Word-Of-the-Week #783: Energy

August 8, 2019 by  

Energywhat you expend in response to a reaction. 

Did you think about your reaction to any negative events last week? Have you ever thought about how much energy you spend on complaining? Do you know that emotions are contagious?

This is the 2nd half of “Purge your complaints and refresh” by Sara Cagle.

To Recap: “If we all wore digital complaint trackers throughout the day — much like the Fitbits and similar devices that religiously count every step we walk — we’d probably be surprised by how much we moan about life’s daily irritations:

“A lot of people do get intimidated when they see the word ‘meditation,’ ” she said. “They think, ‘Oh, it’s too hard; my mind is constantly going.’ ”

“But “complaint cleansing is in the realm of meditating,” she said. “It’s just you being still with your thoughts, noticing them and noticing how they make you feel and where they’re coming from and how you can start to retrain your brain so you’re not complaining so much.”

Once you’ve noticed your incoming complaint, the second step in a complaint cleanse, according to Megan Monahan, meditation instructor and author of new book “Don’t Hate, Meditate!” is to decide whether the complaint is worth more energy. (It probably isn’t.)

“Imagine that every thought you have is either feeding a flower in your mind or a cactus. The thoughts that are based in love feed the flower. The thoughts that are based in fear feed the cactus,” Monahan said.

“You have an opportunity every time you have a thought to ask yourself, ‘What is that feeding in my life?’ ”

The final step, if you decide that your complaint deserves no more energy, is to practice gratitude. That could look like a gratitude journal, community service or treating a friend to coffee, Monahan said. It could also take a less tangible form.

“For the longest time, I was really intimidated by meditation, so what I did instead of focusing on my breath or any of the other meditation techniques is I would just wake up, hit snooze on my alarm and think of things that I’m grateful for,” Roman said.

The things you express gratitude for can be as important as friends, family and health or as simple as the color of your bedroom wall, the taste of an apple or the sound of your favorite song. It’s not about the content of your thoughts, Roman said. It’s about the peaceful emotion that your thoughts elicit.

“Just like complaining trains your brain to look for more things to complain about, having a gratitude practice trains your brain to look for things you’re grateful for, so it’s absolutely the antidote [to complaining],” she said.

You won’t just improve your own mental health when you stop complaining and start showing gratitude. Experts say your positivity is contagious.

Roman likes to spread the power of complaint cleansing in the grocery store checkout line. Instead of complaining about the weather or the price of avocados, she suggests mentioning how happy you are to see the sun shining or a sale on your favorite brand of chips. It could affect the person you’re talking to more than you think.

“Most people have no idea how powerful they are,” Monahan said. “Without doing anything other than embodying that which you want to see more of, you can totally change someone’s experience of life.”

This week’s focus is on your energy. Are you wasting good energy on negative events? Can you imagine that every thought you have is either feeding a flower in your mind or a cactus? How often do you spend time thinking about what you’re grateful for?

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