As an energy coach, I love to learn more and more about people’s experience with energy levels. It was this drive to learn more that prompted me to recently create a poll on my Instagram. It was simple enough…which energy is your strongest? The options were the 3 main energy types that people think about..physical, mental or emotional! I was hoping for an even mix of the 3. Unfortunately, I had a nice mix of 2 – physical and mental. Not one person picked emotional. This confirmed what I had already thought…. we are more neglectful of our emotional needs than any other type of energy need. So, although a book could be written about this, I’m going to take the principles that we know so well about physical energy and apply them to emotional energy. These are my personal thoughts and ideas, I am in no way advising or prescribing. [If you have any emotional health difficulties or issues, please consult with a professional before engaging in any techniques.]
From my understanding, energy is supported by 3 pillars:
- good fuel
Now, this is easy with physical energy; good fuel is good food. That is something that we are taught at school, we need to eat well for the health of our body. But what does it mean to take in good fuel for our emotions? Well, it is my understanding that we are holistic beings, so actually eating good food will also contribute to our emotional energy, but I also believe that we are constantly using all our senses to take in our emotional fuel from the environment around us. Can we really expect to take in violent hatred and anger all day, every day, and be a person that is loving and gentle? So, a really good question to ask ourselves is ‘what is my emotional fuel like?’
I also think it’s worth mentioning here that situations don’t equal emotions. We are talking about what emotional energy we are taking in or absorbing from outside us. Sometimes a situation might trigger an emotion in us, like frustration, but that is a stimulation, an emotion we created, which we will talk about next. For this section of good fuel, it is meaning… what emotions am I feeding on that are happening around me? Hopefully, I’m making sense here. It’s more pervasive than you might realise though. For example, we unconsciously pick up on emotions even in written word or while watching TV. Some people pick up emotional energy from animals, or plants, etc. Many people, when they are trying to get to grips with their diet, make a food log, or tracker, why not do the same with emotions. If you jot it down every time you pick up on an emotion, I wonder what it would look like after a week.
Stimulation and rest refer to usage of energy. Again, we will refer to physical energy, because that is probably the most talked about. Many people think of stimulation as a workout….which is true. But, ultimately all day long we are involved in varying levels of stimulation and rest. Why are workouts important? Because they stretch us, and make us stronger. Let me ask you…have you ever done an emotional workout? It seems to me, that this is the biggest issue with energy management. People often think that good emotional management means being consistently calm or basically being non-emotional. What??? How can that be good?? It isn’t good for someone to to never move physically, is it? But just as it wouldn’t be good for someone to be stationary all the time, it also isn’t good to literally run all the time. Taking this principle, we can see that it’s also not good to be unleashing every emotion on every poor person that comes onto our path.
So, how to we work all this out? Well, as we mentioned earlier, sometimes our emotions can come out of nowhere, but it doesn’t mean we must react to them or use them straight away. Sometimes, and in some situations, it’s safer to take notice and ask your emotion to wait… ‘Hi anger, I see you, I feel you and I know you have something important to say, I’ll come back to you this evening and find out what that is.’ Yes, it’s an amazing thing to learn that control. Just because we might feel energetic physically, it doesn’t mean we have to dance and jump about in that moment. Similarly, with our emotional energy we don’t need to act out on every emotion. But there are times when it is appropriate to use some of our emotional energy. We might find that if a friend is getting married and we are really happy for them, it might be perfectly appropriate to show our happiness. The point is….that we might want to learn to discern the appropriate occasions for using our emotions.
‘Ok, now what about that emotional workout?’ I hear you asking. Good question! Well, just as it is appropriate to set aside time to have more intense usage of physical energy. The same is true of emotions. I cannot stress this enough..It is so important to set aside times for intense usage of emotional energy. It is giving opportunity for emotional growth and strength. I believe the most ideal situation for this is in nature. Nature is very allowing and free, it’s nurturing and supportive. If it’s not possible though, at least, try to have some quiet, peaceful surroundings. Allow what emotions you have to come to the surface without judgement and express them in a healthy way, it’s fairly simple. I am not a counsellor!! But, I would like to share my personal opinions of healthy expressions of emotions. If it’s sadness, my favourite remedy…cry. Cry like a baby; cry till you can’t cry no more. If it’s anger…this is an interesting one, in no way should we act out anger to hurt ourselves or others..personally I like to explore my anger, I believe it is often masking other deep feelings. For example, maybe we are angry about something that happened, but when we explore it, we discover that we are denying that we feel a lot of hurt, and feelings of rejection and unworthiness. But, if it’s pure anger, an option is to try to grip hold of something and feel it all. I’ve done this in the past and it ended up that the anger just broke, and I just burst into tears. Again, please note, I am not prescribing anything here.
Another extremely valuable tool is a journal. After allowing the feeling, write it down, write down everything. Also, if you have someone, you feel you can open up your emotions to, express what you feel to them. The last thing to say on this topic of stimulation is …please have self-compassion. Our emotions are so valuable, please don’t be harsh with them. They have so much to tell us. We might discover emotions we aren’t happy about, that’s ok. They are there. It is what it is. We can work on changing our emotional fuel and triggers, but we can do so compassionately. So why not schedule yourself 3 x 10 minute emotional workouts this week and see how it affects you….we might need more or less, depending on what you find.
We need a lot of physical rest don’t we. We get tired out! We sleep approx 8 hrs a day. So, surely we need emotional rest. Again, we are holistic beings, so when we are sleeping, we are resting our emotions too. Great news! Another thing about being holistic beings is that when we are stimulated in one energy, we are often resting in another. For example, if you sit down to give your brain a workout and get stuck into your favourite sudoku app, quite likely, we are not emotionally stimulated with that. What are some other ways to rest emotionally? Maybe we need to set boundaries of time spent with certain people or activities. If we find they drain us emotionally, and not in a good way, then we may need to set a limit there, so we don’t exhaust ourselves emotionally in inappropriate settings. Again, nature might be the thing that helps us to rest emotionally. [Isn’t nature, the best!!]
Maybe, we can rest certain emotions by doing some meditating and reflecting, and changing our perspective of situations. We can also rest certain emotions when we communicate straightforwardly. Maybe we get triggered when someone says a certain thing, if we communicate that, not as a reaction of anger, but just a straight forward request..’do you know, when you say that, I feel humiliated, do you mind if I ask you, to try to not to say that again?’. Now if the person takes that onboard, aren’t we going to feel a whole lot of emotional rest. Often when we get physically tired, we take a seat. So if we are feeling a bit emotionally tired, take an emotional seat. Maybe immerse yourself in some soothing music or colouring or another peaceful activity. I personally love reading some deep quotes or watching a bit of nonsense telly.
In summary, we have seen that there are many options for good emotional fuel, many options of emotional stimulation, and many options for emotional rest. If you have been feeling that your emotional energy is not doing so great, can you identify which pillar is the shaky one? Can you maybe give some attention, focus and support to your emotional energy. We are so affected by our emotions in this world as it is. Why not try to work on building some emotional strength and hopefully restore some much needed emotional energy. I hope this was helpful, as always, let me know any feedback you have. Thank you bujoplanner friends!!