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Easily Feel Drained? Beware Of These 10 Energy Suckers

Easily Feel Drained? Beware Of These 10 Energy Suckers

Do you find it hard to focus on your day-to-day activities? Do you still feel tired after two cups of coffee? When your mind and body feels drained, it can be hard to complete your work… which will lead you to feel even worse, in a vicious cycle.

What can we do to get back into our normal routine and avoid feeling like this? I’d like to bring you 10 tips right from the Dalai Lama, so we can figure out what’s causing us to feel drained and find solutions to help us bounce back to our former self.

1. Stay with toxic people

bench-sea-sunny-man

    This one is self-explanatory, but so many people have trouble identifying those who are toxic, and those who are not. Whether it’s a friend or a family member, there comes a time when you have to cut them loose. You have your own problems to deal with; adding more stress to your life will only bring you down that much more.

    It’s going to hurt cutting ties with the people you care about, but your mental health will thank you for it. It’ll give you time to rejuvenate! Surround yourself with people who make you feel good about yourself. Remember: “If you light a lamp for someone else, your own path will also brighten.” A famous quote to live by from the Buddha.

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    2. Grudge but not forgive

    Learning how to forgive people who wrong you is such an important step towards self-growth. If you carry the weight of hate around on your shoulders forever, you’ll start to suffer. Whether they deserve forgiveness or not doesn’t matter. You’re not doing it for them – you’re doing it for you!

    If you learn to forgive someone for the actions and pain they’ve caused in your life, you’ll know what to look out for next time. Forgive, but never forget.

    3. Make promises but fail to keep them

    Pinky swear

      If you’re the type of person that pinky swears you won’t tell a secret, keep that promise. Not only does breaking a promise hurt your friends and family, it gives you a bad name. No one will want be around you if they think you’re untrustworthy.

      Keep promises and don’t be afraid to open up and tell somebody a secret of your own. Trust is a two-way street. It takes forever to build, but can break in a matter of seconds.

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      4. Not pay your bills on time

      No one wants to walk around knowing they owe money to someone else, whether it’s $10 or $10,000. If you borrow money from your friends or family, come up with a date that you will pay them back by. You’d be surprised at how many people would be okay with a “payment plan”. Paying back something as small as $1 will show them that you’re trying to pay them back for all they’ve done.

      A good motto you should follow is “Don’t owe anyone anything”. Treat others the way you wish to be treated, and the world will be a much better place.

      5. Try to control of everything in life

      We are constantly looking for the next big thing to happen. Whether that means buying a home, getting married, having children or becoming the next big CEO of a corporation. If you can’t stop to smell the coffee every now and again, your life is going to fly by faster than you’d like. Take each day with a grain of salt. Work towards your goals, but take time to enjoy each improvement you make.

      Accept your life, your choices and the people in it. Everyone is working towards a better future and everyone deserves to take a break to see just how far they’ve come. Remember this: you navigate your own ship. Go with the waves and avoid going “full steam ahead” all the time.

      6. Keep pleasing everyone but not yourself

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        ouhr-qmtjoc-luke-pamer

          Too many people worry about what someone else thinks of them. If you spend your life trying to please everyone else, you’ll never please the most important person: you. Don’t worry about following the crowd. Do things for you and you alone.

          If you love knitting, find a unique pattern and knit your day away. If you love pottery, create beautiful handmade pieces that you can give as gifts. Show off what you love! Chances are, more and more people will follow in your example.

          7. Forget the importance of being healthy

          Your body and mind rely on your good health. Work towards becoming a better version of you every day. If you’re overweight, start doing small exercises to get you back on track. If you’re addicted to smoking, try to limit yourself to a few cigarettes a day until you can go a full day without any.

          If you don’t pay attention to how your body is feeling, it will shut down. Mental, physical and emotional health should be worked on each and every day. Start small and work your way up.

          8. Keep clutter with you
          Declutter your life

            If you feel like your life is cluttered all the time, rearrange everything! Go through your home and move furniture around. Go through your computer and delete files you no longer need. Use space-saving techniques to make more room in your home.

