Have you ever wondered why and how your mood can shift so drastically from day to day without any significant trigger?
One day you will feel great! Ready to take on the world. And the next – irritable, depleted, and short-tempered with loved ones. What’s happening?
It may be that your body budget needs to be balanced.
If you’ve ever had a bank account, you know the basics of budgeting. You can’t spend more than you have saved, or your bank account will become a deficit (this is not ideal.)
According to neuroscientist Lisa Feldmann Barrett, your body also has a budget of energy that you withdraw from and deposit into daily. And guess what? Your ‘body budget’ status determines how good you feel at any moment: Will you feel energized, restored, and ready to give back? Or depleted, exhausted, and anxious?
Here's the problem: depleted body budgets are the norm in our fast-paced day and age and can lead to physical and mental health issues. Many sleep too little, sit at desks all day, over-function, navigate stressful relationships/tasks regularly, and abuse substances to regulate. We often withdraw from our body budget without replenishing what we’ve spent.
The good news is we have some power to actively restoring balance to our system. Feldman gives us a few practical ways to fill up our body budget:
- Get 7-8 hours of sleep at night
- Engage in inspiring activities
- Rest and nap when needed
- Eat nutritious food
- Exercise (and make recovery a priority!)
- Connect with loved ones
- Get into nature
- Restore predictable routines
Remember, you will need replenishment whenever you do something that depletes your body budget. After stressful conversations, long workdays, and sleepless nights, you must consciously replenish your budget to find more internal well-being.
Reflection: How’s your body budget this season? What deposits and withdrawals are you making regularly, and what steps can you take to increase your deposits consciously?
Thinking of you as you navigate this next week,
Kelly LaPorta, LMFT
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