Mental health? Think about your energy gauge
Welcome to the energy series! This is the fifth of six posts that describes how you can refuel energy so you don’t have to rely so heavily on stress to take you through your days. Why? Because relying on energy as a life fuel gives you more performance, productivity and feels so much better than relying on stress…
My goal in this energy series is to help you live better, so you give yourself what you need to show up at your best, focusing on mini super-boosts that give you the most results for the least effort. In my last post, we focused on taking charge and committing to yourself. Today, we build mental health by fuelling energy. Yes, what you do can improve or deplete your mental health, so let’s dive right in.
Your mental health is not a gift from heaven – your brain function, whether it’s about thoughts, feelings or motivation is supported by the energy fuel
available – of course. Your mind doesn’t stand alone – your body supplies its fuel, and it’s also self-fuelling its own energy through its perception of the world.
Your mental self is your control tower, and it determines how you perceive your world, with three distinct functions: emotional, cognitive and spiritual, each one requiring specific energy fuelling needs. Whereas physical energy supports both physical and mental health, mental health also requires emotional, cognitive and spiritual fuel.
Build your mental health with these tips:
- Don’t ignore physical energy fuelling: Your body supports your brain function (duh), so fuelling it is an absolute must for mental health (learn more about physical energy fuelling in posts #1 and 2 of the energy series)
- Fuel all three mental energies at once: Get enough sleep – 7-8 hours a night, consistently, is needed by your mind to process data, lower stress level, soothe emotions, improve cognitive functions including memory, and en
- Meditation also fuels all three mental energies, and this is why it’s so powerful. Even 3 minutes a day, regularly, works to help you improve cognitive focus, decrease stress, improve mood, soothe emotional upheaval and allows you to reconnect with yourself. Try an App meditation such as www.aura.com.
- Fuel cognitive energy – this fuels your ability to think, reflect, plan, connect data and other conscious executive decisions. Detachment breaks allow your brain to rest and to process data.
- Fuel spiritual energy: A gratitude practice allow you to focus on the good in life
- Fuel emotional energy: with moments of genuine lightness and laughter – real moments, real people; not canned laughter like the the comedy channel
Take a small step, by identifying what you feel you most need. Then do it every day for a week, and see how that works. Let me know.
Oh, and one more tip: in the same way that one aspirin won’t soothe your headaches for life, be aware that doing these just once in a while won’t be enough. Mental health is serious business, and you’re in charge of fuelling and maintenance.