There are many different kinds of energy, and that’s not even getting into the existential discussion about Einstein’s theory and how all mass is also energy. No, I’m talking about the energies each of us contains: physical energy, mental energy, emotional energy. We also have spiritual energy although some would argue that’s just a combination of mental and emotional energy. I think that’s a matter of your belief structure, but for the sake of this piece it’s being included here. The question is, and something we all need to consider, is how we spend and balance our energy. Spending too much of one kind in one place can create an imbalance that is unhealthy. Making sure we take time to “recharge the batteries” is important. Have you taken a look at your energy levels, how you recharge them and how you manage spending them? Let’s take a look.
We all spend physical energy performing daily tasks from brushing our teeth each morning to exercising to working to performing chores at home and more. The biggest indicators of over-doing it are fatigue and soreness or bodily discomfort. Forever (it seems) we’ve been told to make sure we get eight good solid hours of sleep each night to restore our body’s physical energy; to allow our bodies to heal and recover from the day. Eight hours is a rather generic number as sleep requirements are as individual as we all are. For some people, nine hours is required while for others five may be plenty. Anyone over the age of 25 should know what their body needs and make reasonable effort to insure they get it. We all face scenarios wherein we force our bodies to perform longer and then we recognize that recovery sleep periods have to be longer as well. What a lot of folks forget is that your sleep need is dependent on your overall fitness levels AND what you do each day. So if you eat clean and exercise more, your sleep cycles should be more restful for you but may be shorter or longer depending on your particular bodily need. Listen to your body; it knows.
Now, what about those folks who believe that sitting on the sofa watching television is the same as resting or sleeping? There is a difference between engaging in stress-reducing activities and doing nothing. More studies than can be conveniently listed here have shown that watching too much television is not healthy. It can cause odd brain stimulations, induce partial brain shut down and yet stimulate stress reaction from the body. Watching television should not be considered an activity that helps recharge your batteries or allows your body to heal from the rigors of the day.
Each of us spends a lot of mental energy thinking about personal, professional, outside interest and pure wonderment topics. We can’t avoid the personal stuff – and if we do we end up doing ourselves more harm than good. We can’t avoid the professional stuff – unless we want to find ourselves without a job because we’ve ignored it for too long. We tend to enjoy the hobby interests and the wonderment topics, just seeing the world’s beauty around us. Where we tend to do ourselves some harm, as mandatory as it sometimes may be, is when we spend mental energy pondering things we can do nothing about, have no ability to change and yet feel anxiety about. Sometimes we cause ourselves angst remembering people or events that we weren’t happy with – but are part of the past and have no impact on our present or future. Such is a waste of mental energy – not to mention time – and does you no good physically or emotionally.
Emotional energy, just like almost all other forms of energy, can be positive or negative. It can flow to support you or it can flow to cripple you. The really cool part is that YOU control that flow. All around us, every day, day in and day out, people do things and things happen. We perceive those “things” as good or bad; positive or negative. How much importance we give them; how much time we spend thinking about them; how much we allow them to impact our outlook, and therefore our day, is entirely up to us. Each of us has the ability to manage our response to every person and event that we encounter in any given day. Do your best to focus on the positive emotional energy; build it; thrive on it; share it. Such examples of positive emotional energy are appreciation, care, empathy, compassion, concern and love.
As we’ve discussed above, mental and emotional energy can be positive or negative. Spiritual energy is considered separate by many but simply a compendium of emotional and mental by some. No matter your outlook, it’s important to understand the impact on your life of the overall balance of your spiritual energy. If the balance is tipping toward the negative side, it can affect your physical well-being, your mental health and your emotional responses. The good news is that if it’s tipping toward the positive side it can have a positive impact on your physical well-being, your mental health and your emotional responses. Which way the scale tips is entirely up to you and how you deal with challenges that enter your life each day. But make no mistake: While physical energy can be spent and recharged; mental energy can be spent and recharged; emotional energy can be spent and then recharged… spiritual energy can be spent and recharged but also accumulates over time. The balance has a long term accrual affect which means how you balance your spiritual energy today can impact your options for balancing it tomorrow, next week, next month, next year and so on. The longer you spend tipping it toward the negative side, the longer and more difficult it will be to get it back to the positive side.
What’s the lesson? It’s easier to be positive day to day – and therefore in the long run – than it is to be negative even one day or week and then be positive again soon thereafter. Being negative can be a hard habit to break and then positive recovery begins. Being positive is an easy habit to build, difficult to break and immediately easy to recover.