You know I love the concept of Energy Dynamics, right? (I wrote about it here a while back.) It's a system of managing your energy in a way that allows you maintain a positive state of mind the vast majority of the time. Pretty awesome, for sure.
The chart below (based on the work of Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz) may seem simplistic, but I have found it *so* useful in understanding how our personal energy flows.
The horizontal axis shows the spectrum of our mood from negative to positive~the 2 quadrants on the right represent positive emotional states while the 2 quadrants on the left show negative emotional states.
The vertical axis shows the spectrum of our energy level from low to high~so the 2 quadrants on the bottom represent low physical energy states while the top 2 quadrants show high physical energy states.
Looking at the chart, you may notice that the top right quadrant ("invigorated", "confident", "challenged", "joyful", and "connected") seems like a pretty awesome place to hang out. High energy and a good mood, what's not to like? This is our flow state where we are productive, creative, and invincible.
It's fairly common for us to put a lot of effort into staying in this feel-good place, but there's a problem...it's not a sustainable state.
We can't be up, up, up all the time~sorry to harsh your buzz here~no matter how hard we try.
When we reach the limits of our ability to maintain this state, we frequently shift to the left. So our physical energy remains high, but our mood takes a downturn. All of the sudden (it seems) we become easily frustrated, impatient, and highly reactive.
Have you ever had this experience? Everything is going great, you're having a good day, a good time, and then...you start snapping at your kids, or cursing at other drivers, or throwing your partner's dirty socks at his picture (no, I've never done that--why do you ask??).
Oftentimes we tend to vacillate between these two high energy states--actively feeling good and reactively not feeling good--until...BOOM, there's a crash.
As you descend into the bottom left quadrant, your mood is down and your physical energy has been depleted. At this point, you just feel DONE--discouraged, unmotivated, and everything seems like a huge effort. When we stay in this state we become depressed.
The negative mood side of the chart is where a lot of our self-destructive behaviors~such as, overeating, drinking too much, spending too much, and critical self-talk~occur.
Naturally, we want to limit the amount of time we spend in these negative emotional states!
So how do you stay on the positive side of the chart?
By purposefully and deliberately recharging in the low energy, positive emotional state...
I call this a "preemptive recharge".
This is where self-care exists.
Resting, recovering, and relaxing allows us to replenish our physical energy while staying in a positive emotional state. This is where we slow-down, get mindful, and allow ourselves just to "be".
If we consciously choose to go to this little corner of ZEN (the bottom right quadrant) on a regular basis, we are much more likely to remain on the positive emotional side of the chart.
The preemptive recharge is essential for a happy, well-balanced life and yet it is so easy to forget this as it's not really built into our cultural norm.
I know it can be hard to adjust to the idea of slowing down when you feel like you are always in a hurry...but this recharge time can actually make you more efficient, more effective, and less reactive.
Would you like some help in making a preemptive recharge a part of your routine? My #ReadySteadySWEATY group coaching program starts next month. I'll be giving you lots of info and support on creating a sustainable lifestyle, a positive mindset, and non-negotiable self-care because that's where the magic is!!