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Published on April 23, 2021

How to Manage Your Emotional Energy For Mental Well-Being

How to Manage Your Emotional Energy For Mental Well-Being

Every human, regardless of our age, location, financial status, ethnicity, all have the same amount of time in a day: 24 hours, 1440 minutes, 86400 seconds. That sounds pretty straightforward. But why is it that some people seem to be able to do more, go on vacations, be fully engaged in all aspects of their lives, and still have more physical, mental, and emotional energy? How is it that they seem to have more time?

Meanwhile, most of us are just trying to get by. Our day doesn’t start without a cup of coffee (or two) just to wake up and conjure up the energy to get through the morning. In our busyness, we choose quick and fast foods so that we can get onto our next meeting, activity, or task.

The pressures and demands at work cause us to lose patience. We are irritable, reactionary, rushed, thus, making careless mistakes or forgetting simple things. By the evening, we feel so drained. We just want to lay on the couch, disengage, relax with a glass of wine (or two, or three). We feel like there just isn’t enough time in a day, overwhelmed and drained.

Does any of this sound familiar to you? You might think, “well, if only I had more time…”

According to Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz in the book The Power of Full Engagement: Managing Energy, Not Time, Is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal, it’s not actually about managing your time, it’s about managing your emotional energy.

According to them, “the number of hours in a day is fixed, but the quantity and quality of energy available to us are not. It is our most precious resource. The more we take responsibility for the energy we bring to the world, the more empowered and productive we become.”

What Is Emotional Energy?

As simple as it may sound, emotional energy is the energy we source from our emotions. Simply put, our energy comes from our emotions and different emotions vibrate at different frequencies. I know this might sound a bit “woo woo”, but hear me out.

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Take a moment to think back at a time when you felt elated and full of energy—like you were on top of the world. Maybe it was a promotion or raise at work, the first kiss with your partner, traveling to a new country, or just laughing till your stomach hurt with your best friend.

The emotions of joy, love, passion, enthusiasm that you felt at that time are considered high-frequency vibrations. In those moments, you felt like you had an unlimited source of energy—you could go all night! Because your emotions were high-frequency vibrations, your energy was abundant. You were operating on high-frequency vibes!

    On the opposite end of the spectrum, some of the lower frequency vibrations are fear, grief, depression, insecurity. When you think back at a time in your life when you broke up with someone you really loved, let go from your job, were depressed or sad, your emotional energy was low, wasn’t it?

    What Drains Your Emotional Energy?

    Here are the most common things that drain your emotional energy.

    • Excessive worrying
    • Negativity
    • Guilt
    • Indecision
    • Overcommitting/overwhelm
    • Lack of healthy boundaries
    • Negative rumination

    How Can You Increase Your Emotional Energy?

    Our energy comes from our emotions. In other words, the emotions we feel become the energy we put out into the world and we tend to attract the energy we put out. “Like attracts like”, “birds of a feather flock together”—it is simply the law of attraction.

    If you take an honest look at your life and the people you surround yourself with, would you say they are mostly negative or positive influences? Do they complain or are they uplifting? The external world is your mirror. It just reflects what is going on you on the inside.

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    This is neither “good” nor “bad”. There is no judgment here—it simply “is”. It is important to note that this is not a time for self-judgment. It is simply an assessment of what is.

    Take an honest evaluation of your circumstances, finances, friendships, or whatever area you want to focus on. Is it everything you wished for and imagined it to be? If not, it’s important to examine some of the beliefs, thoughts, and emotions relating to those areas. The good news is, it is up to you.

    If our energy comes from our emotions, this means that you have the power to change your emotions and thus, change your energy. The Latin derivative for the word emotion, “emovere,” literally means “move out, agitate”—to set energy into motion.[1]

    So, let’s get that energy into motion! Here are five ideas on how to manage your emotional energy for mental well-being.

    1. Do Things That You Love and Enjoy

    This sounds simple enough. Think back—when was the last time you intentionally set aside time to do things you love and enjoy? If you’ve been feeling overwhelmed and drained, I bet it’s probably been a while. Try scheduling in a few hours this weekend and do something that you truly love and brings you joy. You deserve it.

    2. Surround Yourself With Positive People Who Lift You Up

    Next, surround yourself with positive people and remove toxic friendships and relationships. If the toxic relationship is a family member, try limiting the amount of time you spend with them and keep the interactions positive. This may be difficult at first, but if you are operating on high-frequency vibrations (see chart above), then your energy will raise the vibrations of that interaction.

    3. Learn How to Say “No” Without Feeling Guilty

    It’s okay to say no. Saying “no” to others is saying “yes” to yourself. And you are the most important person in the world. If there is no you, there is no one to take care of those you love. Put your oxygen mask on first before assisting others. Self-care is not selfish.

