Have you ever noticed that people are constantly chattering on their cell phones; either they’re speaking, texting, browsing on social media, or emailing? In one form or another, there is chatter. The only other place where there is more chatter than on our smart phones is the incessant “self-talk” in our head. All day and unfortunately even at night, when the inner chatter needs to dial way down, it’s still going. We just can’t get it to stop. This may partially explain the epidemic around insomnia and the billions of dollars people spend trying to get a good night’s rest so they can function better during the day.
We don’t realize it, but many of us live in a state of constant personal energy crisis. Our body, mind and emotions all require energy to operate optimally. And the mind is bombarded with tens of thousands of thoughts on any given day, draining our energy. Even though the human body is incredibly resilient, and we can push on empty for a long time, it eventually catches up. And when that happens, we say things like, “I am exhausted,” “I need a break,” or “I feel burnt out.” It’s not surprising that low energy slows us down and adversely impacts our work, health, family, and relationships. Just like a computer that has unnecessary open files, consumes energy and slows things down, it’s the same with our own mind-body complex—it’s not operating at peak performance.
Vital Force and the personal energy crises
This begs the question, exactly what’s draining our energy and reducing our joy? The biggest culprit is our mind. The constant yadda, yadda, yadda, about nothing and everything hogs our energy.
Neuroscientists note that the average person has more than sixty thousand thoughts a day, most of which we don’t use or act on, requiring a lot of energy and draining the system. But wait, it gets worse. A person spinning in negativity, doubts, judgments, or frustration, depletes the system even further and faster. Clearly our mind is in overdrive mode.
For optimal health, it’s the body that needs to be more active, not the mind. We all agree that the more active our body is, the better our health. The daily recommended 10,000 steps counter is to encourage us to be more active. Unfortunately, many of us exercise only our fingers by typing or texting, not in physical exercise.
When we say, “I am exhausted” generally, it’s not the body that is tired, it’s the mind that’s exhausted. We keep the body stationary and constantly drive the mind—the nonstop thinking machine. It’s easy to energize the physical body (eat right, get good sleep, and exercise), and this has a direct impact on the well-being of the body.
In the same way, there is a direct relationship between energy, mental strength and well-being. Unfortunately, so few of us have connected the dots to this fact. When our energy is high, the self-talk, the critical voice in our head, the endless chatter and the judgments are all greatly reduced. The higher the energy, the better the body, mind and spirit function. Your outlook is more optimistic, your job doesn’t seem as bad, and you drive through traffic with a smile on your face, with more patience. Regrettably, we don’t know how to address the particular needs of the mind, and how to increase our mental energy reserves.
The solution lies in increasing our Vital Force. Yes, we are talking about “the force” as it is referred to in Star Wars or Kung Fu Panda. It’s the energy that we are surrounded in. Everything in life is energy. Everything runs on it. Even some quantum scientists have weighed in on this by discussing the impact of the “quantum force field” at various levels of our existence. Biology and physics inform us that we get energy from many different sources, including food, sleep, exercise, being in nature, connecting with loved ones, and so on.
For practical purposes, we recognize that the more energetic we are, the better we feel, think and act. We charge and optimize our mental, emotional and spiritual functioning. This has a transformative impact on our life and our personal energy crisis. Reaching for a cup of coffee, a protein shake, or walking 10,000 steps a day, even following a balanced diet and exercise will not resolve the energy crisis. What’s even more important and powerful for this is to connect with the abundant energy that is inside each of us—yes, that Vital Force. It’s the steady fuel supply, which is necessary for the brain to quiet down, recharge, be more dynamic, creative and restful at the same time.
Vital Force in action…recharge and invigorate the mind.
The most effective way to access the secrets of Vital Force is by taking a full, deep, deliberate breath in and quickly exhaling. A minimum of ten breaths done about five times a day will keep your battery charged. For example, first thing in the morning, as you arrive at the office, before lunch, as you leave your office and finally as you are about to enter sleep.
It’s important to breathe in deliberately and consciously by letting the in breath be much, much longer than you would normally breathe in. If we can breathe like when we were babies—let’s call it diaphragmatic breathing—then we trigger the more restful, parasympathetic part of the nervous system. This helps to reduce our mental chatter. Take a minimum of ten full, deep breaths where you almost feel as if the breath is too much, hold the breath for a moment and breathe out quickly.
In the Vital Force, there are so many valuable secrets to improve the quality of life. And the best part is they can be learned faster and easier than a lot of the current techniques and tools that are out there. In my own thirty years of experience, I have observed over and over again that using the breath as an exercise tool, much like lifting a dumbbell repetitively to build muscle, is much more effective and simpler than mindfulness or a lot of meditation apps out there.
So use the breathing technique daily and see the difference. Experience the relief.
A former prosecutor, Rajshree Patel is now a mind and meditation expert and an international self-awareness coach, teacher, and speaker. She has taught hundreds of thousands of people in more than thirty-five countries the power of meditation, mindfulness, breath work, and other ancient tools for accessing the innate source of energy, creativity, and fulfillment within. Her book, The Power of Vital Force: Fuel Your Energy, Purpose, and Performance with Ancient Secrets of Breath and Meditation comes out this October.