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The Link Between Emotion and Energy
If you want to start feeling more energetic and getting more done then it is important to think about the way you are managing your emotion. Emotion and energy levels are intimately linked and understanding this connection is the key for many people who want to feel more awake and productive.
Why Emotion Affects Energy
The brain is essentially a large web of connected neurons that psychologists call the ‘connectome’. This connectome fires as we experience various things in the world or as we remember certain things and this then creates a variety of different subjective experiences for us. At the same time though, our brain’s unconscious processes pay close attention to the nature of what we’re focused on and then produce neurotransmitters accordingly. If what you’re seeing is important then your brain will produce things like dopamine which make us more motivated and help us to remember things better. If what we’re seeing makes us scared and is at all associated with pain or bad things happening, we’ll produce norepinephrine (adrenaline) and become more focused and anxious.
These same things then in turn affect energy levels. When we’re alert and focused, this triggers changes in the sympathetic nervous system that increase our heartrate, our circulation and muscle tone all to make us more switched on and productive. On the other hand, when something seems dull and uninteresting, our brain tells us we’re safe and able to go back to relaxing. Thus it will produce GABA and melatonin which settle us down and make us sleep.
The Optimum Emotional State for Energy
Boredom then is absolutely fatal for energy levels. If you find your energy flagging one of the very best things you can possibly do is to switch up your environment or make the task you’re performing more interesting. This will immediately tell your brain something interesting is going on and you’ll become more alert and awake again. This is also why depression and sadness are so bad for your energy levels.
When you’re depressed you struggle to be interested in anything or to care about anything. By doing something that makes you happy you can produce serotonin and oxytocin which will make you more positive and interested again. This is why spending time with friends, laughing or even exercising are so energizing. Understand this link and change the way you perceive certain events and you can raise your energy levels throughout the day!
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