Awesome You Be


   

Rediscover Your Inner EnergyCartoon: Dancing woman

By Jeffrey Baumgartner

Look at a group of kids interacting on a project. Chances are that they are running around, interacting with each other, laughing and moving continually. If you could tap into that energy, you could probably power a medium sized town. Now, look at a group of adults interacting with each other on a project. Chances are, they are sitting around a conference table, interacting solely by speaking, barely moving and only laughing when someone tells an in joke. If you could tap into that energy, you could barely power a nightlight.

What happened to that childhood energy? Why are children bursting with energy while adults become tired just thinking about all the things kids do? My hypothesis is that as we grow older, we repress that energy and doing so does bad things to us.

Repressed Energy Must Go Somewhere

As an individual grows older, she is taught to repress her inner energy. She sits at a school desk for ever longer periods of time. By the time she is a teenager, she is probably not even allowed out  into the school yard for free play and instead is obliged to follow the rules of gym class. Even if she has free time she is expected to act like an adult and acting like an adult means sitting still and being serious

What happens to that energy? Some of it goes to weight gain. If energy cannot be burnt off through activity it can turn into fat. Some of it builds up inside and turns into stress that leads to physical discomfort, pain and illness. I am sure some of it leads to illness.

So, if you are feeling stressed, out of shape and less healthy than you should, it may be because you are repressing your energy rather than expressing it. It is time to change. It is time to tap back into your energy and live a fuller, happier and healthier life.

Here are some things you can do to tap into that inner energy.

Dance Wildly and Freely

Feeling stressed from work? In part, that is because you have been repressing your energy by sitting at a desk or conference table all day long. Once you leave your desk, let that repressed energy out. Let it free. Dance by yourself or with a friend. Dance wildly and freely and feel the energy. Soon, the stress will dissipate in the dance. Sure, the emotional reasons behind the stress will remain. But the physical pain of stress will largely go away. You will feel way better.

Can't dance? Don't want to dance? Want to do more than dance? Then go for a swim. Go for a walk. Go for a jog. Do somersaults. Move. Move. Move!

Don't Email, Visit

At work, you are very likely tied to a desk where all of your energy is repressed into fat reserves, discomfort and stress. So, make it a habit to get up as often as possible. Need to communicate with a colleague? Don't email. Don't call. Walk  to her office or cubical or desk and pay a visit.

Need to meet with a colleague or two or three? Don't book a meeting room. Go for a walking meeting instead.

Visit the toilet often, even if you do not need to pee. Visit the water cooler often (which will facilitate toilet visits!)

If you are a manager, walk around the office and check in with your direct reports − not with suspicion, but to show interest and support. Ask them how they are getting on and praise their work. They will appreciate your support and your body will appreciate using its energy. And encourage your direct reports to get out of their desks often.

If you are not a manager, stick a couple of files under your arm and go walking around your office. Better still, if your manager is open minded, ask if you can go for a daily problem solving walk. Research has shown that people think more creatively when walking and most people find it hard to think creatively at their desks. As a result, a daily problem solving walk is not only a good way to make use of your inner energy, it is also more productive than sitting behind your desk.

Less Screen Time − More Energy Time

When you are at home, reduce the amount of time you spend in front of screens − be they TV, computer, tablet or smartphone screens −  and increase the amount of time you move. Go for walks. Dance. Play with kids. Work in the garden. Run. Ride your bike.

Before long you will feel better, look better and smile more often.

Comments below | Send feedback directly to Jeffrey



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