Today’s book lesson is inspired by the book, “The Happiness Track” by Emma Seppala.
This book had a huge effect on me when I read it, and I scored it very highly in my review.
“The Happiness Track” contains lots of valuable lessons that helped me understand that I don’t need to be quite so much of a workaholic. Instead, the book looks at “How to Apply the Science of Happiness to Accelerate Your Success,” and here’s one of the key takeaways that I found to be the most helpful.
Restore your mental energy
Did you know that your brain burns more energy than any other organ in your body? In fact, your brain saps your body of around 20% of your total energy.
Most of us have experienced mental tiredness when we just can’t summon up the mental energy that we need to concentrate on a task or complete something that we’re working on. In this scenario, we lose access to our ‘executive’ functions. (Thankfully, the automatic stuff, like breathing, keep on running!)
Why is an energized brain so important?
When your brain is energized, you enjoy the following benefits:
- You can make smart decisions
- You can predict outcomes
- You can notice connections
- You can regulate your emotions
- You can focus your attention
When your brain is suffering from energy depletion, you experience problems that mirror the benefits listed above, but in reverse:
- You make unwise decisions
- You can’t see the implications
- You lose the thread in connections
- You react impulsively
- You have distracted attention
So, you can see that in order to function at our optimum, we need our brains to be energized.
Should you find yourself experiencing any of the negative traits in the second list, here are a few tips to help you restore your mental energy and help to get you back focused again.
BUT FIRST – Give your brain what it needs
Before we get into the tips, it’s important to make sure that we have the basics covered and we are giving our brains what it needs in order to run properly.
By this, I mean good nutrition and an ideal amount of sleep and rest.
For your brain to get the energy it needs to function well, you need to sleep, eat, and drink properly. If you don’t have these basics covered first, then none of the tips that I am about to share will help!
Related Read: How to Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Tip #1 – Get positive!
Do something that makes you feel positive and good.
This can include going for a walk or watching a funny video. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as it leaves you feeling more positive.
Another example is to perform a random act of kindness. Not only can this make you feel more energized, but it can also help improve someone else’s day.
Tip #2 – Give your work a purpose
Some activities don’t tire you even though they require a lot of effort. This is because you love to do them. An example from the book is how you can come home from a long day at work, crave ice cream, and come up with the energy to go back out in the car and drive to the supermarket to buy some.
People have plenty of energy to do the things that they want to do.
So, when it comes to your work, try to take on tasks with the attitude that the work is something that you want to do, rather than something that you have to do.
A good way to do that is to refocus on the big picture of why you are doing that particular task. What’s the end goal that you want to achieve? Essentially, you need to give yourself a why for what it is that you’re working on.
Another example used in the book is of a University call center that raises money for financial aid. They brought in one of the recipients to explain the difference that the financial support had made in their life. After this talk productivity in the call center shot up – because the agents were given a why.
For me personally, I find that Googling and daydreaming about destinations that I would like to visit helps to motivate me. I remind myself that if I want to visit those luxurious places, then I need to put in the work in order to get there. This revitalizes me and gives me the energy needed to re-focus back on the task at hand.
Tip #3 – Practice gratitude
You must learn to be grateful!
An example is that you may be having a really bad day at the office, feeling totally fed up and completely depleted of energy. You may hate your job, but there are still things to be grateful for:
- You have a job when others don’t
- You might like your colleagues
- You might get other perks/benefits from your employment
Being grateful increases positive emotions and helps you to see the big picture.
Tip #4 – Detach from work when you’re not working
Although you might think that spending all day sitting behind your computer is good for your work, that’s also a surefire way of depleting your mental energy.
A study found that people who do not detach from work experience increased exhaustion over the course of a year.
Don’t be a workaholic! Instead, take time out to do things that you enjoy, and leave your work at the office.
In my case, that’s walking my dog, going out for some lunch, or recording a video for you guys. Whatever I do, I need to detach from my work and spend time doing other things that I enjoy.
Positively reflecting on your job after work hours can also help to replenish you.
Tip #5 – Spend time with the right people
Now, we’ve all experienced this! You just had a great day, and you feel fantastic. Then you talk to someone, and within ten minutes, you feel pants. It’s as though that person has sapped you of all your positivity and dragged you right down.
According to the book, you very rarely leave an interaction with the same feeling as you did when you entered that interaction. Some people can leave you feeling massively energized and ready to take on the world, whereas others can leave you feeling totally depressed and drained!
So, make a mental note of those who replenish and restore your energy and those who deplete and exhaust you. Then make sure you spend more time with the former, and less time with the latter.
Hopefully, the above tips will help you restore yourself the next time you are feeling depleted and drained of energy.
If you have any other tips that you would like to share, please do so in the comments below.