We can all probably agree good health, fitness, and happy relationships are elements of wellness. Truthfully, wellness is different for everyone. When we are well, we have energy to enjoy our lives and to share with others.  

In that sense, energy is wellness. If our intention is to increase our wellness, we need to fill our own personal cup of energy.  

When we learn to see the world, experience the world, energetically, it changes everything. We don’t think energy; we feel energy. We need to move from a place of thinking to a place of feeling and learn how to replenish our energy.

First, let’s look at ourselves as having a cup of energy. That is, the energy we have to do our work, give attention to our loved ones and family, to tolerate ignorant bosses, etc. It all takes energy. 

"What is called genius is the abundance of life and health." - Henry David Thoreau

Next, let’s look at the things in our life that cost us energy, deplete it, suck it away, things like: long hours at work, conflict with bosses, scraps with the spouse, traffic, health problems, etc.

Now, let’s look at the things in our life that give us energy: exercise, reading, walking the dog, and sharing time with loved ones. Each of us has different activities that give us energy, discover yours. For me, I have a daily yoga/meditation practice, I surf, spend time in nature, play with my dogs, do fun stuff with my kids, go for long drives in my car, listen to music, and more.

Everything we do daily either costs us energy, gives us energy, or is neutral.

Sometimes we find ourselves in a perfect storm of stress that costs us energy. It sucks and we can't really change that. We probably just wish we had an extra 6-8 hours a day to get it all done.

But, that's not the solution. That would only create more time for things that cost us energy. And we can't change time anyways.

When we find ourselves at a point in life where there is a perfect storm of busy-ness, we need to pause, and realize, it's not that there is too much to do, rather, we are stressed because we do not have the energy to do it all. We feel we are coming up short.

When we frame the problem this way, it's a little clearer. We need more energy. Let's point back to those things that give you energy. That list you made in our head while reading this. Grab a pen and write it down. Those things that give us energy, those things that make us feel good, healthy, and we wish we could do more for our own wellness.

Now here is the part that takes discipline. Schedule time to do more of those things. Force yourself to do them. Call it working out, call it mental health time, call it whatever you want, but do it. Make time for these activities daily. Even if it's just a 10 min walk with the dogs, no smart phone, just taking in nature, walking, and being present.

We don’t think energy; we feel energy. We need to move from a place of thinking to a place of feeling and learn how to replenish our energy.

What we fail to realize, because we are so caught up in our busy lives, is our wellness suffers when we do not take the time to put energy back in our cup. More importantly, everything we do, work, relationships, etc., suffers.

Stop to think about that for a second: when we don't do the stuff that puts energy back in our cup, it negatively affects everyone and everything in our lives. Conversely, when we exercise the discipline to do these activities that give us energy, it builds wellness, fills our cup, and allows us to do the things we need to do, like work, parenting, and tolerate the stuff we must endure.  

Life isn't all roses, we suffer setbacks and real challenges. The key to enduring the tough times is to keep up our wellness, energy-giving activities.

When we wake up and change our perspective, what was once a "selfish" activity, that did not advance our objectives, is now seen, more clearly, as an activity that gives us energy to do all the things we need to do. It improves our wellness, our productivity, and our relationships.

When we make time for our daily practices that give us energy, wellness, we are doing this for others, for work, for our families. Seen this way, clearly and truthfully, our daily wellness practice is a selfless act. Taking time to fill our cup of energy promotes our wellness and is a gift to ourselves and everyone in our lives.

What fills your cup?


Brian Cooke is a Dallas, TX based RYT-200 yoga and meditation teacher sharing his practice with veterans suffering from PTSD through his work with Veterans Yoga Project and the Lone Survivor Foundation. He writes on the topics of yoga, mindfulness, and wellness and has been published online by Elephant Journal. He keeps it simple and off social media, you can connect with him via his Yoga Alliance profile.

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This article is part of our series on the theme of Wellness.

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