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            Work on decluttering your life at least two or three times every month. If you want to declutter your mind, you must first declutter your life. That’s so powerful I’ll say it again:

            If you want to declutter your mind, you must first declutter your life.

            9. Not do the right things at the right time

            Throughout your life you will learn that there is a time and place for everything. There are times where you should act immediately. These times include (but are certainly not limited to) going shopping when you run out of food, continuing your education (even if you believe you know everything there is to know) and getting to work on time.

            There are also times where you need to rest. These times include (but again are not limited to) after a long day at work, after exercising and after a hard day. So many people believe that working harder and pushing yourself will keep you from becoming lazy. The truth is, you need a lazy day every now and again. Your brain will turn into mush if you work it too hard! Give yourself (and your brain) a rest.

            10. Trapped by your fears

            This is something that everybody struggles with. Facing your fears is harder than it looks on your favorite TV show. It takes a lot of courage, guts, and knowledge to do. If someone is hurting you, confront them. If they refuse to listen to you, cut them out of your life. Do not allow a bully to rule your mind.

            Don’t wait for the answers to fall into your lap. Be an adult and stand up for yourself (and others) when you need to. You have the ability and strength to fight your demons, you just need to look around.

            What do you think you need to do in order to stop feeling so drained? Have you tried anything from the list above? Did it work? Let me know in the comments below!

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            Bill Widmer

            Content Marketing Expert

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            Last Updated on October 22, 2020

            8 Simple Ways to Be a Better Listener

            8 Simple Ways to Be a Better Listener

            How would you feel if you were sharing a personal story and noticed that the person to whom you were speaking wasn’t really listening? You probably wouldn’t be too thrilled.

            Unfortunately, that is the case for many people. Most individuals are not good listeners. They are good pretenders. The thing is, true listening requires work—more work than people are willing to invest. Quality conversation is about “give and take.” Most people, however, want to just give—their words, that is. Being on the receiving end as the listener may seem boring, but it’s essential.

            When you are attending to someone and paying attention to what they’re saying, it’s a sign of caring and respect. The hitch is that attending requires an act of will, which sometimes goes against what our minds naturally do—roaming around aimlessly and thinking about whatnot, instead of listening—the greatest act of thoughtfulness.

            Without active listening, people often feel unheard and unacknowledged. That’s why it’s important for everyone to learn how to be a better listener.

            What Makes People Poor Listeners?

            Good listening skills can be learned, but first, let’s take a look at some of the things that you might be doing that makes you a poor listener.

            1. You Want to Talk to Yourself

            Well, who doesn’t? We all have something to say, right? But when you are looking at someone pretending to be listening while, all along, they’re mentally planning all the amazing things they’re going to say, it is a disservice to the speaker.

            Yes, maybe what the other person is saying is not the most exciting thing in the world. Still, they deserve to be heard. You always have the ability to steer the conversation in another direction by asking questions.

            It’s okay to want to talk. It’s normal, even. Keep in mind, however, that when your turn does come around, you’ll want someone to listen to you.

            2. You Disagree With What Is Being Said

            This is another thing that makes you an inadequate listener—hearing something with which you disagree with and immediately tuning out. Then, you lie in wait so you can tell the speaker how wrong they are. You’re eager to make your point and prove the speaker wrong. You think that once you speak your “truth,” others will know how mistaken the speaker is, thank you for setting them straight, and encourage you to elaborate on what you have to say. Dream on.

            Disagreeing with your speaker, however frustrating that might be, is no reason to tune them out and ready yourself to spew your staggering rebuttal. By listening, you might actually glean an interesting nugget of information that you were previously unaware of.

            3. You Are Doing Five Other Things While You’re “Listening”

            It is impossible to listen to someone while you’re texting, reading, playing Sudoku, etc. But people do it all the time—I know I have.

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            I’ve actually tried to balance my checkbook while pretending to listen to the person on the other line. It didn’t work. I had to keep asking, “what did you say?” I can only admit this now because I rarely do it anymore. With work, I’ve succeeded in becoming a better listener. It takes a great deal of concentration, but it’s certainly worth it.

