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3 Things That Are Sucking Your Energy And How To Deal With Them

3 Things That Are Sucking Your Energy And How To Deal With Them

I’m sure that when you hear the phrase ‘suck your energy,’ something or someone immediately comes to mind. This is probably the tip of the iceberg when it comes to energy suckers in your life. There are many others that could be lurking around, quietly sucking out all your energy. Added together, these things can be a major cause of general fatigue. See which of the 3 common energy suckers might be lurking around you and learn a few tips on how to deal with them.

Negative person

We all have at least one person in our lives who we must deal with who sucks the life out of us! You know it’s true because you feel amazing before seeing them and then during conversation, you begin to feel like your candle has been snuffed out. They seem to take a lot of energy just to be around.

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On the opposite side of the spectrum, we also know of people who are givers. You feel better after being around them! I know, for myself, that if I have something physical to do, like a workout, I would rather have just finished being around a giver than a taker. It takes time to get your energy back up after being around an energy vampire!

So how do you solve this issue without cutting the negative people out of your life completely? The answer is to do some creative scheduling as much as possible. For example, if you are planning on working out during lunchtime, and you need to get going quickly, choose to schedule meetings with energy givers just before lunch. You can see your energy takers after your workout when you feel more resilient.

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If you don’t have a choice, or if someone caught you by surprise, then you can practice detachment. By that, I don’t mean tuning out the other person. Remain present, but place a mental screen between your feelings and your conversation. This takes practice, but the more you practice, the easier it will become. If you engage in conversation with your energy takers without attaching emotion, you can also be more objective. Practice compassion for this person. Realize that they are an energy sucker for a reason. When you step outside of your own emotions these situations are easier to deal with and take less time to bounce back.

Stress

Every time you rush from one place to another, can’t find your keys, or schedule appointments too close together, you add to your stress level. Over time, this wears on your adrenal gland. When your adrenal gland is drained, you are close to hitting bottom.

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So what do you do? Start scheduling wiggle room between things on your schedule. More time between appointments, more time to get ready in the morning, more time to get projects done–you get the idea. Also, make it a habit to put your keys, wallet, etc in the same place all the time. Items usually get separated when you rush around.

Clutter

The little bits of messes all around us quietly zap our energy, whether it be several extra items on the kitchen counter, extra bottles of this and that around the tub, or magazines and books strewn around like they were tossed. Each on its own doesn’t seem like much, but when it’s always there and it’s in conjunction with other little messes, it all adds up! When you have a tidy space around you, your mind is free to relax rather than subconsciously processing what’s in front of it.

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So what should you do? Well, if you think this might be a daunting task, start small, but start in an area that will give you maximum impact for time spent. Maybe this is the bathroom. Start with removing all loose items from the counter and around the tub. Replace just a couple of items that are most needed yet look nice. Put everything else away. Leave the room and come back a little while later and take note of how you feel. It feels good! Bit by bit, work your way around the house. Be prepared to start a donation bag and a garbage bag. Once you get going, you’ll realize you don’t need half the stuff around you!

Identify your energy suckers, deal with them, and lead a happier life! How do you deal with your energy suckers? Let us know in the comments!

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Jennifer Wasylenko

Exercise Physiologist, ACSM

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Last Updated on September 23, 2020

5 Reasons for Your Facebook Addiction (and How to Break It)

5 Reasons for Your Facebook Addiction (and How to Break It)

Facebook is embedded into lives around the world. We use it to connect with friends, share important milestones, and check in with the news. However, what may seem like harmless scrolling can become harmful if it takes up inordinate amounts of time and turns into a Facebook addiction.

The first step to breaking any bad habit is to understand the symptoms and psychological triggers that made you pick up the habit in the first place. Below you’ll find the common causes, and the good news is that, once you’ve identified them, you can implement specific strategies to get over your Facebook addiction.

Symptoms of a Facebook Addiction

Do you find that the first thing you do when you wake up is grab your phone and scroll through Facebook? Is it the last thing you see before falling asleep? You may have a Facebook addiction. Here are some more of the signs and symptoms[1]:

  • You end up spending hours on Facebook, even when you don’t mean to.
  • You use Facebook to escape problems or change your mood.
  • You go to sleep later because you’re glued to your screen.
  • Your relationships are suffering because you spend more time on your phone than you do talking with the people you care about.
  • You automatically pull out your phone when you have free time.

You can check out this TED Talk by Tristan Harris to understand how Facebook and other social media gain and hold our attention:

Psychological Reasons for a Facebook Addiction

A compulsive Facebook addiction doesn’t come out of nowhere. There are often root causes that push you into Facebook, which can ultimately manifest as an addiction once you become dependent on it. Here are some of the common causes.

Procrastination

Facebook can cause procrastination, but many times, your tendency to procrastinate can lead you to scrolling through your Facebook feed.

Facebook capitalizes on your tendency to procrastinate[2] by incorporating a news feed with an infinite scroll. No matter how far down you go, there will always be more memes and status updates to keep you distracted from whatever you should be doing.

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Thus, it might be helpful to change your perception of Facebook. Instead of looking at it like a place to be social or kill time, frame Facebook as the enemy of your productivity and purpose. Doesn’t sound as tempting now, right?

