Emotional Energy? Really? Yes.
Not only does emotional energy exist, but it is also one of the most basic forms of human energy!
Generally, we think that energy is something physical.
The world is full of mechanical or electrical energy devices like cars and PCs that source their energy from physical sources. It can make us think our body’s energy is also purely physical. While in fact, according to researchers like Mira Kirshenbaum, we actually source more energy from our emotions than physical sources.
Hard to believe?
Read on to find out what emotional energy is and how your emotional energy makes you happier in life, more productive, and more successful at work.
What is emotional energy?
Emotional energy is the energy we source from our emotions. Actually, the word emotion originates from the Latin emovere, which means energy in motion. Different emotions vibrate at different frequencies and can negatively or positively affect our energy levels.
By tapping into our emotions, we can increase or decrease our body’s energy level. Therefore, our emotions have the potential to boost our emotional energy or drain it.
To better understand it, let’s start with a short exercise:
Do you have days when you feel on top of the world? Or days when nothing goes right?
Think about your past experiences (jobs, relationships, etc.). Before, they likely felt more important. A matter of life and death. But from today’s perspective, perhaps they’re less important.
Do you remember what you were feeling at the time? What were the underlying emotions?
Do you remember the passion, power, and drive you felt on the happy days? Or the apathy, impotence, and laziness of the bad ones?
Undoubtedly, we are highly energetic on our happy days and fatigued on the bad ones. Some events have more potential to generate positive emotions, and some tend to cause negative thoughts.
If a relative dies, or you have been just fired, or you got divorced, it can be challenging to find positive feelings. In the same way, it is easy to be euphoric when you get promoted or have won the lottery.
As you can see, the events themselves have no energetic effect on us. Rather our energy increases or drains solely by the feelings and sensations we generate in our brains. Our energy, at the time, had nothing to do with our physical form.
The measurable energy of our emotions
Dr. Hawkins’s work highlighted how a person’s energy increases as that person experiences more positive emotions. Similarly, it also showed that cells actually died when a person experienced negative emotions.
The first step is to understand our emotions, where they come from, and how they affect us, our work, physical health, and overall well-being.
What are the main emotions, and how do they affect emotional energy?
Do you still have doubts about how emotions affect our body engines? We have developed a simple framework to manage yourself in your own personal emotional jungle.
Manager Up’s emotional energy framework
This framework considers the key emotions we experience daily and maps their potential influence on our emotional energy.
What did I find? Generally, there are four possible results of our emotions.
Your energy will boost when you experience intense positive emotions like passion or enthusiasm. On the flip side, intense negative emotions (rage or grief) will drain your emotional powerhouse.
When your emotions are positive, but their intensity is low, you put your body into recharging mode. Negative emotions of low intensity cause an energetic shutdown, which leads to procrastination.
Your objective should be to generate positive emotions of different intensities.
Why is it important to master emotional energy?
It decides your (un)happiness!
Emotional energy decides if you feel happy or depressed.
Happiness or unhappiness is a subjective feeling that you generate in your brain. It has nothing to do with the position you have at your job or the amount of money in your bank account. It has nothing to do with the reality around you.
Have you ever heard the saying “poor people are happier than rich people”? Regardless of your money, you need to learn to control your emotions and emotional energy.
It makes you more productive and successful.
You can go the extra mile at work if your emotional energy level is high.
Do you remember the last time you were passionate about an important strategic project? You were happy to put in the extra time. You did not count the hours, and you delivered before the deadline.
Emotional energy is free!
It does not need any special diet or strenuous physical exercise. All you have to do is to connect to the right emotions.
Do you often feel tired without any physical reason? Maybe your subjective emotions are driving you down. All you have to do is to tap into the right part of your brain and access positivity instead. It is easier said than done, though. Later, I will explain why.
Note: Feeling tired may have specific medical reasons; you should visit your physician if you always feel tired.
Is it easy to control your emotional energy?
It is anything but easy.
On the one hand, we often overestimate the importance of some events (both positive and negative) which happen around us.
