Advertising
Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

    Advertising

    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.

    Advertising

    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.

    Advertising

    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

    Advertising

    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

    Trending in Mental Wellness

    1 How To Recognize the Most Common Types of Mental Illness 2 How To Better Prepare Yourself Mentally For the Life After COVID-19 3 How To Get Over Anxiety: 5 Professional Tips 4 6 Health Benefits of Meditation (Backed By Science) 5 How to Clear Your Mind and Be More Present Instantly

    Read Next

    Advertising
    Advertising
    Advertising

    Published on May 25, 2021

    How To Recognize the Most Common Types of Mental Illness

    How To Recognize the Most Common Types of Mental Illness

    Have you ever had chills, a stuffy nose, a sore throat, a cough, or perhaps even a fever? More than likely you must have experienced at least some of these symptoms at one time or another in your life. You knew that you were sick, perhaps with a common cold, maybe the flu, or possibly a viral infection of some sort.

    Either way, no matter what the diagnosis might have been at the time, you didn’t feel well, and therefore, you probably took some form of action to help alleviate the symptoms so that you could feel better, perhaps some medicine, followed up with maybe a little chicken noodle soup, a glass of orange juice, and some bed rest. Nevertheless, when it comes to seeking treatment for symptoms of mental illness, there seems to be a big difference between the way that we look at healing the body and the mind.

    First of all, there are some common stigmas associated with mental illness. People, in general, seem to have a hard time admitting that they are having a problem with their mental health.[1]

    We all want our social media profiles to look amazing, filled with images of exotic vacations, fancy food, the latest fashion, and of course, plenty of smiling faces taken at just the right angle. There is an almost instinctive aversion to sharing our true feelings or emotionally opening up to others, especially when we are going through a difficult time in our lives. Perhaps it has something to do with the fear of being emotionally vulnerable, open, and completely honest about our true inner feelings—perhaps we just don’t want to be a burden.

    Additionally, throughout history, many people with mental illness have been ostracized and subjugated as outcasts. As a result, some may choose to avoid seeking help as long as possible to elude being ridiculed by others or presumably looked down upon in some way. Furthermore, rather than scheduling an appointment to meet with a board-certified psychiatrist, many people find themselves self-medicating with mood-altering substances, such as drugs and alcohol to try and cope with their symptoms.[2]

    Advertising

    We all want to have a sound mind and body with the ability to function independently without having to depend on anyone—or, for that matter, anything else for help. Nevertheless, if you are experiencing symptoms of mental illness, you may just have to find the will and the way to reach out for help before the symptoms become unmanageable.

    Lastly, although we may all have the ability to gain insight into any given situation, it’s almost impossible to maintain a completely objective point of view when it comes to identifying the depth and dimension of any of our own symptoms of mental illness given the fact that our perception of the problem may in fact be clouded by the very nature of the underlying illness itself. In other words, even though symptoms of mental illness may be present, you may be suffering from a disorder that actually impairs your ability to see them.

    As a professional dual-diagnosis interventionist and a licensed psychotherapist with over two decades of experience working with people all over the world battling symptoms of mental illness and substance abuse—combined with my own personal insight into the subject, perhaps now more than ever—I am confident that you will appreciate learning how to recognize a variety of symptoms associated with some of the most common types of mental illness.

    1. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

    Post-traumatic Stress Disorder is an anxiety disorder characterized by persistent flashbacks and nightmares associated with previously experienced or witnessed life-threatening or traumatic events.[3] The symptoms must be severe enough to interfere with the ability to perform normal daily activities and fulfill personal responsibilities.

    Below are some of the most common symptoms associated with this disorder:

    Advertising

    • recurrent and unwanted memories of an event
    • flashbacks to the event in “real-time”
    • nightmares involving the trauma
    • a physical reaction to an event that triggers traumatic memories
    • avoiding conversation related to the traumatic event
    • active avoidance of people, places, and things that trigger thoughts of the event
    • a sense of hopelessness
    • memory loss related to traumatic events
    • detached relationships
    • lack of interest in normal daily activities
    • feeling constantly guarded
    • feeling as if in constant danger
    • poor concentration
    • irritability
    • being easily startled
    • insomnia
    • substance abuse
    • engaging in dangerous behaviors

    2. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

    Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is an anxiety disorder characterized by persistent unwanted thoughts followed by urges to act on those thoughts repeatedly.[4] The symptoms must be severe enough to interfere with the ability to perform normal daily activities and fulfill personal responsibilities.

