9 Habits That Drain Your Energy

Have you noticed that different activities and experiences in life nourish your energy, whilst others drain you of energy? Not sure what I mean?

Let’s use the metaphor of a battery. At the start of the day imagine you have 100% charge. Then as you go through the day, every experience – interaction, activity, conversation – and all of the thought patterns, emotions and behaviours that go with them, can either give you or deplete you of your energy. So your charge is either increasing or decreasing. Following are 9 habits that drain your energy.


9 Habits that Drain Your Energy –

1. The Habit of Worrying

If you are a habitual worrier, you may already be familiar with the following definitions of worrying –

  • “causing anxiety about actual or potential problems; alarming.” ~ Google and Oxford Dictionaries
  • to torment oneself with or suffer from disturbing thoughts; fret ~ Dictionary.com
  • “To feel uneasy or concerned about something; be troubled ~ The Free Dictionary

Is there anything you would add to these definitions of worrying?

Do you agree that worrying drains your energy?


2. The Habit of Making Excuses

Excuses appear real and they are to the ego. They are a long list of explanations and defenses we create to protect us from vulnerability or being truly seen. There are many excuses from “I’m too old” to “I don’t have enough… (money, knowledge etc.).

Excuses are draining and unless we are willing to untangle from them, can hold you back from leading a happy and fulfilling life.


3. The Habit of Trying to Be Perfect –

Perfectionism is hard to define, however the following definition gives some good insights –

  • “A disposition to regard anything short of perfection as unacceptable; especially: the setting of unrealistically demanding goals accompanied by a disposition to regard failure to achieve them as unacceptable and a sign of personal worthlessness.” ~ Merriam-Webster Medical Dictionary
  • “A personal standard, attitude, or philosophy that demands perfection and rejects anything less.” ~ Dictionary.com
  •  “Refusal to accept any standard short of perfection.” ~ Oxford Dictionaries

In the above definitions of perfectionism, you probably noticed the words –

  • unrealistically demanding goals,
  • a sign of personal worthlessness, and
  • rejection or refusal of anything less (than perfectionism).

Perfectionism is very draining and creates stress and suffering in your life. Which is why it is useful to start to untangle from it!


4. The Habit of Checking Social Media –

Have you ever noticed how you feel when you are checking your social media?

One of my friends said to me the other day that she doesn’t check her social media anymore “as everyone else has great lives and she doesn’t”. Of course I found that interesting and discussed it further with her. However, it also appears she is not the only one feeling this way.

Whilst social media is a great tool for connecting and staying in touch with friends, it is also important to realise that too much can cause stress, depression and anxiety. Research has found social media can affect a person’s mood, increase stress levels and negatively affect a person’s sense of self worth.

With this in mind, it is important to monitor your checking of social media and take breaks from it. Maybe even go on a social media detox for an hour, day, week or month? Remember – to identify what is OK for you as removing social media entirely, may also increase your stress!


5. The Habit of Overcommitting – 

Have you ever heard yourself saying, “Sure I can do that” or “No worries, I can do that as well.” Then later on as you look at your diary, you realise that trying to fit that extra thing in to your schedule leaves you feeling anxious, lacking energy or stressed out?

Over-committment is a habit that many of us are challenged with. It can effect your health, work, stress levels, relationships as well as your sanity.


6. The Habit of Comparison

What have you noticed to your energy when you compare your self to other people? For me, I feel quite drained. It can also lead to animosity, jealousy, competition and resentment. Underneath comparison is quite often a belief or sense we are not enough as we are, which is created by the ego, inner critic or monkey mind.

In his book, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose, Eckhart Tolle talks about the ego and the roles it plays. He says – 

“Why does the ego play roles? Because of one unexamined assumption, one fundamental error, one unconscious thought. That thought is I am not enough. Other unconscious thoughts follow: I need to play a role in order to get what I need to be fully myself; I need to get more so I can be more. But you cannot be more than you are because underneath your physical and psychological form, you are one with Life itself, one with Being. In form, you are and will always be inferior to some, superior to others. In essence, you are neither inferior nor superior to anyone. True self-esteem and true humility arise out of that realisation. In the eyes of the ego, self-esteem and humility are contradictory. In truth, they are one and the same.” 


7. The Habit of Control

Quite often in life we think we have control over many things, however have you ever sat down and really reflected on what you have control over? When I talk about control, I am referring to influencing the outcomes I would like through my decisions, skills, attitude, work ethic and actions. When something is outside of my control the outcome is left up to “fate” and I have little influence on the outcome.

A few years ago when I was being challenged by control and feeling a deep sense of responsibility for things outside of my control, the following quote came in to my life –

“I can find only three kinds of business in the universe: mine, yours and God’s. Much of our stress comes from mentally living out of our business. When I think, “You need to get a job, I want you to be happy, you should be on time, you need to take better care of yourself,” I am in your business. When I’m worried about earthquakes, floods, war, or when I will die, I am in God’s business. If I am mentally in your business or in God’s business, the effect is separation.” ~ Byron Katie


8. The Habit of Approval Addiction

Approval addiction is something I am quite familiar with and it used to drain a lot of my energy. Not sure what it is?

In her book, Approval Addiction: Overcoming Your Need to Please Everyone, Joyce Meyer indicates “an addiction is something that controls people – it is something they feel they cannot live without, or something they feel driven to do in order to relieve pressure, pain, or discomfort of some kind. Someone addicted to drugs, for instance, will do whatever he needs to in order to get another “fix” when he begins to feel uncomfortable. Likewise, someone addicted to alcohol will feel compelled to have a drink when life’s problems begin to rise up and stare him in the face. The substance that people are addicted to helps relieve their pain momentarily, but then a damaging, controlling cycle starts in their life. Approval addiction is much the same, but instead of running to drugs, alcohol, gambling, or eating to heal the hurt, those who suffer from it seek people’s approval. When they feel unsure and shaky about themselves, they look for a “fix” – they seek out someone to comfort them and reassure them everything is all right and they are acceptable.”

In a few words – “approval addiction” is when a person feels unsure about themselves and then seeks a “fix” or “high” through approval from another person.

Can you relate? Is it something you think would be useful to untangle from?


9. The Habit of Taking Things Personally

Don Miguel Ruiz first taught me about this draining habit. In the book the Four Agreements he writes… –

“Whatever happens around you, don’t take it personally… Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves. All people live in their own dream, in their own mind; they are in a completely different world from the one we live in. When we take something personally, we make the assumption that they know what is in our world, and we try to impose our world on their world.

Even when a situation seems so personal, even if others insult you directly, it has nothing to do with you. What they say, what they do, and the opinions they give are according to the agreements they have in their own minds…Taking things personally makes you easy prey for these predators, the black magicians. They can hook you easily with one little opinion and feed you whatever poison they want, and because you take it personally, you eat it up….”

Then you start to realise, you need to trust yourself and not take things personally.


Over to You…

Which of these habits drain your energy?

Please note, once you recognise draining habits, it is important to get to the root cause of them, as ultimately they are giving you a clue about your life.

What helps you get to the root cause is creating and honouring your boundaries, which requires discernment and practice. It is also important to practice self responsibility, radical self acceptance and to learn how to be fully present in your physical body, attuned to your own emotions, thoughts, and needs.


If you are ready to reconnect with your courage and take the next step towards freedom and opening your heart, why not join our Toolkit?

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