            If you’re truly going to listen, then you must: listen! M. Scott Peck, M.D., in his book The Road Less Travel, says, “you cannot truly listen to anyone and do anything else at the same time.” If you are too busy to actually listen, let the speaker know, and arrange for another time to talk. It’s simple as that!

            4. You Appoint Yourself as Judge

            While you’re “listening,” you decide that the speaker doesn’t know what they’re talking about. As the “expert,” you know more. So, what’s the point of even listening?

            To you, the only sound you hear once you decide they’re wrong is, “Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah!” But before you bang that gavel, just know you may not have all the necessary information. To do that, you’d have to really listen, wouldn’t you? Also, make sure you don’t judge someone by their accent, the way they sound, or the structure of their sentences.

            My dad is nearly 91. His English is sometimes a little broken and hard to understand. People wrongly assume that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about—they’re quite mistaken. My dad is a highly intelligent man who has English as his second language. He knows what he’s saying and understands the language perfectly.

            Keep that in mind when listening to a foreigner, or someone who perhaps has a difficult time putting their thoughts into words.

            Now, you know some of the things that make for an inferior listener. If none of the items above resonate with you, great! You’re a better listener than most.

            How To Be a Better Listener

            For conversation’s sake, though, let’s just say that maybe you need some work in the listening department, and after reading this article, you make the decision to improve. What, then, are some of the things you need to do to make that happen? How can you be a better listener?

            1. Pay Attention

            A good listener is attentive. They’re not looking at their watch, phone, or thinking about their dinner plans. They’re focused and paying attention to what the other person is saying. This is called active listening.

            According to Skills You Need, “active listening involves listening with all senses. As well as giving full attention to the speaker, it is important that the ‘active listener’ is also ‘seen’ to be listening—otherwise, the speaker may conclude that what they are talking about is uninteresting to the listener.”[1]

            As I mentioned, it’s normal for the mind to wander. We’re human, after all. But a good listener will rein those thoughts back in as soon as they notice their attention waning.

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            I want to note here that you can also “listen” to bodily cues. You can assume that if someone keeps looking at their watch or over their shoulder, their focus isn’t on the conversation. The key is to just pay attention.

            2. Use Positive Body Language

            You can infer a lot from a person’s body language. Are they interested, bored, or anxious?

            A good listener’s body language is open. They lean forward and express curiosity in what is being said. Their facial expression is either smiling, showing concern, conveying empathy, etc. They’re letting the speaker know that they’re being heard.

            People say things for a reason—they want some type of feedback. For example, you tell your spouse, “I had a really rough day!” and your husband continues to check his newsfeed while nodding his head. Not a good response.

            But what if your husband were to look up with questioning eyes, put his phone down, and say, “Oh, no. What happened?” How would feel, then? The answer is obvious.

            According to Alan Gurney,[2]

            “An active listener pays full attention to the speaker and ensures they understand the information being delivered. You can’t be distracted by an incoming call or a Facebook status update. You have to be present and in the moment.

            Body language is an important tool to ensure you do this. The correct body language makes you a better active listener and therefore more ‘open’ and receptive to what the speaker is saying. At the same time, it indicates that you are listening to them.”

            3. Avoid Interrupting the Speaker

            I am certain you wouldn’t want to be in the middle of a sentence only to see the other person holding up a finger or their mouth open, ready to step into your unfinished verbiage. It’s rude and causes anxiety. You would, more than likely, feel a need to rush what you’re saying just to finish your sentence.

            Interrupting is a sign of disrespect. It is essentially saying, “what I have to say is much more important than what you’re saying.” When you interrupt the speaker, they feel frustrated, hurried, and unimportant.

            Interrupting a speaker to agree, disagree, argue, etc., causes the speaker to lose track of what they are saying. It’s extremely frustrating. Whatever you have to say can wait until the other person is done.

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            Be polite and wait your turn!

            4. Ask Questions

            Asking questions is one of the best ways to show you’re interested. If someone is telling you about their ski trip to Mammoth, don’t respond with, “that’s nice.” That would show a lack of interest and disrespect. Instead, you can ask, “how long have you been skiing?” “Did you find it difficult to learn?” “What was your favorite part of the trip?” etc. The person will think highly of you and consider you a great conversationalist just by you asking a few questions.

