How to Protect Your Energy Through Introspection
One of the most memorable pieces of feedback I’ve ever received from a manager is my ability to manage my energy. As I reflected on his observation, I realized he had identified a skill that not everyone has developed—but everyone could benefit from, especially busy professionals, entrepreneurs, and students on the go.
For me, it’s all about breaking down the barrier between perception and reality. The perception that we have to do everything and be everything for everyone all the time, versus the reality that it is simply not feasible or sustainable to fulfill that self-imposed role in this world.
Once we recognize that we as human beings have limited energy stores—coupled with limitless potential – we begin to understand the significance of tuning in with our unique energetic needs and truly listening to our bodies. Because when we’re each able to show up as the most aligned versions of ourselves, we are empowered to step into our potential and create a more balanced reality.
Why You Should Start with Introspection
While tuning into what your body needs to thrive might seem a daunting task, using introspection, or self-reflection, as a means of connecting within can help break down the barriers we’ve created for ourselves as overstimulated individuals in an externally-focused world. Though we’ve been successful in channeling the modern power of technology to connect with one another across geographies and time zones, we have largely failed to maintain a meaningful connection with ourselves.
But we can adapt.
By focusing on what ignites us and what relaxes us—and learning to let go of what no longer serves us—we can intentionally develop habits and create routines that center us on a daily basis, even in the midst of chaos.
How to Engage in Practical Introspection
Introspection can be defined as “the observation of one’s own mental and emotional processes.” Recognizing how you’re feeling, why you’re feeling a certain way, and how you process and move through that emotion is an integral component of learning how to manage your energy. And you won’t be able to fully move through that sequence unless you slow down and create space for yourself to look within.
So, the first step in a mindful introspective practice is to find a quiet place without distractions—including your phone—and allow yourself to settle into a comfortable position. Start to notice your breath—physically focusing your attention inward—and begin to lengthen your exhalations to help your body physically relax.
As you enter this relaxed physical state, allow your mind to wander, noticing any emotions you might be feeling and how they may be contributing to any sensations in your body.
Next, focus your attention on what ignites you. What activities or practices inspire you and excite you to conquer the day ahead?
Then, consider what relaxes you. What activities or practices fill you with a sense of peace or calm contentment?
Lastly, identify any recent situations that provoked anxiety, fatigue, or tension. What was the trigger for that physical and emotional response in your body?
How to Apply Your Insights
After you complete this brief introspective meditation, take note of what came up. Jot down all the practices that inspire you, the activities that help you relax, and any potential triggers that induce a negative emotional or physical response. These are the things in your life that do not serve you—and it is important to avoid and let go of them, wherever possible.
The other insights you’ve gathered can translate into powerful tools that help you center and find balance—both proactively as well as reactively during periods of stress. Consider how you can weave these practices throughout your day, especially within your morning and evening routines.
Regularly creating space for yourself through intentional habits enables you to train your capacity for introspection—which empowers you to identify and move through your emotions in a way that protects your energy.
And that is only the beginning.