Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Put Your Mask On First - The Power of Emotional Energy

I know that my level of emotional energy often dwindles. I sometimes forget how to recharge my emotional battery. My therapist has spent sometime working on this issue with me. He has done this for a long time because I tend to put the needs of others first So the following is what I learned from him.
Of course the energy levels of the chronically ill or disable get depleted due to our various medical conditions. Even relatively healthy people can feel run down and lacking of energy due to something as mundane as the common cold. Illnesses drain our our bodies of energy but various stress and strains in life drain our spirits of emotional energy.

How do get more emotional energy:

1) Make yourself the number one priority. Think about all those TV shows and movies where you see stewardess on the airplane giving the passengers emergency instructions. In those movies she will say something similar to "In case of the unlikely event of loss of cabin pressure, an oxygen masks drop in front of you..  Put the strap of the mask over your head and breathe normally.  If you’re travelling with another passenger who needs assistance, be certain to put your own mask on first before assisting other passengers.” (My son works for Co-Air and he quotes this verbatim at times).


There is a good reason for this. You are no help to anyone if you are unconscious.  In other words, start getting your own needs met first.

2)Learn to say "no" when you don't really don't want to do something. This allows you to say "yes" to that which you want to do. In other words, "Don't live to please other people".

3) Surround yourself with positive people. Ideally this is done in person;however, if this isn't possible it can take place online or Skype. Toxic people can suck the life out of you. My household rule is "Be good or be gone".

4) Live in the present. You can't change the past so stop dwelling on it. The "if only's" and "what if's" of life will drive you nuts. And try as you might, you can't control the future. Believe me I've tried and it just doesn't work.

5) Get enough sleep.
6) Eat regularly and right, for your medical condition


       *Laura Hillenbrand wrote a best-selling book while in the midst of   suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome. It was so bad that in interviews she talked about "my broken body." On her best days she had only enough physical energy to drag herself out of bed to write at her computer for an hour or two.

But ah! the miracle of emotional energy. She had a story she cared about. The joy of sharing it filled her with energy. The fun of playing with words and anecdotes gave her fuel. And so she wrote Seabiscuit, about an unlikely horse who became a champion. No one who reads this book could imagine it had been written by someone crippled by an extreme deprivation of physical energy. But that's the power of emotional energy*


book picture is a public domain image

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