What do we mean when we use the term 'energy' in life coaching? By definition, energy is a power - a force that fuels life, actions, strength and vitality. Energy is the force behind motions and reactions; it moves the Earth, it keeps our feet on the ground, it heats our homes, lights up our cities and it even powers our bodies.
Energy is the stuff that powers us on every level - not just physically, but mentally, emotionally and spiritually too.
You'll notice in life that some people have the ability to motivate and inspire others just with their own enthusiasm and demeanour. These people are natural born leaders - they seem to be able to transform the feeling in a room immediately just with their presence. What these people naturally possess is 'positive energy'.
Not all of us possess this level of positive energy - for most of us it takes a lot of practice and concentration. However, with practice and the application of certain techniques, positive energy can be gained.
A life coach will look at how you can improve your positive energy levels by asking...
- What is currently draining your energy and what is boosting it?
- How do you channel your energy?
- How do you want positive energy to benefit you?
By learning how to stem negative energy and generate positive energy, you could be in a better position to reach your full potential in all aspects of life - from your performance at work, to the quality of your love life and friendships. It takes time and practice to control your energy levels but with the help of a life coach, you could finally reach your potential.
Energy comes in many different forms. For example, when we close a door we generate kinetic (movement) energy, when we flip a light switch we generate electrical energy and when we strike a match, we generate thermal and light energy. Every action that occurs in the world - from the dividing of two cells in a womb, to the breaching of a humpback whale in the Atlantic ocean, is fuelled by this force we call energy. The whole world is driven by forces that react and transform on a minute level to create movement and change. Even in your body right now, billions of chemical reactions are taking place to ensure you keep breathing, digesting food, seeing, feeling and thinking. Energy is controlling everything happening in your brain - your opinions, your thoughts and your emotions. It is, essentially, making you you.
During life coaching, you may be asked to think about what gives you your energy. What makes you feel alive, invigorated and energised? On the other end of the scale, what drains you and leaves you feeling tired and unmotivated? Sometimes we just don't know why we feel exhausted - but fatigue can impact life horribly. By thinking and talking about different aspects of our lives, we can start to identify where the energy boosts and drains are.
What leaves you feeling drained of energy? Are there certain people you find exhausting to be around? Are there certain parts of your life that particularly get you down? It can help to look at the things getting you down in life so you can focus your energies away from them and towards the things that make you happy.
Work can be tiring - after all, that is the nature of work. We carry out tasks all day that can't always be easy, fun, or interesting. If you feel bored, undervalued, out of your depth or just plain unhappy at work, it may be time to reconsider your situation. Staying put in a job you dislike for too long can cause your energy to stagnate, leaving you stuck in a rut.
A life coach will help you to re-engage with your energy levels, so you can focus on changing your situation. Perhaps you need to learn better negotiation skills, better time-management, or better leadership qualities; perhaps you need the motivation to quit your job and start an entirely new venture altogether.
Although our families are important and valuable parts of our lives, it can't always be cushy. In fact, family problems can be a massive energy drain. Arguments, divorce, changing family dynamics and problems with unruly teenagers can all take their toll.
- Health problems
Mental and physical health problems can be big energy drains. Depression and anxiety often result in the inability to sleep, while physical pain and disability can be extremely exhausting emotionally as well as physically.
- Relationship problems
Relationships, or lack of, can often entirely consume our thoughts. How are we supposed to reach our full potentials at school, work, or elsewhere, if we spend all our time feeling sad, anxious, or worried about relationship problems?
Life coaching can help you to channel those negative feelings into positive activities. For example, going for a run when you feel angry is a better idea than making a scene, just as enjoying a night out with your friends is better than moping on the sofa when you feel sad. A bad relationship is a bad energy drain and unless you do something about it, you will continue to feel low.
After identifying parts of your life that sap you of energy, you can look at what makes you feel good. What puts the spring back in your step? What gives you the motivation and inclination to get out there and do things? There are lots of different things that give people energy, from certain activities to the company of certain people. Here are some of the most common energy boosts:
On a biological level, most of the energy in our body comes from the food we eat. Our bodies are essentially walking, talking energy generators - they take in nutrients from food and then convert those nutrients into energy.
How else would you be sitting here, reading these words? Right now, your nervous system is using energy from food molecules to process the scene you see in front of you. Your nerve cells need this energy to pass light from the outside world to your brain, where those light messages can be translated into colours, shapes, depth and movements to form a picture that makes sense to you.
