I talk a lot about developing healthy habits and routines. These help us to stay organized and on task.
However, there can come a time when some habits are no longer serving us. These are what I call “energy-draining” habits or activities.
Just because we’ve always done something a particular way, that doesn’t mean it’s the right way for us. In fact, it might even be holding you back and draining your energy, taking you away from other, more useful habits.
Here’s a look at how to identify energy-draining activities and, more importantly, how to reduce their impact on your life.
What Are Energy-Draining Activities?
Energy-draining activities can look different for everyone. Here are two examples:
Negative thoughts can become such an ingrained part of our way of thinking that we don’t even realize they are happening. Have you ever gone over and over a conversation or argument in your head, thinking of what you would say now? Have you ever over-analyzed a situation, wondering if you misunderstood it? Negative thoughts drain our energy and limit our productivity.
Another example is social media. While social platforms can be a wonderful way to stay in touch with friends and family, they can also spiral into endless scrolling and playing the comparison game. Neither of these activities is healthy!
Both of those scenarios are examples of energy-draining habits that really impact your way of thinking. Luckily, there are ways you can combat these tiresome activities.
How to Reduce Energy-Draining Activities in Your Life
Let’s talk about reducing those energy-draining negative thoughts.
First and foremost, try to stop taking things personally! It’s easy to take criticism to heart, particularly when it’s something we really care about, but someone else’s judgment says more about them than about you.
The next step is related to unlearning this negative way of thinking. Try to specifically limit the time spent thinking about problems.
We tend to spend a lot of time worrying, without it actually going anywhere useful. While dwelling on a problem that can be fixed can help you find a solution, going in circles is not helpful. Give yourself a clear timeframe of 15 minutes to be proactive and find a solution. Otherwise, you’ll spend all day worrying needlessly.
If you can’t solve the problem yourself, there’s another tip to try out. It can be tempting to complain and seek out sympathy, but this only projects more negativity onto your relationships and those around you.
Instead, seek advice and solutions from people you trust. Rather than simply heaping more negativity onto the situation, explain what’s happened clearly and concisely and see if they have any positive encouragement or ideas to improve it.
If social media is your energy-draining activity, it’s time to limit your time spent on these platforms. Use apps or tools like your phone’s built-in “screen time” tracker to identify where you’re spending time and set goals to reduce this, little by little, every day. Start by reducing your usage by 10-15 minutes/day. You can eventually work towards checking social media only on certain days/times. Trust me, this can make a big difference in your overall well-being and productivity!
The most important thing to remember in all of these examples is not to be passive. It’s your life, so take control of it and BECOME the positive change that you want to see!