            5. Just Listen

            This may seem counterintuitive. When you’re conversing with someone, it’s usually back and forth. On occasion, all that is required of you is to listen, smile, or nod your head, and your speaker will feel like they’re really being heard and understood.

            I once sat with a client for 45 minutes without saying a word. She came into my office in distress. I had her sit down, and then she started crying softly. I sat with her—that’s all I did. At the end of the session, she stood, told me she felt much better, and then left.

            I have to admit that 45 minutes without saying a word was tough. But she didn’t need me to say anything. She needed a safe space in which she could emote without interruption, judgment, or me trying to “fix” something.

            6. Remember and Follow Up

            Part of being a great listener is remembering what the speaker has said to you, then following up with them.

            For example, in a recent conversation you had with your co-worker Jacob, he told you that his wife had gotten a promotion and that they were contemplating moving to New York. The next time you run into Jacob, you may want to say, “Hey, Jacob! Whatever happened with your wife’s promotion?” At this point, Jacob will know you really heard what he said and that you’re interested to see how things turned out. What a gift!

            According to new research, “people who ask questions, particularly follow-up questions, may become better managers, land better jobs, and even win second dates.”[3]

            It’s so simple to show you care. Just remember a few facts and follow up on them. If you do this regularly, you will make more friends.

            7. Keep Confidential Information Confidential

            If you really want to be a better listener, listen with care. If what you’re hearing is confidential, keep it that way, no matter how tempting it might be to tell someone else, especially if you have friends in common. Being a good listener means being trustworthy and sensitive with shared information.

            Whatever is told to you in confidence is not to be revealed. Assure your speaker that their information is safe with you. They will feel relieved that they have someone with whom they can share their burden without fear of it getting out.

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            Keeping someone’s confidence helps to deepen your relationship. Also, “one of the most important elements of confidentiality is that it helps to build and develop trust. It potentially allows for the free flow of information between the client and worker and acknowledges that a client’s personal life and all the issues and problems that they have belong to them.”[4]

            Be like a therapist: listen and withhold judgment.

            NOTE: I must add here that while therapists keep everything in a session confidential, there are exceptions:

            1. If the client may be an immediate danger to himself or others.
            2. If the client is endangering a population that cannot protect itself, such as in the case of a child or elder abuse.

            8. Maintain Eye Contact

            When someone is talking, they are usually saying something they consider meaningful. They don’t want their listener reading a text, looking at their fingernails, or bending down to pet a pooch on the street. A speaker wants all eyes on them. It lets them know that what they’re saying has value.

            Eye contact is very powerful. It can relay many things without anything being said. Currently, it’s more important than ever with the Covid-19 Pandemic. People can’t see your whole face, but they can definitely read your eyes.

            By eye contact, I don’t mean a hard, creepy stare—just a gaze in the speaker’s direction will do. Make it a point the next time you’re in a conversation to maintain eye contact with your speaker. Avoid the temptation to look anywhere but at their face. I know it’s not easy, especially if you’re not interested in what they’re talking about. But as I said, you can redirect the conversation in a different direction or just let the person know you’ve got to get going.

            Final Thoughts

            Listening attentively will add to your connection with anyone in your life. Now, more than ever, when people are so disconnected due to smartphones and social media, listening skills are critical.

            You can build better, more honest, and deeper relationships by simply being there, paying attention, and asking questions that make the speaker feel like what they have to say matters.

            And isn’t that a great goal? To make people feel as if they matter? So, go out and start honing those listening skills. You’ve got two great ears. Now use them!

            More Tips on How to Be a Better Listener

            Featured photo credit: Joshua Rodriguez via unsplash.com

            Reference

            [1] Skills You Need: Active Listening
            [2] Filtered: Body language for active listening
            [3] Forbes: People Will Like You More If You Start Asking Follow-up Questions
            [4] TAFE NSW Sydney eLearning Moodle: Confidentiality

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