We all have a finite amount of mental, physical, and emotional energy. When life is stressful, effortful and demanding energy, it’s important to look for ways to conserve energy and find some sense of ease. Here are two ways to stop fighting life and one way to build energy in life. It’s all about finding some flow!
Acknowledge Emotions and Let Them Flow:
Emotions are part of daily life as a human. They aren't always pleasant but they are important. If we deny them or fight them or invalidate them, they (at best) lay dormant but are more likely to fester or cause extra suffering as they become more painful with time or prompt us to continue to numb them with addictions or eating disorders or other unhealthy coping skills. We can sidestep some of that extra suffering by practice mindfulness of emotions by:
- Acknowledging them
- Letting ourselves feel them in our heart and our body
- Validate them by acknowledging that there is likely a reason we feel how we do
- Let them go as a wave that comes and goes, without clinging to them or pushing them away
- Talk about them with people you trust so you can connect with others as vulnerable and authentic humans
Practice non-attachment and let life flow:
Try to notice when you are judging yourself or others or trying to control and micro-manage life or when you get rigid in your thinking of how life "should" be. All of those thinking patterns are generally ways we try to manage anxiety but only cause us suffering in the end. When you notice those, try this:
- Breathe. Release some tension that builds from attachment or judgement.
- Say some version of the serenity prayer (feel free to drop the religious part of it) "Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference"
- Let it go. Let it flow.
Get in the Zone and Let Your Mind and Body Flow:
Flow is a state of being present and in the zone. It’s about doing and being more than thinking or analyzing. It’s getting outside yourself and being fully emerged in the moment. It’s the experience of prolific writers, jam bands, the runner's high, the laser focus of someone in their sport. The cool thing is that flow states aren't necessarily random. They have been studies by scientists and specifically "The Flow Genome Project". You can get in the zone, which enhances mood and performance, by incorporating these key ingredients into your life:
- Intense and focused concentration on the present moment
- Merging of action and awareness
- A loss of reflective self-consciousness
- A sense of personal control or agency over the situation or activity
- A distortion of temporal experience, one's subjective experience of time is altered
- Experience of the activity as intrinsically rewarding
- "Immediate feedback"
- Feeling that you have the potential to succeed
- Feeling so engrossed in the experience, that other needs become negligible"
If you pick one way to let life flow or pick all of them, enjoy the ride!