Why can’t we see things in a cold, objective way?
Because the main factor that influences your perception of the world is YOU and YOUR EMOTIONS.
On the other hand, our bodies don’t allow us to be in high spirits for a long time. This is a physiological defect linked to our flight or fight instincts. Our brain scans the world continuously for threats. That’s why we feel negative emotions several times a day. And it can be very difficult to manage them.
How to boost your emotional energy?
The most important thing you need to do is learn your triggers. Specifically triggers of negative emotions. When you completely understand the behaviors or events that cause your emotional motor to “stutter,” you can address the underlying cause.
What does this mean? Since we know that our physical world has no energetic effect, we take charge of how we feel instead. Simply put, you draw your own emotional conclusion. That emotional conclusion will determine if your emotional energy soars or plunges.
Emotional energy triggers
Let’s look at some examples of emotional energy drainers and ways you can boost them.
Solve any unresolved issues!
Is there anything in your life that has been hanging over your head like a Damocles sword for a long time?
Is there an important medical examination you are afraid of? Maybe there are some important financial issues you need to solve. Maybe there is something at work you need to confront? Or maybe there is a hidden emotional issue in your current relationship?
The list of potential unsolved issues is very long. Every time you think about these issues, your mood will go down. If you procrastinate, it will eat you up emotionally.
Solution: Take action and boost your emotional energy to be happier right now!
Refrain from dwelling on the past.
Do you still think about events from the past repeatedly?
How do you feel when you start thinking about past events?
Angry? Frustrated? Unhappy?
Stop! You’re committing emotional suicide by reliving this old pain repeatedly.
Solution: Talk to someone to ease the burden. Sometimes, it is enough to say, “Yesterday was yesterday, and today is today!” But in other cases, you may need help from a friend, a family member, or even a psychologist.
Mind the way you interreact with others
Do you think it is easier to catch someone’s emotions or their cold?
While there is probably no official study on that, my bet would be the former!
It is very easy to transfer our emotional energy to others, and others can easily transfer their emotional energy to us.
Do you remember the best motivational speech you have ever heard? Or maybe someone shared something extremely sad with you. Was their voice quivering, or were they crying?
Do you remember how you felt in both cases? You certainly were strongly influenced by the emotions of the person. Emotional energy is contagious, and it works both ways. You are influenced by another person, and another person is influenced by you.
A breakfast argument with a family member can limit your productivity for the day ahead. At the same time, a positive and happy conversation can do wonders for productivity.
Solution: Do you know which colleagues or family members can cause your energy to soar? Spend more time with them and boost your emotional energy!
Don’t worry about the future
Unfortunately, worrying is a part of human nature. It is most likely related to our survival instinct.
But did you know that ALMOST ALL the things we worry about never happen?
Please read again: ALMOST ALL the things you worry about will never materialize.
You don’t believe me, do you?
Science has confirmed that more than 85% of the things we worry about will never happen.
Solution: Let go of your worries. Practice mindfulness and learn to acknowledge your worries and then let them go. Mindfulness is a powerful tool that teaches you to simply experience your emotions. You learn to accept them without associating any negative feelings with them.
Do not feel guilty about anything.
Do you work long hours and sacrifice your family life? When you come home, do you feel guilty?
As you can see in our emotional energy framework, the feeling of guilt can lead to energy drain or procrastination.
Solution: Establish rituals at work and at home. Let me give you an example.
Find time to have breakfast with your family to connect with them and discuss their plans for the day. It will make you feel good about being a good parent and closer to your family members.
If a joint breakfast is impossible, make sure you have dinner with them during 2-3 workdays.
If someone feels exhausted, I always recommend checking their emotional state first. You should do this before starting any diet or exercise program.
It’s true. Both diet and exercise can do wonders for your health and energy. However, you need to resolve underlying energy issues first to be able to reach your maximum energy potential.
Track your emotions daily. Be aware of how they influence your energy levels. You can use Manager Up’s Emotional Energy framework to learn how your emotions affect your productivity and success.