There’s a reason energy “hacks” can be easily found online. A lot of people feel like they’re dragging, fatigued, zapped. Maybe you’ve tried them and none have worked. You’ve seen a doctor and they say you’re perfectly fine. And yet, you still feel like you lack the energy you remember having, your focus is not as great.
We have three experiments to try if you’re not feeling refreshed. Here’s our second experiment…
Help yourself feel socially safe.
As humans, we need supportive social connections. But most often, other people are the cause of the most pain. Basically, relationships can be a source of energy charging… or energy drain.
One way to determine whether a relationship is giving or taking energy is to look at the attachment. Attachment is the ability to form strong, secure, stable bonds with others.
When you’re securely attached, you feel free to be yourself and express your needs. You trust the other person to have your back and be an ally and advocate. You also gain energy from engaging and connecting.
When you’re not securely attached, you may feel as if you can’t honestly share your true thoughts or feelings. And that can be exhausting. Your energy gets drained by the work of hiding yourself, attempting to manage others’ feelings, and/or trying to protect yourself from their toxicity.
Now for the experiment: Do an attachment inventory.
Start by making a list of the people in your life. Be sure to include pets as well as yourself.
For each relationship, consider how strong, safe, secure, or supportive the attachment or connection is.
- Strong: The bond is robust and nearly unbreakable. This relationship has “life” and vitality. You’re connected.
- Safe: You feel validated, seen, and accepted. You can be messy, real, and vulnerable, and won’t be criticized, judged, or rejected.
- Secure: You trust this relationship. It’ll be there for you no matter what.
- Supportive: The other person genuinely cares about your goals and values, and wants to help you succeed.
Make some notes. Whatever you notice, don’t judge it. Just observe. Then, record your answers to these questions:
- Who gives you energy when you interact with them? Who drains it?
- Which relationships feel the most connected and close? What gives you that feeling?
- Which relationships feel more complicated, risky, stale, or insecure? What gives you that feeling?
- Who helps you move towards being the person you want to be? How exactly do they do that?
Once you have written down all of your answers, consider which relationships might be sucking some of your energy. Is there anything you can do to strengthen them? Or, is it time to let go of some?
Conversely, who gives you energy, and how can you spend more quality time really engaging?
Maybe, instead of liking interacting with someone on social media, you could call the person who always makes you laugh. Or rather than half heartedly throwing the ball to your dog while you’re distracted on your tablet, you take Fido out on a nature walk.
The answers won’t necessarily be a quick fix. For example, you may not want to cut your sibling out of your life even though your relationship is so unnecessarily draining. But being aware of how relationships either energize or drain you can be a key step in the right direction.
Stay tuned for part three…