Yet most people consider it acceptable
My grandpa dropped a truth bomb on me that hit right in the gut.
He said, “Champ, if you don’t change your (bad) habits on time, they will change your time.”
And then he looked me dead in the eye and asked, “How are you feeling today?”
It’s a question I’ve heard a million times, but that day it just stuck with me.
I was so focused on checking off my to-do list that I didn’t even notice how drained I was.
Why am I telling you this story?
Exhaustion is the new normal.
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According to a study by National Safety Council,
76 percent of individuals are fatigued during the day without any reason.
53 percent are unproductive.
44 percent have concentration issues.
But unlike popular opinion, mental drainage does not come from the workload.
It comes from lifestyle habits.
Unfortunately, large portions of our day are spent on trivial matters — from small and mundane tasks to more emotionally-charged issues.
I write this article from self-reflection as I’ve been working on myself for the past three years.
Even though I have become more proficient in prioritizing, I still often slip into these toxic tiny habits. Not only do many of these micro-practices drain your mental energy, but they occur without even your attention!
These “energy vampires” initially comfort you and then leave you feeling inconsequential and worthless.
That’s why I want to help you clean up your act and regain control of your energy reserves.
If you want to say goodbye to those energy-zapping habits and rise up with more energy, here are five tiny habits you need to watch out for. I’ve also shared what I did to release their grasp on me.
Habit #1 — “Being a Negative Nancy”
One rude online comment can make you feel down for days.
That’s why I say, “Negativity is more powerful than positivity.“
This isn’t to say that you should become an eternal optimist and ignore the bad stuff. It just means that it’s important to remain mindful of how much negative energy we take on from outside sources.
I noticed this habit when scrolling social media or reading news articles. I was consuming so much negative information that it started to affect my daily life.
If you’re like me, it may be time to limit your exposure.
Set a few ground rules for yourself:
- Unfollow people (no matter how popular they are) and pages that post negative content
- Monitor the types of articles you’re reading and stick to those that have a positive message
- Send good vibes to people hitting negative comments
- Stop yourself from thinking about bad people: it’s their point of view. Not a reality. Period.
Once you follow these simple steps, you’ll start feeling more energized. An exciting side effect of being positive is that it can bring more good vibes into your life.
Remember, no one can be negative 24/7 and still stay healthy.
Habit #2 — “I am right. What WILL you do?”
Being right is a good thing.
But proving yourself right at all costs isn’t.
The need to be right is a form of ego. It’s an unconscious belief that you have all the answers and that your opinions are superior to those of others.
You may not even be aware of it, but this attitude is draining your energy.
You’re constantly thinking of ways to win the argument. And in this quest, you think ill, talk rudely, and criticize others.
Most of us lose track of proving ourselves right. We board the train of proving others wrong.
This creates more conflict, discord, tension, and uncomfortable energy in relationships. It’s so negative that you can’t stand that person.
You’re expending energy on something that won’t get you anywhere and is only draining your energy instead of filling it up.
Focus on “understanding” instead of proving yourself right.
Everyone is right. FROM.THER.PERSPECTIVE.
The reason is it stems from their strong belief systems, which have served them for their life. And changing others’ belief systems isn’t easy.
If you can let go of the need to be right, you will be able to open up and really listen to what other people have to say. This will help you find a solution that works for everyone involved.
It’s not about winning or losing — it’s about working together for a better outcome and building meaningful relationships.
Habit #3 — “I’ll make you pay for it”
Resentment is a complicated emotion.
It’s a combination of anger, sadness, and disappointment that can be held onto for years without resolution.
And yet, it’s surprisingly easy to let go of if you choose to.
I used to hold on to resentment towards people in my life who had hurt me. I felt like it was my right to be angry and that the other person deserved to “pay” for what they did.
But the truth is, holding onto resentment only drained my energy further. It made me uncomfortable, uneasy, and stressed.
It kept me stuck in a state of negativity and made it impossible for me to move on.
The only way to reclaim energy is to forgive, let go, and move on.
Distract yourself temporarily if needed.
It’s easier said than done, of course.
Here are a few things that can help:
- List out the pros and cons of forgiving someone
- Make a conscious effort to practice self-compassion
- Take a break from the person who wronged you and focus on yourself
- Talk to a friend or family member about your feelings
Talk to yourself:
“It’s over. They hurt me just once. If I keep remembering it, I’ll be hurting myself more.”
By forgiving, you can free up energy that was otherwise wasted in an emotional quagmire. You’ll be able to move past any hurt feelings and start focusing on what matters most: taking care of yourself.
The more you practice self-care, the more energized and renewed you’ll feel. And that is how you can reclaim your vitality.
Habit #4 — “You’re responsible for my loss”
The best way to feel instantly better is “BLAME SOMEONE.”
What can be more satisfying than finding out the “culprit” behind our problems and then blaming them?
But this habit has a hidden cost.
When we always look for a scapegoat, we don’t take accountability for our own lives.
We might feel temporarily relieved after pointing fingers at someone and blaming them for our problems, but this attitude drains our energy in the long run.
The truth is we are responsible for our own lives and all that happens within them.
This doesn’t mean you should never point out the flaws in someone’s actions.
It simply means that we should take responsibility for our own feelings and reactions BEFORE blaming anyone else.
The sooner we learn to accept responsibility, the more energized and empowered we will feel.
We will no longer be victims but agents of change in our own lives.
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Habit #5 — “I have to a hundred things TODAY”
Too many tasks. Very little time. Right?
Even if we have too many things to do, we have ample time to do them.
Don’t spread yourself thin in the quest of hurrying everything and then using that free time for social media/binge-watch Netflix.
When overwhelmed with tasks, your brains tend to think of ways to finish them faster by doing multiple things at once.
This multi-tasking mindset looks like a great way to get more done in less time, but it actually drains your energy faster than you can imagine.
Your focus is scattered. Your mental clarity is lost. Your quality is compromised.
Here’s what I do:
Pick only three important tasks for the day and prioritize them according to their importance and urgency. Everything else is a BONUS.
Work no more than 1 hour at a stretch. Recharge your brain with some self-care activities like neck massages, spot marching, breathing exercises, etc. This can help you focus better and be more productive.
Also, set aside a specific time for checking emails, responding to social media comments, etc.
Contributed by Darshak Rana
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