There have been innumerable times that either I or someone I know has complained about a lack of energy, and it’s telling when that complaint occurs on a regular basis. Many things affect our energy levels, most notably on the physical level is diet and exercise. Every body is different and responds differently to sustenance and activity. This is also true for every mind, heart, and soul. This won’t be a post that lists prescribed ideas for recharging because for many, it would be useless. Instead, let’s look at some of the potential causes for feeling run down and wore out all the time because chances are, you’re actually leaking energy without realizing it.
1.) An overactive mind
If you’re consistently worried and anxious, this is a way that you leak energy. It’s not necessarily a conscious use of energy, but it’s a use of energy nonetheless. If the thoughts that play in your mind are anxious, critical, or worried, chances are you’re also spending a great deal of energy attempting to combat them or focusing on situations that are out of your control, thereby squandering mental energy in fruitless exercises that also make you miserable, thereby using up emotional energy.
Mindfulness exercises where you continuously bring yourself back to the present moment and what’s actually happening right now in your life, and practicing trust affirmations (like saying “I trust myself” and “I trust that everything will work out”) will go a long way to restoring your energy.
2.) You experience a lot of drama
How you respond to situations and people affects your energy. If you’re constantly upset about things outside your control like politics, or what anyone else is doing, you’re giving your energy away to these things. There are productive ways to respond to these situations. For example, in politics, you can use your vote and write to your representatives and things of that nature if you don’t like how things are going. In your life, you can compassionately confront the person who wastes your time, or says things that hurt your feelings, or upsets you in any way.
Consistently getting upset about things that are happening outside of your control creates a feeling of powerlessness, and it leaves you eventually exhausted. There is an energy high that comes at first when we get upset, but we come crashing down from that as well. Often, focusing energy outward in this nonproductive way again creates an illusion that you’re actually doing something, but in the end it only points to the fact that you have been distracted from your path and are not giving energy to what you actually want to create in your life.
As Socrates said, “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”
3.) You aren’t being authentic
It takes a lot of energy to hide your true thoughts, feelings, desires, and interests. Much energy gets wasted trying to maneuver the minefield of social customs, and doubly so because you have to deal with the internal fallout of not being true to who you are (there is always an internal fallout).
4.) You actually need rest
We aren’t supposed to be moving at full speed and capacity 100% of the time. Everything in nature has cycles, including you. Ebbs and flows happen in all aspects of life, and this includes your energy levels. It’s important to know yourself and know your energy cycles so that you can optimize the times that your energy is high and allow yourself rest when your energy is low.
Rest is not just sleep. Rest is a quiet mind and heart. It’s detaching from the outside world and going within. It’s a few lazy days. It’s giving yourself time off regularly from the demands of the world, your loved ones, and your inner ambitions and perfectionists.
5.) You don’t actually know what replenishes your energy
Aside from eating and exercising to gain energy, it’s important to know what will replenish you on a mental, spiritual and emotional level. Maybe you need a day of absolute solitude to do whatever you want and to connect with yourself. Maybe you need to play disc golf all day, or go sit in a cafe and read. Maybe you need to go out and dance, or be in nature, or take up meditation. I can’t tell you what you need in this regard, you have to figure it out for you. You’ll know by how you feel later.
If you find yourself always feeling exhausted, it’s time to look at where you’re spending your energy and what needs to change, and then to implement those changes. You weren’t meant to spend your life running ragged and feeling worn out and empty. You do have the power to say “I won’t be giving my energy to that anymore,” whatever “that” is.