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Energized or exhausted?

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Ask yourself this simple question. "Right at this moment, am I more energized or more exhausted?" Now ask it a different way. "On a typical daily basis, do I feel more energized or more exhausted?"

The answer to this simple question can be extremely enlightening. On a daily basis, we sometimes tend to accept how we feel as … well, just how we are. Like "That's how I am. It’s me. So what?"

Yet if you're a person who often feels exhausted, this simple question may open up a teeny little window of possibility for better days ahead. You see, your natural state is one of energy, health, and vitality. If you feel exhausted, it's a red flag warning that something in your life isn’t working.

When you feel exhausted, that feeling is your signal that your energy is literally draining out of your body. Life-force energy. Vitality. Aliveness. You don’t want that! Allowing your energy to drain away leaves you vulnerable to all kinds of opportunistic conditions and situations you’d surely rather avoid.

Exhaustion is a little different from fatigue. When you’ve worked in the garden all day, or taken the dog for a brisk walk, or completed an exercise class, then you might feel fatigued. It's a "good" tired that usually comes after physical exertion. After you’ve rested from fatigue, you feel refreshed.

Exhaustion doesn't resolve so easily. You’re tired to the bone. Not physically tired. The kind of tired that shows up after your boss calls you on the carpet yet again, or the third of three clients doesn’t show up for a scheduled appointment, or you find out your spouse is cheating on you. Or maybe all those events happen in one big shot.

Exhaustion, simply put, is a sign that something isn't going well in your life. Maybe several things. Had you been feeling more resilient, you could have handled this one little thing. But today, you're not.

Exhaustion can sneak up on you. You "think" you’re managing, until the one last little straw comes along to topple the whole load. Unfortunately, at that point, it may seem like you’re too exhausted to do anything about it.

Knowing that exhaustion is generally the result of cumulative stress, it makes sense to nip as many minor stressors in the bud as you can. (Turning stress into success, which creates resilience.) And that comes through two things: awareness and the learnable skill of managing your energy.

Elizabeth Eckert, author of Word Cures: How to Keep Stupid Excuses from Sabotaging Your Health, encourages people to banish energy-zapping life stress by tuning in to inner guidance. Get the 40-minute recording Manage Your Energy (Let Time Take Care of Itself) free with Word Cures. Get both free the Word Cures Action Pack.


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