There's plenty of scientific evidence to suggest that different foods have different effects on how we feel and function in everyday life. Most of you will know from personal experience that some foods make you feel drained and groggy, while others give you a fresh boost.
If, during your life coaching sessions, you come to the conclusion that your diet is impacting your energy levels, your life coach may suggest you investigate a diet change.
True, exercise does burn energy - that's why we need to eat enough to keep going all day. However, it is not necessarily an 'energy drain'. In fact, exercise is generally thought to boost energy levels. Scientists from the University of Georgia, U.S. even claim it can help energise people suffering from fatigue-associated conditions like cancer and heart disease. Researcher Tim Puetz, PhD, wrote that people in today's society are too keen to reach for the coffee or energy bars for a boost when really they should be reaching for their trainers.
Although exercise might drain your physical energy initially, scientific research shows that in the long run, regular exercise can boost general energy levels. Think about how you feel after spending the day slobbing out on the sofa. Surely you'd have felt more lively and awake if you'd been for a brisk walk out in the sunshine?
- Pleasant environment
Where you live is just as important as how you live. 'Feng Shui' is an Ancient Chinese belief based on the idea that there are energy pathways flowing through everything in the world, including me and you. This energy is known as 'chi'. People who practice Feng Shui believe that the way they position their homes and possessions can affect the quality of their energy. Clutter and disorder is thought to block chi pathways and result in unhappiness and ill health.
Your life coach might ask you about your living environment. Are you happy where you live? Do you have a good cleaning routine? Do you feel relaxed in your home? One simple way to boost your energy levels in the home is to throw away old things you don't really need and have a thorough clean. Living in a pleasant environment can help:
- boost your creative energy
- relax and de-stress you
- prevent you from misplacing or losing important things, which can have negative repercussions on other areas of life.
How you channel your energy
We all have 'energy' but some of us have more negative than positive energy, leading to problems in life. During you session your life coach might ask questions about how you channel your energy.
Do you channel your energy negatively?
If you don't learn to use your energy constructively, chances are you will use it destructively. If it is not channelled properly, excess energy can lead to frustration and unhappiness. It could also lead to destructive activities, like binge drinking, smoking, gambling and drug abuse.
Do you channel your energy positively?
- physical activity
Learning to channel your energy into positive emotions is an important part of life coaching. If you can learn to think positively, you can ultimately change your behaviour and, in turn, improve the direction and quality of your life. Soon, you will find that these positive emotions and constructive activities will take up so much of your energy that you simply won't need to channel it in negative ways.
Benefits of positive energy
Have you ever wondered what your life would be like if you had more energy? Often, the more energy we have, the more productive we become. Energy allows us to communicate more effectively, it gives us the confidence to say what we mean and to be the best possible version of ourselves. When we feel drowsy and drained, we switch off. We stop concentrating, we miss things, we avoid taking risks and we lose out on opportunities that we might otherwise have taken, had we had the energy.
Life coaches help clients become more energised using a variety of different techniques, including:
- NLP - reprogramming thoughts and behaviours.
- Meditation - escaping the destructive internal voice.
- Interviewing - getting to the core of the problem through specific questioning.
- Motivation - using motivation techniques to inspire new ways of thinking.
With revitalised energy levels, you might find it less of a struggle to tackle the things holding you back in life. You could benefit in the following ways:
- Improve performance at work - Become more alert, more creative and more ambitious.
- Improve leadership skills - Have the confidence to take control and lead other people in a positive direction. If your work team is stagnating, be the breath of fresh air to turn it around.
- Be a better communicator - Social situations can be stressful - you might stress over whether you're saying the right things or coming across well. It takes a high level of positive energy to communicate well.
- Enjoy yourself - Accept social invitations, start evening classes, take up hobbies that you wouldn't have had the confidence or energy to start before. Having energy gives you the chance to enjoy life a little more.
- Keep fit and healthy - Making the decision to reach for your trainers and tracksuit instead of the TV remote is a tough one, but with plenty of positive energy racing through your veins, you'll be raring to go.
- Make changes to your life - Perhaps you have something you've always wanted to do - write a book, travel the world, start a business. It takes a lot of effort to succeed in life and a lot of effort requires a lot of energy. With life coaching you could develop the motivation and confidence to achieve your ambitions.
When there are too many energy drains in your life, you can find yourself falling into a rut. Life can wash by surprisingly quickly. When we are young and full of energy, we believe we can do and be anything. As time goes on, many of us slow down the pace and fall into our routines. It takes guts and energy to break free, but if that is what you truly want - to add a little wind to your sails, then with the help of a life coach, you could make it happen.
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