Boost your energy levels

Designed by psychologist Wendy Shooter, the My PowerBar app helps you gain a better understanding of your personal energy, and offers clever tips to boost your mood, so you can take responsibility for your own wellbeing. Shooter explains more here...

by Psychologies

Our PowerBar represents the level of power, vitality and capacity we feel in any given moment. It can vary day to day, hour by hour and minute by minute. There are lots of things that impact on the level of our PowerBar. To really understand this, we need to think about our power and energy in a more defined and precise way. A helpful way to break it down is to consider our mental, emotional, spirit and physical energy levels separately. When we understand which energies are low, we know which ones to boost to make a real impact.

When our Mental PowerBar is high, we are focused and clear thinking, solving problems even before they have registered as an issue. A low Mental PowerBar can mean the attention span of a goldfish, feeling overwhelmed, or being just plain stuck.

Boosters for our Mental PowerBar include taking ‘5 Magic Minutes’ to stop and reflect on what you got done that day, and plan out what needs to happen tomorrow. We humans have a tendency to focus on what we haven't achieved; when we focus on what we did achieve, it gives us an energy boost that enables us to get more done. This sense of achievement also helps us be more comfortable about leaving the stuff we didn’t get done today.

Making the plan for tomorrow will mean you don’t go home with whirring thoughts of the things you still need to do. Sometimes we have a lot of mental activity about ‘stuff’ we need to do, but when we stop and make a list, we might realise there are actually only three things on it and suddenly they feel perfectly achievable!

Emotional PowerBars are  interesting, because when they are high, it is like a still pool of calm. At these times, we are patient and cooperative, happy to listen to others and generally at ease. The Emotional PowerBar is more noticeable when it is low – this is when we get the impatience, anxiety and blaming behaviours. Great energy-boosters for this PowerBar are acts of generosity and kindness; they will truly make a difference for you, and the emotional energy of those around you too. Just hearing about the good deeds of others, who are nothing to do with us, gives this energy a boost, so remember how great it feels when it is you who is acting in a generous or kind way to another person. A simple one is to give way to someone, either in the car, through a doorway, or just letting them express their view before you.

We recognise the role of our human spirit in our lives when we use phrases like ‘she put her heart into it’ or ‘his spirit was broken’. What we often don’t do is see the importance of actively taking care of it. A low Spirit PowerBar is when we don’t feel heard or valued, and sometimes feel separate to others sharing the same space. When it is high our enthusiasm pulsates, we are inspired and feel we are really contributing and making a difference in the world. It is so important to do things we enjoy and feed our Spirit PowerBar. This is as important as going to the gym and eating vegetables.

Think about what you enjoy. Now, think about your whole week and how much time you spend doing things you enjoy. If you are not sure, keep a ‘joy jotter’. Each night, write down what you did that day that you enjoyed. If you don’t spend time doing what you enjoy, your spirit PowerBar will never stay high, which will bring down your whole level of power and energy.

The Physical PowerBar is the one we tend to focus on when we think about our energy levels. It is the sense of physical vitality and strength, rather than tired, achey, toxic and limited. Getting a good night’s sleep is massively important for this energy. For some reason, people can see sleep as an indulgence, rather than an essential ingredient to being energised and engaged. Work out what time you need to go to bed to get the hours you need to feel powerful and energised. This is the time you need to be lights out, eyes closed – not the time you get off the sofa, potter about and start getting ready for bed!

Wind down for an hour leading up to lights-out time and this includes avoiding electronic equipment. If you have your phone on in your bedroom, you are unlikely to have a proper night’s sleep, as the little alert bleeps will keep you out of REM sleep (where rejuvenation happens).

It is easy to look after your PowerBars – the first step is to connect to where they are. Where are each of your four PowerBarsright now? Are any of them low? If so, then do something to boost that energy. Ideas of how to raise each of your four energies can be found in the free My PowerBar App, as well as a simple check-in prompt. This will enable you to have more PowerBar up days, and have the energy to really make things happen and be the person you want to be.

For more information, see mypowerbar.co.uk and for more on the app, see mypowerbar.co.uk/the-app

Photograph: Istock



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