In other words, when you neglect one aspect of your health or energy, this neglect may also impact your health or sources of energy in other ways. But understanding and regulating the types of energy available to you is essential for a balanced, happy life.
Understanding the 4 Sources of Energy
Although our four sources of energy are interconnected, it’s worth understanding their separate definitions and functions.
1. Emotional Energy
Emotional energy is integrally tied with our feelings. In a sense, emotions are the energy we put out into the world. In a fascinating study, researchers demonstrated that these emotions have measurable energy. If you’ve suddenly felt the temperature in a room drop when someone said something shocking or offensive, you are likely experiencing a change in emotional energy.
Humans carry a barometer for reading this energy. It’s an innately human characteristic and truly separates us from technology. Regulating your emotional energy is a valuable skill you should practice when interacting with other people. It is especially important to regulate this energy if you are a leader or have influence over others.
Are you in touch with your emotional energy? Do you understand what kind of emotional energy you’re putting out into the world?
While maintaining an awareness of and regulating your emotional state may sound simple, many people don’t practice this frequently enough. To help you begin to understand your emotional state, practice summing up how you are feeling in one-word I-am statements. As in, “I am: happy, sad, tired, discouraged, passionate,” etc.
2. Mental Energy
Mental energy generally refers to our ability to think or practice cognitive work. If you’ve ever tried to complete a difficult task or solve a problem with low levels of mental energy, you know how critical it is for success. If you are a business owner, for example, you need mental energy to troubleshoot processes, determine your budget, and create a schedule.
People often underestimate how exhausting it can be to use mental energy for long periods of time or how mental energy is tied to other aspects of energy. However, low mental energy can inhibit your ability to focus, absorb information, remember details, and even manage your emotions.
To regulate the mental energy you have, make sure you’re taking care of your health: Get enough sleep, eat well, and learn how to manage stress.
Make sure you also take frequent breaks when working on a task that requires mental energy. It can be exhausting to work on a problem for hours at a time, so give your brain time to rest. Pay attention to what works for you for managing your mental energy.
3. Spiritual Energy
Although there isn’t a clear definition for spiritual energy, it’s usually defined as either:
- A sense of the “inner” self, i.e., your soul
- A sense of being connected to a higher power, such as God or the universe
For those who consider themselves spiritual, it’s vital to have an understanding of your spiritual energy. Even if you don’t consider yourself a spiritual person, you may still see the benefits of understanding it.
Those who have low spiritual energy may find themselves feeling lost or unfulfilled. Not managing your spiritual energy could result in higher anxiety or a loss of purpose.
Spiritual people may even have a better handle on their emotions. This is because they may find more purpose in everything they experience, including their work, and are often more productive.
You can manage your spiritual energy by engaging in religious practices, practicing gratitude, or meditating. By maintaining spiritual practices in your life, you may find yourself more attuned to the spiritual experiences around you.
4. Physical Energy
Physical energy directly influences the other three types of energy. Think about it: When you’re tired and drained of all physical energy, it’s difficult to regulate your emotions, focus on your work, or meditate.
Inversely, the state of your other energy levels (emotional, mental, or spiritual) is likely to affect your physical energy as well.
If you’ve had an emotional day at work, you may discover that the energy you typically reserve for exercise has been depleted by your use of emotional energy. A spiritually draining experience, such as losing a loved one, could zap your physical energy from you just as effectively as missing out on a night of sleep.
Take care of your physical energy by keeping yourself strong and well-nourished. Get enough sleep and limit substances, such as alcohol and caffeine.
Using Emotions to Regulate Your Energy Balance
Apart from emotional energy, your emotions can help you gauge where you are spending all types of energy. Emotions are the way our body speaks back to us. It’s already telling us everything we need to stay healthy and energized. In other words, you listen to your gut to balance your energy.
Positive Emotions Tell You to Stay the Course
When you experience positive emotions around a new practice, job, or hobby you’ve picked up, use this as an indicator to keep going in this direction.
Doing something you love should add to your energy levels rather than drain them. Getting in tune with your emotions can help you make decisions around how you spend your time.
Negative Emotions Tell You to Change Course
When you experience a significant amount of anxiety, discomfort, or pain around something, use this as an indicator that it might not be a good fit for you.
Remember to take these negative emotions into account well after you’ve completed an activity. For example, you may feel negatively about running while you’re training for a 5k but end up feeling positive emotions such as pride or accomplishment later.
The Bottom Line
Understanding and regulating the different types of energy available to you is essential to living a balanced and happy life.
Every type of energy hinges on the others, so treat each source of energy as a critical component of your well-being. Looking for guidance on regulating and balancing your four sources of energy? An Arootah Life Coach can help.
What type of energy do you want to be better about regulating? What have you learned about your own energy sources? Tell us in the comments!