Separating the Good from the Bad
It is important to be able to distinguish which things in your life are contributing to your health and which things are detracting from it. So the first step in helping yourself obtain a lifestyle you love is to make a complete and thorough list of all the things that are beneficial to you life and health, and all the detrimental things in your life.
To help you get clear on this, I use the following, very simple but informative exercise. Take a piece of paper, date it and draw a vertical line down the center. At the top of the left column write “Good For Me,” and at the top of the right column, write “Bad For Me.” These can be physical or leisure activities, eating patterns, exercises, relationships, work, family, emotional patterns, attitudes, beliefs, dietary supplements, and any other things that make you feel good and contribute to your sense of well-being.
In the “good” column, list all things that bring you pleasure and add to your life, even if you haven’t done them for a while. Reach into your heart and health and find what makes you feel good and what you love in life.
In the “bad” column, list everything that seems detrimental to your health and well-being. Again, they can be physical, emotional, or attitudinal; they may be work or family related situations, relationships, eating and drinking patterns, or anything you are doing or are involved with that is not good for you.
If some aspects of a situation are good and some bad, separate them out. For example, you may have a job that you love, but the grueling hours and the fast pace are exhausting. In this case, put your job in the “good” column and the excess hours and high pressure demands in the “bad” column.
This is not a test. There is no maximum or minimum number of items to include. There is no pass or fail, no right or wrong answers. The more forthcoming you can be with information, the more you can help yourself.
Locating the Energy Robbers
Finding out what drains you and tires you out will help uncover the external factors using up your adrenal resources. In most cases of adrenal fatigue, there are life situations that are draining, such as being around a certain person or group, in a particular building or environment, at work or at home or in some other specific situation that leaves you feeling excessively tired or stressed.
These external factors are what I call the energy robbers. Energy robbers are like holes in the barrel preventing you from being full of energy. It is detrimental to keep demanding more and more energy from your body instead of just plugging as many of the holes as possible. Every time you eliminate or minimize one of these energy robbers in your life, it is like plugging one of the holes in the barrel, allowing your energy reserves to begin to rebuild. As you become aware of what is robbing you of your energy and make the necessary changes, you will see significant differences in your energy levels. Freeing yourself from the energy robbers in your life is much easier once you have identified them.
On a fresh sheet of paper, make a heading “Energy Robbers” and list everything and everyone in your daily life that takes away your energy. Many of these will be the same as the items you listed in the “bad” column earlier, but in this one, look at your life in terms of what makes you feel more tired or worn out. What or whom do you feel drained around? It can be anything from a food to a perfume, an activity, a nagging memory, a co-worker or a spouse. It may be a building, a room or a situation. There may be many heads to this dragon but it is worth the effort to see them clearly.
Three Things You Can Do to Eliminate Energy Robbers
Now that you are more aware of what and who is taking your energy, we can talk about some ways to deal with them. The most valuable thing I learned in Psychology 101 is that there are three things that you can do when you are in a difficult situation:
1. You can change the situation
2. You can change yourself to fit (adapt to) the situation
3. You can leave the situation
Remember, stresses are additive and cumulative. Removing or neutralizing your largest source of stress will make a very significant difference to your adrenal glands and to you health and well-being. Most of the time, if you take care of the big ones, the smaller ones will take care of themselves. Your body has a natural ability to handle stress and remain healthy. It is only when the stresses are overwhelming in quantity, duration or intensity that the systems in your body start to break down.