Loneliness or Indecision

Facebook resembles a boring reality TV show that is on full display during every hour of the day. Do you really need to tell everybody what you ate for lunch? I doubt it.

You don’t share such trivial details to add value to people’s lives. You’re likely doing it because you’re lonely and in need of attention or approval[3].

Seeking opinions from your friends could be a sign of indecision or low self-confidence. If you get a bad suggestion, then you can conveniently blame somebody else, thus protecting your ego.

Social Comparisons

Social comparison is a natural part of being human[4]. We need to know where we stand in order to judge our rank among our peers. And Facebook has made this all too easy.

When we get into Facebook, our brains are bombarded by hundreds of people to compare ourselves to. We see our cousin’s amazing vacation to Europe, our friend’s adorable baby, our brother’s new puppy, etc. Everything looks better than what we have because, of course, people are only going to post the best parts.

This extreme form of social comparison with a Facebook addiction can, unfortunately, lead to depression. One study pointed out that “people feel depressed after spending a great deal of time on Facebook because they feel badly when comparing themselves to others”[5].

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People-Pleasing

Facebook takes advantage of your desire for instant gratification[6]. Your brain receives a dopamine hit every time you see that red notification light up. Dopamine is a chemical in your brain that causes you to seek pleasure from things.

Pleasure sounds nice in theory, but dopamine is responsible for self-destructive behavior if overproduced. Thus, becoming a slave to your notifications can destroy your self-control in a hurry.

If that wasn’t bad enough, the human desire to be liked and accepted is at play, too. Every time you get a “Like,” your brain decides that means somebody likes you. Keep this up and you’ll turn into an addict desperate for another “hit.”

Fear of Missing out (FOMO)

Facebook wrecks your focus by preying on your fear of missing out. You check your Facebook feed during a date because you don’t want to miss any interesting updates. You check your messages while you drive because a friend might have something exciting to share.

One study found that “a high level of fear of missing out and high narcissism are predictors of Facebook intrusion, while a low level of fear of missing out and high narcissism are related to satisfaction with life”[7].

Therefore, while you may feel temporarily glad that you didn’t miss something, research shows that FOMO will actually reduce your overall life satisfaction.

How to Break a Facebook Addiction

Now that you know some of the causes of a Facebook addiction, you may be ready to break it. If so, follow these 5 steps to get over your addiction and improve your mental health.

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1. Admit the Addiction

You can’t fix a problem if you deny it exists. Don’t beat yourself up, but do try and be honest enough to admit you’re a Facebook addict. If it makes you feel any better, I’m a recovering addict myself. There is no reason to be ashamed.

Telling a trusted friend might help you stay accountable, especially if they share your goal.

2. Be Mindful of Triggers

In order to discover the triggers that lead you to use Facebook, ask yourself the following questions. It may be helpful to write them down at a journal.

  • What did I do? (scrolling, sharing, notification checking, etc.)
  • When did I do it? (down-time at work, as soon as you woke up, right before bed, on a date, etc.)
  • What happened right before? (a stressful event, boredom, etc.)
  • How did this make me feel? (stressed, anxious, sad, angry, etc.)

Once you’re aware of what pushes you to use Facebook, you can work on tackling those specific things to get over your Facebook addiction.

3. Learn to Recognize the Urge

Every time you feel the urge to update your status or check your feed, recognize that impulse for what it is (a habitual behavior—NOT a conscious decision). This is especially powerful when you complete step 2 because you’ll be able to make a mental note of the specific psychological trigger at play.

Have a plan for when you feel the desire to use Facebook. For example, if you know you use it when you’re bored, plan to practice a hobby instead. If you use it when you’re stressed, create a relaxation routine instead of jumping on Facebook.

4. Practice Self-Compassion

Facebook is an epic time-suck, but that doesn’t mean you should criticize yourself every time you log-on to your feed. Beating yourself up will make you feel bad about yourself, which will ironically cause you to be even more tempted.

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Self-loathing can only lead to failure. You might end up deciding it’s hopeless because you are “too lazy.”  If you want to break your addiction for good, then you need to be self-compassionate.

5. Replace the Addiction With a Positive Alternative

It’s a lot easier to eliminate a bad habit when you decide on a good habit that you would like to replace it with. I applied this idea by choosing to pick up a book every time I was tempted to check my feed.

The result blew my mind. I read over a hundred pages in the first day! Trust me when I say those “few minutes of down-time” can add up to an obscene amount of waste.

Having a specific metric to track is important. If you want to stay encouraged, you need to have compelling evidence that your time would be better spent elsewhere.

For example, download an app to help you determine exactly how much time is spent on Facebook so you know how much of your life you’re losing to it. Then, when you find a healthy alternative, you can feel good about all the time you’re giving to it!

Final Thoughts

Facebook addictions aren’t uncommon in today’s technologically dependent world. In the pursuit of human connection, we’ve mistakenly taken our interactions online, thinking it would be an easier alternative. Unfortunately, this is no replacement for genuine, face-to-face interaction in real life.

If you think you have a problem, there are things you can do to tackle it. Get started today and improve your overall well-being.

More on How to Use Social Media Less

Featured photo credit: Tim Bennett via unsplash.com

Reference

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