I want 2017 to be the best year ever for myself and all of you. One way we can make this happen is to cultivate awesome body and mental energy to help us accomplish the things we want to do. So, let’s make it happen and create a new energy you!
Good energy is having the right energy—physically and mentally—to fuel your actions throughout the day. What’s more, your specific energy requirements are as unique as your fingerprints. The energy you require to wake up peacefully, alert and ready to greet the day is different from the energy you require to deal with a difficult phone call or email or the energy you need to get a good night’s sleep.
A hallmark of body-energy management is that you happily flow from one activity to the next. Instead of feeling frazzled by what you do, you acquire more energy and more satisfaction. When these elements are in sync, each action, each day fuels the next.
I suggest making a simple chart to help you see what kind of energy you operate on at various daily checkpoints and consider what affect this pattern has on you. Below is the chart of Alex’s daily energy needs. He is 36 years old and works as a real estate agent. His chart serves as an example of how you can map your own energy requirements, see how they affect you and discover how to better match your own energy with your daily goals.
This chart shows what type of energy Alex feels he needs throughout the day. It shows he feels his energy is too low for most of the day—as he looks for higher energy to sustain him—with his evening drive home being the exception, during which time he feels his energy is too high.
Modeling Alex’s chart, put an X next to the type of energy you feel you need at each checkpoint. If you think your energy is already perfectly matched to the situation, then mark “Perfect as is.”
Why do people feel drained?
The most common reason healthy people feel drained and stressed and/or unable to get good sleep at night is energy mismanagement. They are not supporting specific times of day and specific actions with the right match of energy.
After making your own energy chart, look deeper into it. For example, Alex realizes he drags and requires 20 extra minutes to get out of bed. He immediately switches on the morning news to help wake up. This spikes his brain wave frequencies, so he thinks it helps. But he perceives the news as negative, so rather than generating a joyful mind, it begins to stress him out. This stressful energy has extended effects that cause him to feel disorganized and sluggish throughout the day. If the pattern continues, he won’t need the trigger (negative news) and will wake up automatically irritated.
The morning news, for Alex, is an “energy trap.” He discovers even more energy traps throughout his day: caffeine (more than two cups); lack of balanced meals (too much protein in the morning and low-quality nutrition in the afternoon); listening to fast, aggressive lyrics in the car ride to work; and his use of negative language in conversation with colleagues.
Identifying your own energy traps and mismatches and replacing them with the right energy will plug your energy drains and increase your energy gains. You’ll get more done with less effort and greater satisfaction when you can train your body and mind to operate with “higher-quality currency.”
Here are five energy bites to get you started:
1. Heighten your energy with this one-two punch
Find an environmental photo that has a relaxing effect on you and a piece of fast-paced music that makes your energy soar. Place these on your cellphone. Relax and deepen your breathing, empty your mind of thoughts and mindfully observe the photo for five to seven minutes. Afterward, play your fast tune. This combo quadruples your energy. Alternately, use your relaxing photo in combination with slower music and soothing lyrics to lower energy when needed. Listen for 12 minutes.
2. Eliminate burnout
Don’t surrender. Instead switch activities to something more rewarding and pile it on, pushing the pedal to the metal until you recharge. You’ll reset the electrical activity in your mind and body and enjoy a cascade of self-produced anti-stress and happy hormones. Always have an awesome long-term sideline project you can shift to for a while.
3. Massage this acupoint to bust stress
In a seated position and well postured, as if there is a string atop your head pulling upward, use your thumb to gently rub the bottom (center) of each foot. Works fast.
4. Change mental frequencies to eliminate bad moods
Put a photo of a loved one, friend or pet doing something positive and silly—the sillier the better—on your phone. Making those childish funny faces or facial expressions works great. Use as needed.
5. Plan a recharging activity
Think over tomorrow’s agenda. Identify a predictable situation when you’ll drain a lot of energy. Plan a restorative activity before or after. Get to a different environment and do something creative: Listen to an audiobook, sketch a natural scene, try some creative writing. Go slow—fuel your spirit—restore and enjoy.
JOSEPH CARDILLO, PH.D., is an inspirational speaker and sought-after expert on energy teaching. He is the best-selling author of Body Intelligence: Harness Your Body’s Energies for Your Best Life. He has taught his methods to more than 20,000 students at various institutions. Visit josephcardillo.com or follow him on Facebook, Joseph Cardillo, Ph.D., and Twitter @DrMindFitness.