Do you often feel tired, no matter how much rest you got? Are you easily overwhelmed and exhausted but don’t really know why? Well, you are not alone. A recent survey found that 76% of employees feel tired several days of the week, and 15% even fall asleep during the day at least once per week. There are of course many reasons for feeling tired, such as depression, stress, low thyroid function, anemia and chronic fatigue. However, many people lose their energy through draining daily habits, they often aren’t even aware of. Here are a few examples of those energy drains:
We all know, thoughts have power. They can make us feel confident and motivated to move mountains; and they can make us feel insecure and overwhelmed by the smallest daily challenges. Thoughts can frame any given situation as a huge disaster or a powerful opportunity to learn and grow, which is why reality is a mostly subjective experience. Our thoughts become an energy drain when they focus mainly on the negative aspects of ourselves or the world around us. The negative inner commentary evokes negative emotions such as anger, sadness, anxiety or powerlessness, which eventually create a resistance to ourselves and the circumstances we are in. We are building a resistance when we are telling ourselves that our job kills us or that our colleagues don’t like us; when we are resenting what we see in the mirror, or feel constantly overpowered by the noisy excitement of our children. Inner resistance doesn’t only sap our energy, but it also prevents us from fully embracing and engaging in our lives.
Just noticing your resistance-triggering thoughts and then gently shifting your mind towards the things you can change or you can appreciate right now, can greatly diminish the loss of energy.
We are products of our environments – and our environments are mirrors of our thoughts, feelings and beliefs. Tolerations are those things in our environment that even though they “bug” us, we somehow don’t spend the time or motivation to address them. This can be a messy desk, a missing light bulb in the hall-way, a broken printer in our home office or a stack of unpaid bills on the kitchen counter. Tolerations are energy drains, because they make our lives run less smoothly. Stepping around clutter, stumbling through the dark hall way, avoiding the “stare” of the unpaid bills, all of these unresolved issues occupy our minds and can prevent us from moving through the day with greater ease and clarity.
Tolerations can provide us with clues about our deeper self-limiting patterns and beliefs. So rather than just cleaning up the mess or getting current with your payments, ask yourself what these tolerations can tell you about yourself. For example, is your home filled with clutter, because you are afraid of throwing things away, since you may need them one day? Are you stalling on getting a new printer, because you don’t believe that you deserve it – or does this toleration point more towards a certain resistance towards working from home? Are you procrastinating around paying the bills, because you are afraid that you don’t have enough money left at the end of the month? Identifying and addressing the underlying patterns and beliefs of your tolerations can help you to resolve these energy drains for good.
You are driving along the high-way, when you notice a red warning light flashing on your dashboard. The indicator tells you that you should go to an auto-repair shop as quickly as possible. But instead of slowing down, you push the pedal to the metal and keep on cruising forward, telling yourself that you don’t have time for such “nonsense.” For most of us, this would be a rather unlikely scenario. We are dependent on our cars and therefore pay attention to what they need. Yet, how often do we choose to ignore our own needs? We override our tiredness with caffeine and energy drinks; we force ourselves to check work e-mails before going to bed, although we can barely keep our eyes open; we mask our body aches with pain killers and postpone the long overdue visit to the doctor, because we are too busy.
It should make common sense to refuel, take care of and pay attention to the warning signs of “the vehicle” that carries us through life. Slugging through a day with a depleted body not only takes an enormous amount of energy, it also decreases our joy and productivity. Even though we may believe that we don’t have time to take care of ourselves, on the long run, giving our body the support it needs is the best investment of time and energy we can make.
Learn more about these and other energy draining habits – and what you can do to overcome them.