At first glance, it might seem like you have it all together. But at some point, you notice that you’re stretched too thin and you start feeling sad, drained or just plain blah. Whether due to everyday, garden-variety levels of stress or major life events that wreak havoc on feelings of well-being, we all experience flux in our emotional energy levels on a regular basis.
People are resilient beings, and we can usually handle a lot before our emotional energy tank is totally depleted. But before you know it, you might be running on empty and wondering how to get your groove back.
At SHEbd, we’re committed to helping you live your best, most empowered life, so we wanted to provide this guide to help you understand emotional energy, know how to tell if your energy tank is low and learn ways to protect your energy so you can flourish, maintain healthy balance, and experience optimal well-being.
What Is Emotional Energy, Exactly?
Your emotions are a form of energy that can either provide ammunition to help you accomplish goals and live your best life, or drain you to the point where you literally can’t get out of bed in the morning.
But most people aren’t taught from an early age how to effectively express and manage their feelings, set boundaries, and protect their energy in order to live happier and more empowered lives. Instead, they often feel like slaves to their emotions, riding the highs when happiness strikes and being washed over when sadness or stress knock them down — and suffering the subsequent energy peaks or dips in response.
Since the mind and body are intimately connected (and for some people they are considered to be the same thing), it’s important to know how to identify energy loss. In Eastern mind-body practices like Chinese medicine and Ayurveda, energy is known as chi or prana, respectively. Proponents of these traditions believe that being unable to process your emotions can result in imbalances in chi or prana, leading to decreased well-being and resulting in a negative impact on a person’s physical and mental health.
How To Spot a Low Emotional Energy Tank
Like it or not, life is about constant change, and while we long for control and a sense of stability in our lives, the fact is that we often can’t influence external events. But you are the only one who has power over your internal experience and your emotional energy — as the saying goes, you can choose your attitude even if you can’t choose your circumstances. Learning to identify low energy levels can help you know when it’s a good idea to take a step back and put yourself first.
Here are five common signs that you’ve got low levels in your emotional energy tank:
01 — You Feel Irritable or Snappy
Barking at the kids or your spouse for seemingly no good reason? Getting excessively furious at the guy who just cut you off on the highway? Irritability and anger are sure signs that your emotional energy is low and that you may not have been keeping healthy boundaries with others.
02 — You’re Tired and Just Can’t Get Going
Fatigue can be caused by a number of factors, and if you’re unreasonably tired all the time, it’s a good idea to have things checked out with your doctor. But fatigue is also a common sign of low emotional energy that can be associated with a variety of complaints including burnout, too many commitments, a lack of sleep and feelings of sadness or stress.
03 — You’re Crying or Feeling Sad More Than Usual
Sadness is a normal emotion that everyone feels at times, but if you’re feeling constantly blue, it could be a sign that you’re feeling overwhelmed. Tears are often a sign that you haven’t been providing yourself with enough space to process your emotions or manage stress.
04 — You Can’t Sleep
Sleep is crucial so that we can integrate our emotions and process the events of the day. It helps us feel restored so we can face the following day with energy and vigor. While everyone has trouble sleeping from time to time, chronic sleeplessness can be a sign that your emotional energy tank is depleted. However, it can also be a sign of an underlying health issue, so be sure to check in with your doctor if the problem persists.
05 — You Feel Hopeless
Feeling hopeless is another common sign of emotional exhaustion. When the future isn’t looking so bright and you feel like nothing will turn out right, you may have unknowingly allowed your emotional energy to seep out over time.
How To Protect Your Energy
Don’t give away your power to others or allow yourself to be swept away by the ever-changing tides in the world. Here are a few ways to protect your energy:
- Take regular stock of your energy and watch for signs of stress and burnout
- Be mindful and attentive to your everyday experience
- Ensure you eat a healthy diet
- Reserving daily time out to relax and unwind
Each of these tactics can be used to avoid becoming depleted and conserve your energy so you can best take care of yourself and your loved ones. Realize that it’s acceptable and necessary to express your feelings and ask others for what you need, especially when the going gets rough.
Be particularly aware of energy vampires, those people who drain your emotional energy by demanding your attention and time, take advantage of your good nature, and insist that you listen to and help them out, regardless of the impact it has on you. Set boundaries with others and clearly let them know what you will and will not do for them, and be sure to make yourself a priority.
It’s also a good idea to consider practicing mindfulness meditation, a simple technique that can help you take stock of your energy levels. In fact, a 2017 study reports that it can boost your emotional energy, help you avoid “knee-jerk responses,” and allow you to focus on the things that are important to you.
You can’t control others or the world around you, but you can control your reactions and the ways you choose to manage stress and your emotional energy.
We know it’s not always easy to fit in “you time,” but including SHEbd’s broad-spectrum hemp oil or softgels into your daily routine is an easy way to help you find a moment of peace and calm to help restore your energy levels. Or set aside 30 minutes one evening to indulge in our all-natural CBD Sheet Mask and enjoy some quiet time just for you. Before you know it, your energy levels will be back to normal — and you’ll be able to live your most vibrant life.
Stacy Mosel, LMSW, is a licensed social worker and psychotherapist. After receiving a bachelor’s degree in music from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, she continued her studies at New York University, earning a master of social work degree in 2002. She writes in the fields of mental health and holistic wellness, drawing on her prior experiences as an employee assistance program counselor, individual and family therapist and assistant director of a child and family services agency.