There is so much noise in the world today — it is almost impossible to get away from it. Turn on the TV and there’s more information on hot topics that I am sure everyone is fired up about one way or another. Scroll down Facebook feeds to see random people getting into long heated and hateful political debates. Or maybe you’re experiencing some draining from your romantic life or family at this time. Whatever the cause, we are all being pulled out of our center with the constant noise of what is going on in a chaotic world. In full transparency, I found myself spending time online in some heated debates myself. It is a fine balance between speaking up and what is just plain toxic and draining (i.e., energy leaks).
When I think of energy I think in terms of what brings me life force, energy, and joy versus what leaves me depleted and angry. I am going to go over several things that are common energy leaks. As I go through each topic, take some time and sit with yourself. Scan your body and ask yourself if this is an area that is taking energy from you. Bring awareness around what is draining you is the first step in making healthy changes.
1. Staying busy.
With our modern society the way it is, it is so easy to get caught in the busyness web of constantly doing. This frequency is so desired by some, but it’s really just another way of avoiding; and at the end of the day, it depletes you from accessing more energy. We can spend the whole day pumped up on adrenaline only to end up with adrenal fatigue down the road.
I know I have been guilty of this, and it is important to start saying “no” more before you make commitments. Staying busy is also another way of not feeling alone — building a false sense of self-worth. Ask yourself, “Why?” Are you motivated to say yes out of passion and joy, or fear? If it’s fear, practice saying “no” more and create more space for yourself.
2. Doing things you know are going to cause emotional reactivity inside you.
For me, this was getting on Facebook and engaging in things that I knew where emotionally taxing. For others, this can be spending time with people you know have a negative impact on you but saying yes to them anyway. Pouring gasoline on top of an already heated topic or a person that you know fires you up is only going to leave you drained.
Next time you have the urge to go online to have a debate, ask yourself if it’s worth it or “Could I do something more joyful?” Stop yourself and ask, “What is the end result, and do I leave feeling better?” The same goes for people with whom you choose to spend your time. I am not saying that there aren’t times when we have to show up for friends or loved ones and give more then we get. But if it is a constant giving, you need to check in with yourself and start to ask yourself why. Is guilt or other codependent factors at play? If so, how can you cut back on those things more?
3. Negative gossip can so be habit-forming and a way we bond with others.
We all have been guilty of it. But when you start to catch yourself doing it, you will probably see that is it feeding some unhealthy part of you. Look at your relationships and start to take notice at how you are bonding with each other. It is okay to vent, but if you’re joining only to vent together, eventually this relationship will form a habit of negative bonding and it will affect your energy system. Constant complaining is also a sign that you’re struggling with boundaries and that action is needed.
4. Toxic relationships.
Relationships can be work and they aren’t always easy. However, there is a difference between a bump in the road and working through conflict and constant turbulence that destabilizes your energy. Never feeling safe. If you’re in a trauma bond and the relationship is toxic, it pretty much consumes your reality and prevents you from having any peace. This might require you to get really honest with yourself and address the underlying fears that keep you attached.
5. Constant phone or TV use.
Talk about a zapper of energy, yet it is such a habitual distraction from life. Stare at a screen all day and feel yourself get so disconnected from the here and now. Not to mention, the light coming off your phone suppresses melatonin which is an important hormone you need for sleep. The light also zaps your energy field. I am not saying you can’t veg out and binge on some Netflix — hey, we’ve all had to do some of that. Or that you should not go on your phone and shop a little or scroll Instagram. I am merely saying that all these things actually take energy from you and can leave you feeling less alive.
As I list just a few things that are draining, I want you to close your eyes, scan your body and start to take some deep breaths. Check in with your body and your thoughts. Start to think of what is the most draining for you. Where do you feel the most pulled off your center? What is causing you to feel tired? Ask yourself if you can let go of that habit or person for a little while. If not, then why? Then continue to breathe and ask yourself what fills you up. Picture yourself as you breathe being filled up with positive energy. I like to think of it as pouring into me from the top of my head.
The five topics mentioned above that could literally be draining are just examples to get you started on thinking about where your energy is being leaked and where your life force is being drained from you — rather than added to you.
Next time you get the urge to jump on your phone and scroll for a couple of hours, or you keep committing to things to stay busy, try and stop yourself. Get outside and go for a walk and plant your feet on the ground or in the sand. Connecting to the earth through nature is one of the best ways to revive energy.
Next time you find yourself in a habit of always watching the news, skip it for the night. Or if you always call that friend to gossip, change the topic and start talking about something positive that gives you passion. Empower yourself through this chaotic time and know that you can find inner peace by cutting out some of this external noise.
Jessica Baum is a licensed and experienced relationship therapist in Palm Beach County, specializing in codependency and love addiction. To learn more about love addiction or to book an appointment, please feel free to call her at 1-800-274-8106.