More Energy Equals Getting More Things Done

More Energy Project Day #34 – 41

It has been a busy week, but I still manage to stay in a good mood. Today I’m tired but in general I feel more success than usual. It seems that my increased energy level leaves me with a feeling of getting things done.

When you experience your energy level decrease then you get caught up in a bad circle that is difficult to turn around. I think that my project is actually helping me to see a way out of this bad circle of decreasing energy.

In chinese medicine practitioners operate with the law of five elements. These elements are all influenced by each other in either a negative or a positive way. The law of five elements (Wu Xing) is a good model to show how the circle of energy works.

When I am out of balance then my life is influenced by negative things. By choosing to bring positive influencers into my life I can take action to turn the circle around and make the energy flow in a positive direction.

Apparently all aspects of life has either a positive or negative affect on my energy; that is why I have to identify the things I need to balance my life.

I found an interesting article about the yin-yang balance that show what foods to eat and how to identify whether you have a yin or a yang imbalance.



How to Stop Being Frustrated

Frustration © Erik Back 2012

Frustration © Erik Back 2012

Well, actually you don’t stop being frustrated, because the frustrations are part of life and you need them to get success. I have done a bit of research in the concept of frustration and that made me understand the essence and how to deal with frustration. I will attempt to explain what I believe frustration is and how you can get in control of your frustrations.

Understand frustration

Get in control of your frustrations

Learn to deal with your frustrations

Turn frustration into positive growth

While researching and writing a working paper I saw an important connection to some of my early work on this blog. I saw how I can manage my frustrations by working on my habits and basic needs.

Frustration is good

First of all I want to make clear that frustration is a good thing. We need frustrations to grow. We don’t develop if we don’t have frustrations. But for some people, myself included, frustrations are more frequent and they tend to do more harm than good. Sometimes I overreact dramatise.

It can be awfully distressing for people around me when I let my frustrations get out of control. The reason that my frustrations seem to do more harm than good is that I don’t know how to deal with them.

The feeling of frustration comes from not being able to satisfy a need or desire.

Seven common emotions that give frustration

  1. Boredom (the need for mental stimulation)
  2. Anger (a feeling that something is unjust)
  3. Fear (you feel threatend by something)
  4. Sadness (you are not happy with the way things are)
  5. Loneliness (the need to be with others)
  6. Stress (you need some time to relax)
  7. Feelings of inadequacy (you don’t feel confident in your abilities)
Habits based on Maslow and Frankl

Hierarchy of Habits © Erik Back 2011

Out of these seven emotions I have identified three that I know I handle the wrong way: stress, anger and fear. While thinking about this and asking myself what to do about it, I came to think about a model I made on this blog. I called it the hierarchy of habits.

It is based on Maslows hierarchy of needs. If I plot in the emotions and needs that are connected to frustration I get this:

Boredom has to do with the need for self-actualisation.

Feelings of inadequacy have to do with the need for esteem.

Sadness and loneliness have to do with the need for love and belonging.

Anger, stress and fear have to do with the need for safety.

The purpose of the hierarchy of habits is to show what is important to build a good foundation for your life. You have to get balance in your physiological needs before you can start building your safety needs etc. If you don’t have at stable foundation, you will face problems like frustration at other levels. To stop being frustrated you need to work on your basic needs.

To deal with anger I first have to fulfill my physiological needs. Get enough sleep, exercise, eat healthy food and cleanse my body. Then I can start working on my needs for safety at home, at work, balance my economy and order.

For a few weeks I have been working on sleep and exercise; and I can already feel a change in my frustrations.



21 New Year’s Resolutions for Good Habits in 2012

Happy New Year World (2010) © by Lel4nd

1. Go to bed between 10pm and 11pm

2. Wake up at 6.30am every day

3. Exercise at least 3 times every week

4. Join a sports club

5. Eat breakfast every morning

6. Have plenty of vegetables at lunch

7. Eat less meat

8. Drink more water

9. Clean up cluttered areas

10. Throw away things you do not need

11. Make a budget for all next year

12. Start putting money aside for something you always wanted to buy

13. Repair things that are not working

14. Take new challenges at work

15. Say: “I love you” to your partner every day

16. Give more hugs to family and friends

17. Find something to be grateful for every day

18. Challenge fear at least once a week

19. Say: “Today is going to be a fantastic day” every morning when you get up

20. Focus more on positive things

21. Meditate every day

What do you think New Year’s resolution #22 should be?

Good Habit 1: Sensational Sleep

Physiological habit sleep © Erik Back 2011

This is the first article in a series of good habits that are based on my model “The Hierarchy of Habits”. At the foundation of the pyramid you find the physiological habits and today is about sleep.

Sleep research

Sleep is the most important habit of your life. If you do not sleep at all then you risk death; it is as simple as that. If you only sleep very little you will live but you will have a terrible life. I have seen relationships break because of lack of sleep; I have seen even more people get permanently sick because of lack of sleep.

Research show that you need 7-8 hours of sleep and if you do not get the sleep you need your cognitive performance will not remain intact. You will not be thinking as clear as you could. At 6 hours sleep or less research show that you will regenerate over time; your life span will be shortened.

You can read the research result that was published in 2003 here. If you would like a less academic text you can read an article from The New York Times here.

How I got a better sleeping habit

For a few months I have had only very little sleep, about 5-6 hours every night sometimes I managed to get a nap in the middle of the day. In the beginning it was not a problem with less sleep but lately I have had problems performing during the day. I forget things and have difficulties being positive. I realised that I had to work on my sleeping habits.

I wanted to get a stable sleeping pattern to get enough sleep and to bring balance into my sleeping habits; this is what I do:

I get up at 6.30 (6.30am) every morning. I started out getting up at 6.00 (6am) but that was too early, maybe because it is winter and dark most of the day (I live in Denmark and right now we only have about 7 hours of daylight)

I go to bed around 22.00 (10pm) in the evening, sometimes later, but I aim at ten o’clock. This results in approximately eight hours of sleep.

I take a nap during the day if I have the opportunity to do so. I never allow myself to nap more than 45 minutes. I have always had a biphasic sleeping pattern; I do not know if that is good or bad but most research seem to prove that a nap is a healthy habit as long as you take the nap between 13.00 and 15.00 (1pm – 3pm).

How to Be Nice to People: Be Around Nice People

Nice people (Sara) © by Luca Violetto

The atmosphere in a room is contagious. Have you ever had the experience of walking into a room where something terrible just took place? Even if people try to hide it you can feel the negative vibrations in the air. The negative mood immediately catches on and you will start feeling bad.

You cannot help being influenced by the people you have around you. If they are very negative people you will become negative; if they are bad people you will become bad; if they are happy you will become happy. If you are around people that are generally not nice people you will become like them.

We tend to adapt the behaviour of the people we are around, and that is exactly why it is important for you to be around nice people. If you want to be a nice person you should socialize with nice people.

Simplify your life by discarding toxic people. Toxic people are the kind of people that are always negative; they seem to be able to complain about everything and sometimes it seems like their only mission in life is to find something to grumble and whine about. Do not spend time with these people; they will not contribute with anything positive to your life. They will drag you down until you become like them.

Today was a fantastic day for me until I went to work on my part time job. When I arrived the atmosphere was very bad and I found out that seven people had been dismissed and others had lost their positions and transferred to lower jobs. I could not help being influenced by this atmosphere and my fantastic day suddenly felt bad; I felt discouraged.

Thus, to be nice you should be around nice people.