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    4. Stop “Should-ing” Yourself

    I believe words are very powerful, and how we phrase and use words has the power to create our experiences. Eliminate the word “shouldn’t” from your vocabulary. The word carries so much weight, burden, regret, and judgment.

    Remove the word “shouldn’t” and see how it changes these sentences:

    • “I shouldn’t have watched so much TV.” ➡ “I watched so much TV.”
    • “I shouldn’t have wasted time on this.” ➡ “I wasted time on this.”
    • “That shouldn’t have happened.” ➡ “That happened.”

    Removing “shouldn’t” makes the action or event completely neutral. It moves it from something “negative” to just a matter of fact, neither good nor bad—just what is. From that neutral place, it allows you to move to a sense of responsibility. If it’s something you shouldn’t have done, ask yourself, “what did I learn?”

    When you keep “should-ing” yourself, events, or actions, it keeps you stuck in the past. We can’t change the past (surprise!) and keeps you in victim mentality or self-blame.

    A more important question you can ask yourself is “what could I do instead?” Learn, reflect, and move forward. “What will I do in the future?”

    Replace “should” with “choose to”. Watch how these words shift how you experience these phrases.

    • “I should go for a run and exercise.” ➡ “I choose to go for a run and exercise.”
    • “I should stop this negative self-talk.” ➡ “I choose to stop this negative self-talk.”
    • “I should be more patient.” ➡ “I choose to be more patient.”

    Replacing “should” with “choose to”—all of a sudden, you are in control. You are empowered. You get to choose to do something. You get a choice, not just an “I should” and then do nothing about it. “I choose to” allows you to take ownership and responsibility.

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    5. Meditation and Mindfulness

    Mindfulness

    is the practice of bringing attention to the emotion that comes up, not identifying it as part of self but simply noticing it and getting curious. When there is curiosity, there is no space for judgment. When there is no judgment, acceptance is much easier to follow.

    Many research studies show that mindfulness meditation is effective at reducing stress and can improve physical and mental health by changing the brain and biology in positive ways. Researchers reviewed more than 200 studies of mindfulness among healthy people and found that mindfulness-based therapy was especially effective for reducing stress, anxiety, and depression.[2]

    Conclusion

    “The more we take responsibility for the energy we bring to the world, the more empowered and productive we become.”—Jim Loehr

    The energy that you put out is your responsibility. When you realize this, it is empowering. It means that you have the ability to control your energy and mental well-being—not the environment, not other people—you! You get to be in the driver’s seat of your life.

    So, are you ready to drive?

    More Tips on How to Manage Your Emotional Energy

    Featured photo credit: J’Waye Covington via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] Online Etymology Dictionary: emotion
    [2] American Psychological Association: Mindfulness meditation: A research-proven way to reduce stress

    More by this author

    Yurika Vu

    Mindfulness Coach- book a complementary breakthrough session at www.yurikavu.com

    How to Manage Your Emotional Energy For Mental Well-Being Self-Introspection: 5 Ways To Reflect And Live Happily

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    Published on May 3, 2021

    How To Get Over Anxiety: 5 Professional Tips

    How To Get Over Anxiety: 5 Professional Tips

    Anxiety is killing our mental energy. It is, after all, the leading mental health issue in our society today.  In 2017 alone, more than 284 million people experienced anxiety across the globe, making it the most prevalent mental health disorder globally.[1]

    If you are asking the question, “how do I get over my anxiety?”, then this article is for you. I’ve put together a list of my top strategies to help you get over your anxiety. These are the same strategies that have worked for many of my clients over the years, and I think they can work for you too!

    Anxiety is, in general terms, as uneasiness or nervousness about an undetermined outcome. Sometimes, this worry and uneasiness is quite excessive and goes from something that we can manage on our own to something for which we need professional help.  If your worry or apprehension includes panic attacks or compulsive behaviors, consider reaching out to a therapist or a doctor for more professional help.

    I like to think of anxiety as information—a sign that something is off in your life. It could be a global pandemic, a challenge at work, instability in relationships, or the sign of a larger mental health issue.  Whatever it is, it’s good to think this through and be asking the questions that will help you uncover the parts of your life that could use some adjusting.

    Again, consulting with a therapist or counselor, even just for a brief period of time, can help decipher some of these questions for you.  And if you want to give it a go on your own, well that takes us to the first of my five tips on how to get over anxiety.

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    Here are 5 tips on how to get over anxiety and live a more fulfilling life.

    1. The Mighty Journal

    You will be amazed by the power of journaling—the path of self-discovery it can lead you down. The best part of journaling is that there is no right or wrong here. It is a private place where you can work through the stuff in your head and figure some things out.

    There are lots of formats for journaling, and I have personally changed my own approach several times depending on what was going on and what I was looking for.  It could be that narrative of your day or bullets with highlights or thoughts of the day.

