Increasing, Maintaining, and Protecting Your Mental Energy So You Can Lower Your Stress Level

Does it matter if your mental “pockets,” i.e., the difference between calm and crazed, have disappeared? Absolutely! No less than Aristotle said,

“The energy of the mind is the essence of life.”

How do you know if you have no mental energy pockets? Although it is different for all of us, there are some commonalities among human beings:

  • Our brains feel fuzzy.
  • It seems to take us longer to solve problems than it used to (or usually does).
  • We have difficulty focusing – either on people we are trying to listen to or on projects we are trying to work on.
  • We are not coming up with fresh thoughts and ideas for ourselves.
  • We don’t feel able to contribute perspectives and possibilities to others’ projects and passions.
  • We can’t even read and then we resort to watching TV that we don’t even want to watch (and then can not really tell anyone what had been on the show).
  • We….you add your own here.

What do you need to do to create some mental energy pockets? You will have to answer for yourself, but if I may I make some suggestions…

  1. Go get some sun in your eyes. Honestly, if you live in a place where there is lots of sun (like Reno), take advantage of it and just go outside everyday and practically stare into the sun. Hey! You could even do this on your ten minute walk. This IS a way to multi-task!
  2. Stop. Just stop. Just sit. Reduce the mental input and outgo. Just sit. Don’t do anything. You will know how long is long enough. Build in a pocket of just nothing each day.
  3. Read. Read to learn, read for pleasure, read to relax, read to grow. Even though I said that there are times we are so mentally ‘out of pockets’ that we can’t even read, in general, reading and learning are one of the ways of giving ourselves some of that mental reserve that we need. So, take this in the way that you need to.
  4. Sleep. Sleep is not just something to give yourself more physical energy. Your brain needs sleep or it can’t think and process and maneuver us through the day. I used to try to teach students that part of what was happening when they were sleeping is that their brains were consolidating what they learned in class. If they didn’t sleep, they lessened their learning. Same is true for us who are not students.
  5. And, guess what…drink more water. Your brain is between 75 and 80% water. Give it what it needs and you’ll think better. My husband and I have watched both of our mothers this year become dehydrated and their thinking become muddled. Don’t do this to yourself. Drink water.
  6. Get a massage. I thought a massage was just for physical pockets, but it turns out, it helps us mentally as well.

Although I don’t want to demolish any illusions you have of yourself, my guess is that you weren’t hired for your body. You were hired for your brain. Be sure to protect those pockets of intellectual energy – and reduce your stress at the same time. And, if your pockets are already gone, implement at least one of the suggestions I’ve made above – or come up with your own. Your brain (and mind) will thank you!

And if you are well aware that you – or those around you – are stressed-out to one degree or another and you can see that it is taking a toll, then you’re invited to join the Staying Positive Society where you can access tools for yourself or your team. Here’s where you can find out all about it:

 http://www.StayingPositiveinaFreakedoutWorld.com

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