By Priti Salian
Have you ever noticed how some people can pack oodles of work in a day and still party after that, while some barely have the energy to drive back home?
While, in some cases, illness could be a reason for this, studies show that a whole lot of people suffer from a lack of energy due to depression and anxiety.
Since the reasons are largely psychological and emotional, one needs to look deeper into one’s thoughts and exercise control over them.
A positive view towards life and emotional contentment are mandatory for staying in good health, especially for working women who are balancing multiple demands and expectations.
“Any baggage related to stress is likely to reduce their ability to cope with these demands,” says Arpita Anand, Goa-based psychologist. “This is because the drain is both mental and physical,” she adds.
Feelings of hatred, jealousy, anger and resentment, are emotionally toxic and if nurtured for long periods, can drain you of the precious energy that is required for the functioning of your body.
Emotional detoxification cleanses you of all the venom that might have crept into your emotions and leads you towards happiness.
Let’s take a look at how your emotions and thoughts affect you and ways to handle them before they lead to irrevocable damage.
Reflections from the past
Your past often has a bearing on your present. You tend to linger on to painful memories, reliving them and hurting yourself over and over again. Thoughts of having taken a certain decision or having said those words at a wrong time keep visiting you time and again.
But thinking about it won’t change the past. On the contrary, the more time you spend mulling over bygones, the less energy you have for your present.
At times, your past relationships also have a subtle impact on your present ones. A bully brother who ridiculed you at your every attempt at success as a child, or an overbearing parent who was never satisfied with your performance, could have stripped you of your self confidence. This may make you behave in a similar manner with your children and lead to a lot of emotional damage.
Identifying your problems is essential to resolving them. Once you are aware that your present reactions are based on your past experiences, you know it is time to sit up and sort out your behaviour with everyone around you.
Stop getting critical of your colleagues just because you didn’t get good company in your previous job. Don’t mistrust your partner simply because you were cheated by your ex. Look deeper inside for the qualities of the person you are dealing with. S/he may be absolutely different from your imagination.
Forgive yourself and others for all that has happened in the past and move on with life. It really works!
Do not underestimate the power of communication. Speak to someone who understands and cares about you. It may help you see issues from a broader perspective.
It will also release anger and restore your energy, leaving you relieved and rejuvenated. “If problems persist, it may be a good idea to seek professional help and deal with these issues,” adds Anand.
Remember, expecting a change in others is asking for too much. It is easier to change yourself. If there’s something about others that irks you, ignore. Remind yourself about their positive traits and tell yourself, “It’s a package deal!”
Stress – The Toxin In Your Present
When you are under stress, your body releases the hormones adrenaline, noradrenaline and cortisol which set your breath and heart racing and make you break out into perspiration.
This diverts blood from your vital organs and skin to your limbs to get them ready to run (the fight or flight reaction). The liver releases more fat and sugar for energising the muscles.
Crucial body systems like digestion and elimination slow down. Thus, long-term stress can cause chronic fatigue. But that’s not all. The stress hormones are produced in limited amounts by the body. On requirement, they are produced again by the food you eat.
If the stressors in your life persist, the hormones involved may get exhausted and the body may experience a drop in blood sugar resulting in fatigue and an immune system overreaction which may harm healthy cells and tissues.
“Prioritize, manage time effectively, engage in activities that help you relax and distract, exercise and communicate,” says Anand.
Yogic stretches have the power to impact both your body and mind. They aim to massage your internal organs and improve your circulation, thus setting your systems right.
Yoga is known to give you a lot of peace and control over your mind, if you practice it regularly and properly. For those of you who don’t have the time for it, practising simply the Sun Salutation may be highly beneficial.
Experts say that 15 minutes of meditation in the morning can become the most special part of your day as it gives you your very own time where you can clear your head and concentrate on your breathing.
As you do so, your brainwaves become slower and this has a beneficial effect on your blood pressure, cholesterol and adrenaline level.
Have you noticed how your breathing changes when you are emotionally charged? It becomes heavy and comes in spurts.
To relax yourself, you need to become aware of your breathing patterns and also learn to breathe right. Shallow breathing will not fulfil your respiratory requirements and your food will not be oxidized completely, thus causing you to feel less energetic.
Sit on a chair or lie down quietly and observe your breathing. Your chest should rise as you inhale and fall as you exhale. Become aware of the air passing through your nostrils and follow its way in and out. Your breathing will automatically correct itself with little practice.
There are various useful breathing techniques called pranayamas like Anulom Vilom and Bhramari pranayam which, if practiced on a day to day basis, can be quite beneficial.
Fear Of The Unknown Or The Future
A whole lot of stress in our lives is a sum total of the fears that we have about our future.
Will I get through that interview?
Will I be able to live up to my boss’ expectations?
Will I get a good partner?
Will my child score well in her examination?
These are all questions that we keep asking ourselves and wasting our energy on. Some people also give undue significance to the future and let their present decisions be affected entirely by what they feel they could encounter in the future.
You need to get rid of your pessimism and negative self-talk. It can be detrimental continuously think about something that may not even happen. In fact, the Law of Attraction says that you attract into your life all that you want through your thoughts and feelings. So, think carefully!
Concentrate on the present as the future is not in your hands. Keep your focus on yourself and let your decisions be an outcome of what comes from within and not be shaped by what others may think. It is impossible to prognosticate the changing opinions of others.
It is better to confront your fears now. Look out for things that are stopping you from having a good time. If you work on your future now, you have a better chance of improving it.