    To make the most out of your journaling I would encourage you to push yourself and go beyond a recount of the day’s events. What you really want here is to get into your thought process and understand the feelings behind the thoughts. Timelines can also be a great way to gain some understanding of relationships and the different events in your life. Again, it is a matter of what works for you.

    The pen truly is mightier than. . . the meds?!? My own little psych-mashup.

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    2. Schedule Your Self-Care Time

    What are the ways you treat yourself? Life is busy and when life demands increase, self-care is often one of the first things to fall by the wayside. But it is critical that you build in your “you time” because when stress levels increase, so will anxiety.

    If self-care is not something that you are accustomed to thinking about, I listed some ideas for you to consider.  Keep in mind that if you schedule it with someone else, it might help with accountability.

    Think about working smaller chunks of time into the workweek and then something a little more extensive on the weekend, like a hike, excursion, creative home project, or even the occasional weekend away.

    Self-care ideas:[2]

    • Take your lunchtime away from your desk, and get outside for a walk or join a colleague for some casual chitchat.
    • Schedule a massage or trip to the spa/salon.
    • Watch a favorite movie or TV show, either on your own or with your favorite person/people.
    • Work out, inside or out—anything that gets your heart rate up.
    • Go on an evening or afternoon walk.
    • Tap into your creative outlet, break out that knitting, woodwork, artwork, or instrument.
    • Dance, at home with your kids, partner, or on your own.  Play your favorite tunes and do your thing!

    You can also try these 40 Self Care Techniques To Rejuvenate And Restore Yourself.

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    3. Listen to Your Music

    Music speaks to our soul. It is a go-to for many of us when in need of a pick-me-up or just blowing off some steam. But sometimes, life gets busy, and we don’t incorporate it into our life the way we once did—finding ourselves in a music deficient rut, listening to the same boring stuff on the radio.

    Let this be a reminder to explore the new music out there. Streaming services have revolutionized our access to music and have made it easier than ever before. Explore it and find your jam.

    Additionally, music therapy is a growing form of therapy built on the research that it helps decrease pain, blood pressure, and—you guessed it—anxiety while also increasing mood, healing, and overall positivity.[3]

    Medical Doctors are using it more and more in operating rooms and incorporating it into their practices. If you subscribe to Spotify or Apple Music, you can just type in “relaxing music” and you will be sure to find something that will do the trick, bringing calm and focus into your life.  In my research for this article, I came across some great ones., and they are now a part of my daily rotation.

    4. The Five Senses Exercise

    When we experience heightened anxiety, I think of it as the physical energy rising from our feet to our head like a thermometer. Sometimes, this energy can even bring us to a place where we feel disconnected from our bodies. The 5 senses exercise will help you reconnect yourself to your body and bring your anxiety levels down to a more manageable level.

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    The 5 senses exercise is a mindfulness exercise where you connect your 5 senses to your present environment. This is a great way to ground yourself and bring your attention and your energy to the here and now.  What I love about this exercise is that it can be done anywhere and at any time. If you start to feel your anxiety creep up, this could be a good strategy to center yourself and possibly ward off a panic attack or prolonged anxiety.

    The process is simple:

    1. Start by taking a few deep breathes, inhaling as you count to 3, and then exhaling as you count to 3.
    2. Next, identify 5 things you see, 4 things you hear, 3 things you can touch and feel, 2 things you can smell, and 1 thing you can taste.
    3. Take it in, give yourself a few minutes.
    4. Repeat if needed, and carry on.

    5. Mindset Matters

    This last one is a big one. A lot of times, anxiety waxes and wanes with how we think about something. Be mindful of your negative self-talk, keeping it in check and working to incorporate perspective. If you know that you are headed into something challenging, prepare yourself for it mentally and allow yourself to be ok with the challenge. After all, the challenge helps us grow and develop.

    Also, remember that life is full of choices—granted the options in front of us may be less than ideal, but remember that they are there.  Incorporating some of these above strategies could be one of the first choices you make to create change in your life and get a hold of the anxiety

    A quick easy way to get some perspective is to acknowledge the things that you are grateful for (this is also a mindfulness practice).  The gratitude journal is one way to do this where you write down three to five things that you are grateful for every day. Try it out for a week or so and see how you feel. Of course, the more time you practice this, the more you will feel the benefits.

    Summing It Up

    Anxiety is something that we all experience from time to time, working to identify the source of your anxiety will help you discover the best strategies for you. However, there are some definite best practices that you can incorporate into your life that are sure to minimize your anxiety and keep you living the active and fulfilling life you want.

    More Tips on Coping With Anxiety

    Featured photo credit: Fernando @cferdo via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] Our World in Data: Mental Health
    [2] NCBI: Social Anxiety Disorder: Recognition, Assessment, and Treatment
    [3] Harvard Health Publishing: How music can help you heal

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