Monday, March 14, 2011

Four Areas of Energy

There are four primary areas that our energy flows in. Physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. Each of these areas of our lives are interconnected. For example, we cannot function well emotionally if we have not had enough sleep physically or if we are incredibly hungry (just ask your 3 year old to be emotionally stable when he is hungry!).

A person who is truly energized experiences health in each of these areas. Being energized in one area helps enable us to be engaged in the other areas. 

In each of these four areas of our lives there are certain keys to experiencing full engagement and being energized. The keys to being physically engaged are different from the keys to being emotionally engaged. But one basic overriding principle for all of them is the principle of "engagement/renewal rhythm".

Work/rest balance
In each area we cannot maintain fully activated, energized states indefinitely. To achieve maximum engagement we actually need to engage for short periods of time followed by periods of renewal. Having a rhythm of renewal/rest and then active engagement and then back to renewal/rest is the key.

Physically, we need engagement such as exercise and action followed by periods of rest and renewal such as sleep or eating. Emotionally, we need engagement such as love, passion, relationships, purposeful work, caring for those in need and then renewal/rest in with things like time alone, music, or walks in the park (whatever refuels you emotionally). Mentally, we need engagement such as studying, working on a project or solving a problem and then periods of rest/renewal such as taking a 'brain break', recess, etc.. The the same principle applies spiritually.

Sometimes we try to go too hard for too long and we end up damaging ourselves because we do not have proper rest and renewal. Other times we get carried away with the rest and renewal and don't engage ourselves.

So evaluate yourself in each of these areas and ask,
Do I lean to over-engagement or under engagement? Do I need more challenge or more rest?