What Depletes Your Energy?By Dr. Margaret Paul
December 31, 2006
Our energy is depleted by things that cause us stress. Learn to handle or move beyond different kinds of stress, such as people who pull on your energy.
We live in very stressful times and it is vitally important that we do all we can to keep ourselves healthy. Do you sometimes find yourself feeling depleted, even when you first wake up or later in the afternoon? Often, this is because the people in your life, the environment and situations in your life, or what you put into your body or your own thought processes are depleting your energy.
People Who Deplete Your Energy
Take a minute right now to tune into the people in your life - your primary relationships, the people you work with, your friends. Picture yourself with each one. Which ones energize you and which ones deplete you? People are energetically givers or takers. Givers are those people who are sharing their caring energy with you, while takers are those people who attempt to suck the energy out of you. If you are not aware of this, you are very vulnerable to having your energy depleted. You leave that person feeling tired and you are not sure why.
Once you tune into the people who may be depleting your energy, you have some choices. You can interact less with them if that is possible. You can also learn to shield yourself from their pull, or take care of yourself in the face of it. You can do this in a number of ways:
1) Imagine a bubble of light around you with a mirror on the outside so that their pull gets energetically reflected back to them.
2) Set your intent on not caretaking them, not taking responsibility for their feelings and needs. Your intent is a powerful way to protect yourself from others neediness, but it needs to be a conscious decision.
3) Move into an intent to learn with them, saying something like, "I'm feeling like you want something from me and I'm not sure what it is. What is it you are needing?" Often, this will alert the other person to the fact that he or she is pulling on you for approval, attention or validation.
4) If it is with someone who may be open to learning with you, you can state your truth and open to learning: "I'm feeling pulled on (or invaded) by you and I don't like it. There must be a good reason this is happening and I'm interested in understanding it. Would you be willing to explore it with me?" Much can be learned both about you and the other person is both of you are open to the exploration.
5) If it is someone with whom you are in an ongoing relationship and who isn't likely to be open to learning, you might want to tell the truth and state an action, saying something like, "I'm feeling pulled on (or invaded) by you and it doesn't feel good. You need to stop or I will end our conversation."
The first step is to become aware of feeling depleted around certain people, and then decide how to take care of yourself in each situation. Not taking care of yourself in some way with people who pull on your energy will probably leave you feeling depleted.
Your Thought Process and Spiritual Connection
What you think greatly effects your level of stress and therefore your overall energy. Anything that causes stress can rob you of your energy. When you think thoughts that cause you to feel anger, anxiety and fear - thoughts about the past, the future, about how to control people, events and the outcome of things - your body will be using up a lot of energy dealing with the stress that these thoughts cause. One of our greatest challenges is to be in the moment rather than in the past or future. The moment does cause stress when there is actually something stressful happening, such as a fire, a car screeching to a halt in front of you, an accident, illness and so on. However, often our stress is not from an actual event in the moment, but from what we fear will happen - all the bad things we tell ourselves about what can happen.
The way out of this is to stay in connection with Spirit, with love. Yet when difficult things are happening it is very challenging to stay in faith and love. Our wounded self takes over, telling us about our mistakes and failures and about all the bad things that can happen to us. We get stuck in the earthly journey rather than the soul's journey. We lose touch with the fact that we are here to evolve our soul in love. We forget that we can choose to meet the challenges in our lives from love or from fear.
It is very easy for the body to be in stress when we are concerned with controlling our earthly journey. Obviously, if we were in pure faith, knowing that Spirit is always supporting the highest good of our soul's journey, we would not be afraid. This is the challenge of the spiritual path - to move more and more into surrender to whatever occurs and attempt to stay in love and faith regardless of the outcome. Inner peace comes when we truly accept and embrace what is.
