This article was last updated on December 29, 2015
We all know what vampires do – they suck the blood and life out of a person (in fiction, of course). Energy vampires are those bad physical and mental habits that suck our energy, leaving us tired, sluggish, “drained” and consequently unhappy. Each of these little “buggers” can be fought, however, with just some little changes in our habits.
Fighting Energy Vampires: How To Protect Yourself
Physical drains on energy are probably the easier to fix, because fixing means changing some habits that are relatively easy to modify.
1. Lack of Sleep: Everyone’s body clock is different, and you should know how much sleep leaves you feeling rested and ready for the day. Once you have found your “sweet spot” in terms of sleep hours, it should be your goal for as many nights as possible. If you suffer from insomnia, do those things that will induce sleep – get a bedtime routine that will signal your brain and body that it is time for rest; be mindful of your vitamins B1 and melatonin levels; get regular exercise; use a white noise machine. Find out what works for you.
2.No Exercise: If you do not exercise, you will feel sluggish most of your waking time. Even if you only exercise for 20 minutes 3 times a week. Ideally, even mild 5-10 minutes of stretching exercises in the morning will release endorphins that will give you energy.
3.Partial Dehydration: You can function partially dehydrated but with far less energy than if you were fully hydrated. Drinking water throughout the day is critically important, and if you want a good “rule of thumb” for amount, divide your weight in half and that is how many ounces you should drink daily. When you do not have enough water, your blood is thicker, moves more slowly, and does not get enough oxygen fast enough to maintain good energy levels.
4. Iron Levels: A blood test will determine your iron levels, but if you are feeling sluggish, taking an iron supplement could help.
5. Eating Junk Food: What you get is lots of sugar and carbs. These will give you a big energy rush initially, but you will crash badly, and your energy will disappear. Avoid eating junk food and focus on eating healthy meals.
6. Skipping Breakfast: While many people insist that skipping breakfast and only drinking coffee provides enough energy. Actually, this is not true. Even a small breakfast of protein and whole grain will give sustained longer-lasting energy throughout the morning.
These energy “suckers” are more difficult to fox, for they involve changes in attitudes and psychologically ingrained habits. Still, they can be modified with persistence.
1. Being a “people pleaser.” You may be one of those people who cannot say “no” to anyone or who has an abiding need to “fix” everything for everyone. This is exhausting, saps your energy, and can leave you resentful and prone to anger. Most of us have human empathy for others and want to help when there are problems and crises. But if you do this to the point where you are sacrificing your free time, your relaxation, your financial well-being, and your personal desires, you will be emotionally exhausted, lacking in energy and resentful.
You must practice saying “No,” out loud to yourself – in the mirror, in the car – anywhere – until it can “roll off your tongue” more easily. Practice it with a friend. And when someone has a crisis, help only to the extent that it will not be a burden to you.
2. Denying problems and worries: You can “put on a happy face” and hold it all in, but it will take its toll on your energy. Identify the reasons for your unhappiness or worry and write them down. There is great psychological benefit to “getting them out,” if only on paper. Once they are visible, you may find that you can begin to form solutions. You can also read 10 Natural Ways To Boost Endorphins.
3. Dredging Up Old Pain or Waiting for Some Desired Future: Why? Will it change anything? Living “in the now” and focusing on today will give you the energy you need to be productive. Focusing on the past or the future saps mental energy, and productivity definitely declines.
4. Resisting Change: Change is inevitable, and resisting it simply saps the energy you need to adapt to it. You cannot prevent it, so use your energy to determine how you will accept, adapt and embrace it.
5. Focusing on the Negative: How exhausting it is to spend one’s day focusing on everything that is wrong! It stalls – keeps a person stuck in misery. It may be terribly hard to do, but you must find ways to put positive thoughts in your head. One “trick” that might work for you is to put signs in significant places the word “Gratitude” on your refrigerator door can bring to mind those things that you do have, those great people who are in your life, your health, etc. A small sign on your bathroom mirror with the name of someone who has impacted your life or a recent success can start your day right. For more information you can read How To Build a Positive Attitude.
6. Toxic Relationships: We all have those in our lives who drain us with their problems, their needs, and their demands. These are horribly draining, so limiting contact and communication is really necessary. Stay away from relationships that drain you out, find people that make your day brighter.
Energy is what allows us to move forward, to accomplish tasks, and to achieve goals. High energy people are positive, optimistic, and see possibilities. Be one of those!
Featured image from Faris Algosaibi