When low energy strikes you might look at your diet, your lifestyle or how much exercise you’re doing to tackle it, but would you think to assess your thinking? You should.
In her new book The Energy Guide, biochemist Dr Libby Weaver pinpoints some ways of thinking that could be sapping your energy. Here’s five to tackle today…
Close your Open Loops: Open loops are tasks we set ourselves every day but don’t get around to completing (the email you didn’t answer, the household chore you didn’t tackle). ‘These float about in our head demanding to be dealt with and it’s like having a dozen programmes running on your laptop draining the battery,’ says Dr Weaver.
Action: Make a list of your nagging tasks, organise them in order of importance then schedule a time each day to start working on them.
Learn to Say No. Saying yes when you really mean no is a major energy drainer.
Action: Try the Stop, Keep, Start exercise – ask yourself what am I going to Stop doing? What are I going to Keep doing and what am I going to Start doing? Use your answers to help focus how you’d prefer to use your time from now on.
Lousy language: Picture this. You set your alarm from 6am planning to get up to exercise – when alarm sounds you think ‘how can be six already’ and you press snooze. When you finally wake at 7am, there’s no time to exercise – do you then start labelling yourself lazy or a failure. ‘What kind of energy does that language generate in your body?….Lousy energy,’ says Dr Weaver.
Action: Just see the facts. You didn’t get up to exercise. Full stop. There’s no judgement in this statement, it doesn’t drag you down – and it’s more likely you’ll change the behaviour next time.
Thinking negatively: Focusing on what we don’t have in life drains energy.
Action: Change your focus to what you do have instead. ‘This doesn’t mean wearing rose-coloured glasses or avoiding what you would like to change in your life – but when that is all you focus on, you don’t have the energy to change it,’ says Dr Weaver. A few times a day check in to what’s gone well today or what you’re grateful for.
Try to stop worrying: There’s something about the middle of the night that makes everything you’re worried about suddenly appear – and if it stops you sleeping fatigue will follow.
Action: Often though what we worrying about is only a problem in our head and not reality. ‘My dear mum gave me a wonderful piece of advice about worrying,’ says Dr Weaver. ‘She suggested ‘Don’t worry about anything until it is actually a problem.’ If it’s not, stop thinking about it.
The Energy Guide: A Step-By Step Guide to Finding the Energy You Need to Flourish (Pan Macmillan Australia), £39.99 by Dr Libby Weaver is out now.