Has your life turned out the way you imagined it would? Do you have the relationship you want, the money you want, the job that brings you satisfaction, the house or car or freedom you want? For many people, their lives have not turned out the way they planned. But what if what the soul wants is to accept whatever is and stay in connection with the love that is God? What if what we came here to do on this planet is to learn complete acceptance of the journey and have love and kindness toward ourselves and others as our highest priority, regardless of the outcome? We may not be able to have the outer things we want, but if we focus on what the soul wants, we will always be okay. We can always choose to be kind and caring to ourselves and others, regardless of the circumstances, and it is this choice that will bring inner peace, regardless of the outer circumstances.
Choosing love will energize you, while choosing fear and control will deplete your energy.
It is important for each of us to know what situations and environments in our life depletes us. If it is happening unconsciously we have no choice, but if we are aware of it we may be able to do something about it. For example, I am always depleted by large and busy spaces such as Walmart. There is something about the energy in these spaces that always makes me feel tired. Knowing this, I either stay away from them or spend as little time as possible in them.
Think about the situations in your life that may be depleting your energy. Imagine yourself in different situations and environments and tune into your body.
Do you feel depleted by crowded places? By large social gatherings? By florescent lights? By business meetings? Do you feel tired if you spend too much time indoors? Does sitting in front of a computer or TV deplete your energy? Does riding in a car or plane energize you or deplete you? How about where you live? Do you feel energized or depleted by your living space? Sometimes the energy does not flow well in a particular place and you find yourself feeling tired in that place. If this is the case in your living environment, you might want to learn about feng shui. Sometimes just moving things around can make a huge difference in our inner peace. I was once told to move my bed to a different wall. I had been having trouble sleeping, and as soon as I moved the bed, the sleep problem went away!
What You Put into Your Body
The food you put into your body can either energize you or deplete you. Sugar and refined carbohydrates will ultimately deplete you, even though they may feel good in the moment. Foods with chemicals - preservatives, colorings, flavor enhansers, pesticides - deplete energy because they put stress on the body's systems. In addition, it is important to understand what your particular body needs to function with optimal energy. If you are a person who needs lots of protein, then eating too many carbs will cause you to feel lethargic. On the other hand, you might be a person who needs a little protein and carb and more good fats, or you might need a balanced combination. It is important to discover what your particular body needs for health and energy. Some people can be vegans or vegetarians and other do well on a Paleo plan or a ketogenic diet. Some people can eat a raw food diet and others can't. If you try to fit yourself into a particular way of eating without considering what your body really needs, you might find yourself with a lack of energy, health and well-being.
Additionally, substances such as nicotine, caffeine, alcohol, as well as recreational and prescription drugs can have the opposite effect of what you hope. A cigarette may calm you for the moment but as soon as your body craves it again, you go into a state of agitation. Caffeine gives you a momentary high and then you can crash from the adrenal glands being overworked. Alcohol and drugs may calm you for the moment but have the opposite effect over time. Even anti-anxiety drugs may have the opposite effect in some people. Any of these may be depleting your energy and robbing you of health and well-being.
If you want more energy, then you need to tune into what may be depleting you.
Life on this planet can be scary and painful. Losing a loved one, having a severe illness, losing a job, losing retirement money, being alone and lonely, failing at something that is important to you - all these and many more difficult situations can cause severe stress. When we are under stress for a prolonged time, the body tends to go into adrenal fatigue. Suddenly we just can't do all the things we used to do.
When real-life stresses - not just your thought process - are depleting your energy, it is vital that you learn to take very good care of yourself physically, emotionally and spiritually.
Stress is a major cause of illness, as well as of fatigue, so understanding what you need nutritionally, emotionally and spiritually can literally save your life.
Join Dr. Margaret Paul for her 30-Day at-home Course: "Love Yourself: An Inner Bonding Experience to Heal Anxiety, Depression, Shame, Addictions and Relationships."
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Photo by Benjamin Voros
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What is your first reaction when someone is harsh, critical, sarcastic, angry, judgmental, attacking? Do you attack back? Do you withdraw and get silent? Do you defend and explain? Today, honor the feeling in your body that says "This doesn't feel good" and either speak your truth without blame, defense or judgment and open to learning, or lovingly disengage and compassionately take care of your feelings.
By Dr. Margaret Paul