Recently I said goodbye to my daughter in the morning before school. She left the house feeling happy and confident. Six hours later she came home from school feeling as though her life is terrible, she is no good at anything and there is no point in trying anymore. What happened? She got a bad grade at school after days of putting in her best effort and her emotional account was depleted.
Sometimes I have days where I truly believe I am married to the most perfect man on earth! But then, the very next day I can be feeling very different. What happened? He didn’t change character over night.
Stress affects everyone, but do we take the time to recognize its affect and deal with them. We know that we are a mix of mental, emotional, spiritual and physical beings. But keeping them all balanced and fulfilled can be difficult.
If we could imagine each of these areas of our life as accounts that are continually receiving deposits and withdrawals, perhaps we can learn what depletes us and what fills us.
Emotional – What drains our emotional account may vary from person to person, but most would find criticism, verbal abuse, like name calling and emotional abuse like humiliation, draining on our emotional accounts. So what can be done, do we need to wait for someone to come and pay us a compliment to fill us back up or can we do something ourselves. ‘How full is your bucket’, by Tom Rath, tells us nicely how we can refill our accounts. Each time we do an act of service to another and fill their emotional accounts, we fill our own.
Mental – Is your brain bored? What drains your mental account? Too much T.V. or gaming or social media or not enough? Too much studying or not enough?
Physical – What drains your physical account? Not enough exercise, not enough sleep or too much sleep, not enough nutrition, or too much of these things, as well as too much fast food etc?
Spiritual – What drains your spiritual account? We all know the feeling of guilt that comes when we have done something consciously or not to hurt another person. Yet, we find it hard to apologize when we are in the wrong, preventing ourselves from feeling good again. Or when someone has wronged us we hold onto it and let it continue to hurt us. There is a saying, “Failing to forgive is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die”.
Resources to help