Managing energy across the 5 layers is a key technique to ensure you are happy. Even though most of the energy management happens in the ‘Energy Layer’, the other layers are directly affected by this.
How do you manage energy?
STEP 1 : You begin this by accepting everything which is happening now.
I cannot explain how simple this is and how important this first step is. The easiest way to explain this by showing how I put this into practice.
When I am working at home, usually on my laptop, my 4 year old comes by, once-in-a-while , and nags me. She usually wants to sit on my lap. The initial reaction for me is a little bit of irritation. But with my awareness I fully accept her and her demand and I request her to do something more interesting like reading a book. If she still persists, I ask her to wait for a minute so that I can logically stop my work at a place I can come back to without much effort. Then I put her on my lap and with a smile from my heart, I give her a hug and tell her that Acha (daddy in our mother tongue) has work to do and she can sit with daddy for a couple of minutes. And I do nothing else other than giving her a light hug. After a couple of minutes, she usually gets down by herself and happily goes to her next task.
The essence of the above example is that accepting whatever is coming to you, whether it is a request from the outside, or something your mind creates will help you lay the foundation so that you continue to practice awareness.
Resistance of what is happening now is counteractive to optimal energy management.
The layer where this applies is the Awareness layer.
STEP 2 : Have the right kind of food
Avoid animal and high fat products as much as you can.
Animal products contain fat, especially saturated fat, which is linked to heart disease, insulin resistance, and certain forms of cancer. These products also contain cholesterol, something never found in foods from plants. And, of course, animal products contain animal protein. It may surprise you to learn that diets high in animal protein can aggravate kidney problems and calcium losses. Animal products never provide fiber or healthful complex carbohydrate.
These products do not help with optimizing your energy. On the other hand, to digest animal products and to deal with the effects it has on your health it takes up lots of your good energy.
STEP 3 : Have the right kind of rest at the right intervals
Finding the right ‘pace’ for your activities and sprinkling breaks in between can make the activities more enjoyable.
For example, when I wrote this article, I use a hard rule of not writing for more than 20 minutes at a stretch. I also start writing with an intention of not getting distracted with anything else - e.g. browsing or emailing. If a random actionable thought comes up, I write it down into my plain blank sheet of paper which is always beside me.
Getting into the ‘flow’ is a practice which everybody can get into. Energy management for your activities is primarily done with getting the right kind of rest so that you are recharged when you get back to the activity.
STEP 4: Breathe properly
Proper breathing can be an important coping skill to learn. It may sound silly, but many people do not breathe properly. Natural breathing involves your diaphragm, a large muscle in your abdomen. When you breathe in, your belly should expand. When you breathe out, your belly should fall. Overtime, people forget how to breathe this way and instead use their chest and shoulders. This causes short and shallow breaths, which can increase stress and anxiety.
STEP 5: Get some sunlight
There is a sort of spiritual significance when you get some ‘light’. Most vegetation extracts its energy from the sunlight, which is absorbed directly by the chlorophyll of plants. In men, it is absorbed by mitochondria, which are like miniature batteries that store the indispensable energy for its organism.
Getting out in the morning or sitting close to a window, you can expose yourself to some sunlight. Experiencing the warmth generates some emotional warmth, energy and revitalizes you.
STEP 6: You put energy in the places where you get more energy back
This is about spending time on things which are good for you long term. For example, avoid television as much as possible unless you watch something which is energizing or informative. Don’t gossip, because it creates a lot of negative energy.
Spend time on projects or activities where the minimum you get back is the knowledge and experience. Do some gardening; see plants and flowers grow. Spend time with small children and enjoy their spontaneity. Spend time on activities with family and friends which all of you enjoy.
Show gratitude. Gratitude is an expression of positive energy. When you sow positive energy into the universe it multiplies.
By the way, there is another way of defining happiness. It can also be called ‘blissful energy’.