    Below are some of the most common symptoms associated with this disorder:

    • anxiety when an item is not in order or its correct position
    • recurrent and frequent doubt if doors have been locked
    • recurrent and frequent doubt if electronic devices and appliances have been turned off
    • recurrent and frequent fear of contamination by disease or poison
    • avoidance of social engagements with fear of touching others.
    • hand-washing
    • counting
    • checking
    • repetition of statements
    • positioning of items in strict order

    3. Major Depressive Disorder

    Major Depressive Disorder is a mood disorder characterized by a persistent depressed mood that impairs the ability to function. The symptoms must be severe enough to interfere with the ability to perform normal daily activities and fulfill personal responsibilities.

    Below are some of the most common symptoms associated with this disorder:

    • overwhelming feelings of hopelessness and sadness
    • lack of interest or pleasure in activities normally enjoyed
    • overwhelming feelings of worthlessness and guilt
    • sleep disturbances such as both insomnia and oversleep
    • overwhelming feelings of restlessness and irritability
    • lack of concentration
    • lack of appetite as well as overeating
    • thoughts of suicide

    4. Bipolar Disorder

    Bipolar Disorder is a mood disorder that may be characterized by uncontrollable mood swings ranging from severe depression to extreme mania. The symptoms must be severe enough to interfere with the ability to perform normal daily activities and fulfill personal responsibilities.

    Advertising

    Below are some of the most common symptoms associated with this disorder:

    • easily distracted
    • racing thoughts
    • exaggerated euphoric sense of self-confidence
    • easily agitated
    • hyperverbal
    • markedly increased level of activity
    • overwhelming feelings of hopelessness and sadness
    • lack of interest or pleasure in activities normally enjoyed
    • overwhelming feelings of worthlessness and guilt
    • sleep disturbances such as both insomnia and oversleep
    • overwhelming feelings of restlessness and irritability
    • lack of concentration
    • lack of appetite as well as overeating
    • thoughts of suicide

    5. Schizophrenia

    Schizophrenia is a thought disorder characterized by a breakdown between beliefs, emotions, and behaviors caused by delusions and hallucinations.[5]  The symptoms must be severe enough to interfere with the ability to perform normal daily activities and fulfill personal responsibilities.

    Below are some of the most common symptoms associated with this disorder:

    • delusions with false beliefs
    • hallucinations with a false sensory perception
    • disorganized thought with a meaningless unintelligible pattern of communication
    • disorganized behavior with catatonic appearance, bizarre posture, excessive agitation
    • flat affect
    • lack of eye contact
    • poor personal hygiene

    6. Anorexia Nervosa

    Anorexia Nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by an obsessive desire to lose weight by refusing to eat and excessive exercise. The symptoms must be severe enough to interfere with the ability to perform normal daily activities and fulfill personal responsibilities.

    Below are some of the most common symptoms associated with this disorder:

    Advertising

    • extreme loss of weight
    • emaciated appearance
    • eroded teeth
    • thinning hair
    • dizziness
    • swollen extremities
    • dehydration
    • arrhythmia
    • irritated skin on knuckles
    • extreme food restriction
    • excessive exercise
    • self-induced vomiting
    • excessive fear of gaining weight
    • use of layered clothing to cover up body imperfections

    7. Bulimia Nervosa

    Bulimia Nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by an obsessive desire to lose weight due to a distorted body image where large amounts of food are consumed and then purged. The symptoms must be severe enough to interfere with the ability to perform normal daily activities and fulfill personal responsibilities.

    Below are some of the most common symptoms associated with this disorder:

    • self-induced vomiting
    • consuming abnormally large amounts of food with the intent to purge
    • the constant fear of gaining weight
    • excessive exercising
    • excessive use of laxatives and diuretics to lose weight
    • food restriction
    • shame and guilt

    Final Thoughts

    From bipolar disorder to bulimia, major depression to dysthymia, there is a mental health diagnosis to fit any combination of symptoms that you may be experiencing. There are also a variety of corresponding self-assessment tests circulating all over the internet for you to choose from.

    However, if you are looking for a proper diagnosis, I strongly suggest that you make an appointment to meet with a well-trained mental health professional in your community for more comprehensive and conclusive findings. Similar to cancer, early detection and treatment may significantly improve the prognosis for recovery.[6] And like I said, it’s impossible to be completely objective when it comes to self-diagnosing the condition of your own mental health or that of a loved one.

    Furthermore, although the corner pharmacy may have plenty of over-the-counter medications that claim to help you fall asleep faster and even stay asleep longer, at the end of the day, no medication can actually resolve the underlying issues that have been negatively impacting your ability to sleep in the first place.

    Advertising

    Just like in business—and in the immortal words of Thomas A. Edison—“there is no substitute for hard work.” So, try to set aside as much time as you can to work on improving your mental health. After all, you are your most influential advocate, and your mind is your greatest asset.

    More Tips on Mental Wellness

    Featured photo credit: Sydney Sims via unsplash.com

    Reference

    Read Next