This article originally appeared in Tips on Life & Love from Simon & Schuster.
Do you start the day in a good mood, only to have it slink into darkness by 11 a.m.? You may have “energy traps,” patterns you’ve developed that increase the amount of stress and negativity in your life. Learn how to identify and eliminate them from your life in Body Intelligence: Harness Your Body’s Energies for Your Best Life.
An energy drain is anything that depletes your energy. For example, you might find that speaking with a specific person or taking a certain medicine on a particular day drains you of the energy you need for that day. An energy drain may be a one-time thing or it may evolve into an energy trap. Energy traps are patterns you have developed (or are developing) that take away your positive energy and mess up your daily activities.
An energy trap can also be a situationally specific pattern—for instance, maybe you take a drink of alcohol (or an energy drink) every time you have an issue that requires careful consideration. But the negative effects of these drinks are numerous and include fatigue, lack of creativity, and serious health conditions. Make yourself aware of your energy traps so you can plug these drains and keep good energy flowing.
To illustrate this, let’s look at Audrey’s energy traps. Like most of us, she has several. Hers are:
- Anger—she experiences toward her partner
- The radio
- Coffee (more than just one morning coffee, as well as an afternoon coffee break)
- The internet (checking Twitter and the Dow)
- Negative thoughts (related to timeliness)
Notice her energy use throughout the day is almost entirely what we refer to as a type A personality or left-brain stuff. This is a high-stress, draining way to go. And it can become a dangerous trap because it is energy consuming and shuts off your energy pipelines of higher mind and spirit. Notice, too, that Audrey does very little to rebuild her energy reserves. This all contributes to her fatigue and irritability and traps her there without relief. When this type of pattern snowballs, it is detrimental to your overall physical and mental health, as well as your feelings of flow and purpose.