Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Feelings Wearing You Down?

The Mind-Body Connection:
How Three Emotions Can Make You Tired

Your energy level is a reflection of your state of mind," says Erika Schwartz, M.D., a New York City internist who specializes in treating fatigue. "If you're thrilled with your life, you'll have a lot of energy. If you're depressed, anxious or unhappy, you won't." In addition, the following emotional habits can drain your energy:

"Fearing that something might or might not happen in the future doesn't solve the problem and it fritters away your energy," Schwartz says. A better tactic: Set worry hours ‑- say, half an hour in the late afternoon ‑- and worry your heart out about everything you can think of. Try to think of positive solutions, then put the worries out of your mind. Or schedule that dental appointment for first thing in the morning so you don't spend all day fretting about it.

Feeling guilty
"Constantly questioning what you're doing is draining," says Alice Domar, Ph.D., coauthor of Self-Nurture: Learning to Care for Yourself as Effectively as You Care for Everyone Else. How to get rid of guilt? Listen to what you're telling yourself and think of where it came from, she suggests. Did someone say this to you once? Or is this your fear speaking? Then ask yourself if it's true. If not, the guilt is likely to vanish; if it is, you can do something about it.

Not asking for help
"So many women are running around, doing so many things for others and feeling like their needs aren't being met," Domar says. "Ironically, many women don't even know what their needs are." Rx: Think about what you really want and need. Then figure out which needs your partner can meet, which your friends can meet, which your job or church can meet and which you can meet yourself. "Doing stuff for yourself isn't selfish," Domar says. "It's self-care."

Part of a larger article: 12 Surprising Things That Are Making You Tired (and How to Fight Them)

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