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:  

  1. 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).
  2. Fuel all three mental energies at once with adequate sleep: You needed 7-8 hours a night, consistently, for your mind to process data, lower stress level, soothe emotions and improve cognitive functions including memory and decision-making. 
  3. Meditation also fuels all three mental energies, which is why it’s so powerful.  Even 3 minutes a day, regularly will improve cognitive focus, reduce stress, improve mood, soothe emotional upheaval and allow you to reconnect with yourself.  Try an App meditation such as 
  4. Fuel cognitive energy: it’s your executive function, and you need it to think, reflect, plan, process data and make decisions. Take a break, un-focus for a few minutes, maybe look outside, or simply raise your eyes; this will allow your brain to rest and recharge capacity. 
  5. Fuel spiritual energy: it’s your motivation, your inspiration to move forward.  A daily 3-minute gratitude practice can transform your perception and give you a much-needed positive boost. 
  6. Fuel emotional energy: it’s about your feelings, moods and emotions. Take a moment to enjoy a bit of lightness.  Smiling, saying hi or thank you can transform your day (and maybe someone else’s too). 

Take a small step: ask yourself what you most need right now: a break, stretch, a bit of conversation, stepping outside, petting your dog. Take a break instead of pushing through.  Our brain needs rest and fuel to function.  Repeat every day this week, and see how that works for you – and 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 as life owner, you’re in charge of fuel and maintenance.


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