Every time you take on a project, a painting, a party, a plan, you are making an energy withdrawal. How do you avoid getting completely depleted in the midst of life’s demands, when the deadline is looming, the alarm clock is ringing and the to-do list is, well, let’s call it abundant.
Dial it down.
Dialing it down means turning down the intensity, getting gentle with ourselves and the task at hand. So often we use far more energy than we need to when taking on our day. Our bodies are tightly sprung as we lean into our computers, a little crease forms in our forehead as we churn to get something done. We fill up with anger and frustration at everything that gets in our way, pushing it aside with vigour or addressing it with resentment.
This physical and emotional intensity takes a toll.
But what happens if we dial it down? What if we get eco-friendly with ourselves and use only as much energy as the task at hand requires, no more? When you think of that, does something shift?
Dial Down Excess Physical Effort
One way to dial it down is to pay attention to what’s going on in your body and consciously relax the muscles that really don’t need to be a part of the activity. Your forehead doesn’t have to help you think or type. Give it the afternoon off.
Here’s an exercise to help you refine your sensitivity to this extraneous energy spending. Practice a familiar physical activity, like making your bed or brushing your teeth, with the intention of using the minimum effort possible while still completing the task well. Notice the difference as you release your shoulders, relax your tummy, close your eyes. You will be surprised how much these little releases bring moments of ease into your otherwise tense and stressful day.
Dial Down Emotional Intensity
So often we layer great swathes of emotion over an experience or activity. Not only are we working at the task at hand but we are also worried, defensive, resentful, disappointed and more – often all at the same time! It’s like trying to do chores in a hurricane! And every fresh obstacle that appears? Whoa! The energetic levels spike and and even more strain on our batteries.
As you go about your business, see if you can dial down the intensity by actively letting go of the emotions while you work. Take a deep breath and imagine yourself releasing the extra tension of each emotion.
Inhale. Exhale. Choose to let go of anger.
Inhale. Exhale. Choose to let go of fighting.
Inhale. Exhale. Choose to let go of anything other than the task at hand.
You can pick it all up later, if you wish to. This is not about neglecting or ignoring your feelings. This is about not making this moment any harder than it needs to be.
As you go through the tired, the hard, the challenging, don’t add any friction. Glide.
You’ll be amazed by the way dialing it down helps you conserve energy while still getting things done.