Balancing Our Energies: Thinking about our four different types
To be honest, when I’ve thought about trying to find balance in my life, I’ve pretty much focused on dividing up my time. I’ve felt like I need more time to spend on my health, with my daughter and husband, taking care of finances, etc. After reading Tony Schwartz’s book, The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working, I now have a whole new perspective on the role that our energy plays.
This week, I wanted to continue the discussion on “Life Balancing” (vs work-life balance). As I mentioned two weeks ago, Schwartz talks about the four different kinds of energy we need to consider – physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. I’d never heard of energy broken into these categories before, but his explanation made sense. I can certainly remember situations where I had taken time to spend with my family but I wasn’t in the best mood (emotional energy), or I was thinking about work (mental energy), or I wasn’t focused on how much I appreciated them (spiritual energy).
I was intrigued to hear Schwartz describe balance as the rhythmic movement between the high and low versions of each energy type. The examples in parentheses are not set but there to give you ideas.
- Physical – moving between active energizing (playing, exercising, lean proteins) and resting (vacations, taking breaks, sleeping)
- Emotional – moving between high performance (engaged, challenged, optimistic) and renewal (carefree, mellow, receptive)
- Mental – moving between a targeted focus (analytical, task-oriented, logical) and a wide focus (imaginative, intuitive, open-ended)
- Spiritual – moving between reflecting on our values (patience, appreciation, gratitude) and expressing those values in our actions (being more patient, appreciative, and grateful).
Think about your the current state of each area of your life, and consider the information you captured in the worksheet from the tip two weeks ago. How could you use the ideas above for better balancing?
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Tina Hallis, Ph.D. is Chief Positivity Officer of The Positive Edge, a company dedicated to helping people and organizations increase their positivity to improve the quality of people’s work lives and the quality of company cultures. She is certified in Positive Psychology, an authorized partner for Everything DiSC®, and a Professional Member of the National Speaker’s Association