In many areas of life, success comes down to sufficient mental energy.
While mental energy sometimes refers to a mood or state of mind in which we feel motivated toward productivity, experts use the term more generally to describe our ability or willingness to engage in cognitive tasks, such as decision making, problem-solving, and creative thinking. Mental energy also has a direct impact on overall well-being, and we can change it—that is, decrease or increase it—by changing our practices around self-care. These practices may include changing our sleep, diet, exercise, or stress management strategies.
With adequate mental energy, we can effectively carry out cognitive tasks while feeling driven and content in our daily routines. Additionally, by learning to optimize this energy, we can maximize our potential and find greater fulfillment and success in life.
How to Improve Your Mental Energy Through Focus
It’s no secret that the areas on which you focus on in life take up a great deal of your energy. Additionally, both your focus and energy are limited resources. To get a high return on your mental energy, then, you must learn to direct your focus toward activities that will yield a high return on your time. Here are a few examples of activities to do just that:
- Reading personal development books
- Setting personal, professional, or business goals
- Fueling your brain with healthy foods
- Taking a course on a topic you’re passionate about
- Working with a coach
It can also be helpful to zoom out and audit your life to see where you’re currently directing most of your focus. Most people, for example, focus a tremendous amount of time and energy on their careers which is why it’s critical that you’re working at a job you’re passionate about. By using your limited resource of time to work in a career you don’t enjoy, you may be squandering your resource of focus that you could be used in areas of your life that provide you with more fulfillment.
If this is the case, consider changing jobs for the sake of doing something you love instead. Having a career that’s aligned with your passion can benefit you in numerous ways, starting with an increase in your mental energy.
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How to Use Habits to Improve Your Mental Energy
Habits are routine behaviors largely controlled by the subconscious mind — and they control around 40% of what we do on a daily basis.
As such, they can serve as a good indicator of the amount of mental energy we have available to us. By examining our habits, we can identify the root causes of any lack of mental energy and work toward optimizing our health to maximize our energy levels.
So, how can you optimize your health and energy through habits? Adopt healthy habits, such as meal prepping healthy foods, going to bed early, working with a personal trainer, and drinking plenty of water, to help fuel your brain and body, so that you have more energy for cognitive tasks.
In the meantime, you can also increase your mental energy by eliminating negative habits that drain your energy and focus and damage your health. If, for example, you find yourself missing your morning personal training appointments after staying up late to scroll on social media, you might begin working on cutting screen time down to thirty minutes each night. If you find yourself eating unhealthy foods as soon as you arrive home, you might try eating a healthy snack, such as an apple and almond butter, before you leave the office to curb the hunger you experience during your commute.
One of the most effective ways to eliminate negative habits from your life is to swap them out for positive habits. If you’re trying to change the habit of eating too much fast food, for example, try taking an alternative route home from work to bypass your favorite drive-through restaurants. When you intentionally choose and develop habits that support your mental energy rather than drain it, you will exponentially reap the benefits.
The Bottom Line
If you’re finding yourself stuck in a cycle of low energy, there’s a good chance you’ll have difficulty making progress on your goals. By making small changes in your focus and habits, you can start optimizing your energy supply to reap the positive benefits.
If you’re ready to take your mental energy to the next level and achieve your goals, speak to one of our Arootah coaches today. They can provide you with personalized guidance and support on your journey towards greater fulfillment and success.