Last time I wrote about how to generate, sustain and protect our energy.
But what consumes it?
The more we know what drains us, the better choices are we able to make to protect our energy.
Overthinking leads to negative thinking.
My 16-month old daughter has more energy than I do. How come? I cannot credit 12-hour sleep a day. Her tiny brain is developing at the speed of light and she’s got so much to learn, so much to absorb and yet it seems her batteries, unlike mine, rarely run low.
She doesn’t overthink. She doesn’t dwell on things, she doesn’t go over scenarios in her head, thoughts don’t consumer her.
The more time we spend going over things, which happened or may happen, the more likely we are to be drawn to negative thoughts. It is because our minds have been programmed for millions of years to think negative thoughts in order to protect us.
It is best to have positive thoughts as they inspire positive action. Best yet it is not to spend time (over)think at all.
It’s not other people or situations, which diminish us, it’s what we believe about them and how they impact us.
How come some people view certain behaviours as outrageous whilst others see them as completely normal?
Our values dictate what we choose to fight for, say 'no' to, which things we accept or ignore.
When our values (or basic needs from which our values emerge) are challenged, our full attention refocuses away from what we have been doing and towards fulfilling those values.
All people have the same basic needs, the importance and priority of them varies depending on what was the most missing in our life, which in turn is the very thing we want the most in situations when we are triggered.
Trying to be somebody else.
People who wear masks to fit in the image they create of themselves are being sucked out of energy too.
It is exhausting to always pretend someone else , to always ensure the right thing is done, said and that no one is ever offended.
Wearing a mask drains energy as a person constantly maneuvers between feeling guilty about not doing something for others and feeling deprived of fulfilling their own needs, usually for freedom, independence and own decisions.
The One Solution
There is only one solution to all of this, and no, it is not mindfulness, although to achieve that we need to be present in the moment.
# 1 Accept the Reality to not Overthink.
Ekhart Tolle is his famous book 'A New Earth' talks about the three ways to face the reality. We can either be excited about the current situation, we can enjoy what is happening, and if neither of the two apply, we should try to at least accept it.
If we learn to accept whatever comes, we save ourselves a lot of thinking time, worry and literally physical exhaustion. Acceptance takes practice, focus and presence, but most importantly, it takes non-judgement and curiosity.
# 2 Refocus.
It is easy to be drawn in by our negative emotions and let them snowball into unmanageable situations. In order to refocus attention, notice your new, negative, unpleasant state, pause by either connecting with your breath or one of your senses, and in that moment ask yourself one of the questions;
- What am I feeling?
- Which of my needs is not being honoured?
- How can I see this situation differently?
You need to choose and memorise your own question to apply when you need it.
# 3 Accept You.
Get to know yourself, your needs, values and wants.
Find out what you would love to spend your life doing. Most importantly, find out what’s your gift to the world (not your purpose, not your vision, but what it is that you can uniquely contribute). And then give it a go. Don't be afraid to make mistakes. Learn from them.
Having that knowledge will help you embrace you.