you’re less likely to having cyclical thoughts and save lots of energy for more interesting things, like arranging your stamp collection (apologies to any philatelists)!

  • Practicing regular meditation: Meditation is an extended period of mindfulness and five or ten minutes a day can help. You give your brain a much needed rest from the incessant ‘doing’ mode of mind.

  • Managing negative thinking: Everyone has negative thoughts popping into their heads. If you believe them all to be true, your energy is sucked right out. Work at noticing these thoughts as just thoughts, sounds or pictures in your mind.

    Remember, these thoughts aren’t necessarily reality, so take a step back and gently refocus your attention on whatever you need to be mindful of next. Just think of the amount of energy you can save that’s currently wasted by generating unnecessary, difficult emotions.

  • Carrying out relaxation exercises: Stress is a big energy drainer because it’s designed for a short-term energy burst followed by a long rest. By doing mindful exercises, such as the body scan meditation, you reduce the stress levels you’re under and so have more general energy throughout the day. Relaxation exercises can also help in this area.

Note down what things you’ve done to uplift you during the week. Choose one energy-boosting tip a day and note its effect. Remember to ensure that you do these energy boosters in a mindful way to enhance their effect!

Using technology can be an energy drain. Give yourself a day of being totally technology-free every week or fortnight if you can. Even a morning or afternoon without looking at a screen can be hugely beneficial. The most mindful people have the discipline to switch off their phones, televisions and other devices on a regular basis.