by Luis J Bechara & Francisco L Perignon
Welcome to another SitePlow Explore: bitesize actionable articles that explore a specific life skill and how it can help improve a specific area of your wellness.
On this SitePlow Explore, we will talk about emotional energy drainers. Needless to say, learning how to limit drainers will improve your emotional wellness. Therefore we will cover triggers that can send your mind into a negative thought spiral, and how important it is to be aware of them in order to keep yourself in a good mood. There are many things that can trigger negative thoughts. Today we will address five that, in our opinion, happen most frequently
Toxic People, or Vacuums
Unrecognized Negative Thoughts
Toxic People, or Vacuums
There are social encounters or conversations from which we leave energized and ready to conquer our goals. However, there are also social encounters or conversations that leave us unmotivated or angry. It is rare for a person to leave you with the exact same amount of energy every time you talk to them. However, there is an average level, so planning your encounters with that person around that average can bring better results.
Let us say for instance, you have a friend Bob. Lately, every conversation with Bob just leaves you completely unmotivated. You probably don’t want to talk to Bob before a big interview. If this keeps going, maybe it’s best to limit the amount of times you and Bob talk, or just plan on talking to him when you can take the hit. If avoiding Bob is just not gonna happen, then it’s best to find what topics to avoid discussing with him. Maybe you notice that Bob is always a pessimist when talking about personal goals. Then, avoid talking about personal goals with Bob.
You’re out at a party (Before COVID, obviously), the music is great, you're having a lot of fun, and then… that one song comes on and you’re instantly sad. Maybe the song just hits you, maybe it reminds you of a breakup, maybe it makes you miss home, we’ve all been there. Bad Bunny & J Balvin's "LA CANCION",is based around this feeling. Music is very attached to our memories. And even when they aren't they can be just plain sad. So make sure to have a very energizing playlist ready. The songs don't need to be all happiness, rainbows, and sunshine. Just not songs that can potentially trigger you in a negative thought spiral.
This is one of those topics of Environmental Wellness that really overlaps with our emotional wellness. You can usually tell someone is having a bad week just by taking a look at their apartment or their desk at work. But many times, that bad week is just a prolonged bad day on which our space where we live or work ended up a mess and we just never reorganized it. How can we start the day in a good mood when we wake up to a mess of an apartment that prevents us from having a calm morning routine and then we have to dress in unclean clothes because we did not have time to do laundry? The biggest tip to avoid this is by maintaining a good Environmental Wellness routine. However, when that fails, and you encounter an Unorganized Space, just get rid of the threat quickly and fast by affording how many minutes you can to clean and organize as much as you can before your next unpostponable obligation.
Some of us probably noticed this during lockdown. Believe it or not, sunshine and fresh air have a huge impact on our energy.There’s a reason we all get sad in the middle of winter. And whether you believe or not on the effects of blue light (as in the ones from our computers or a clear sky), those lights tell our brains to stop producing melatonin, the chemical that sends our brain to sleep. Anyways, get that sunblock in and go for a walk as much as you can during a day. Imagine yourself as a solar panel, use the sun and the blue sky from now and then. And, if there is no sun, you might want to check out other solutions such as Philip's blue lights. Not sure how effective they are, but if you can afford one, might be worth the try.
Unrecognized Negative Thoughts
The final drainer is in our opinion, the ultimate drainer. Don't let 15 bad minutes translate into a bad day. Don't let a bad day translate into a bad week. Of course, sometimes this just happens, but it’s important to not let this turn into a negative thought spiral. We heard from the podcast The Mindset Mentor, one technique in particular that we have found effective to name the feelings you are having. It's called the HALT technique and translates into: Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired. Once the feelings have been named are easier to treat. Feel Bad? Use the HALT technique. Feel hungry? get food. Feel angry at someone or a situation? Have a polite non-bridge-burning confrontation about it. Lonely? call someone or hang out with someone for a while. Tired of a situation or just tired? take a nap or a break.
There are multiple ways to protect your energy, and if you are interested in exploring the topic furthermore you might find it useful to check out more Emotional Wellness books, videos, podcasts, and articles.
In the meantime, a cool way to make what you just learned actionable would be to set yourself the following goal for this week:
"I made a list of 10 things that drain energy from me and tried the HALT technique this week"
"I dedicated 2 total hours to clean up my apartments and clothes this week distributed as needed"
Feel free to customize the goals as much as you want to, and please let us know whether or not you found it helpful in our comment section down below.
Have an amazing week, and keep SitePlowing!
Luis, Francisco & The SitePlow Team