Increasing Energy

Discover the best diet—emotionally and mentally—to increase and sustain your energy throughout the day. HeartMath gives its recommendations for developing certain emotions they call “quantum nutrients,” which will contribute to your enhanced well-being.

Quantum Nutrients: Energy Out, Energy In

Eat smart and exercise regularly: That’s what people generally believe to be a successful formula for maintaining a good supply of energy to do the things they want to do and to have long and healthy lives. There’s no debate: This formula is a great start, but millions of people who subscribe to it nevertheless find their energy drained by the end of the day or work week.

Take a closer look and you’ll learn why this happens to so many: Ever wake up and almost immediately begin dreading your day because you’ve got a load of work at the office, a meeting scheduled with someone you’d rather avoid, or you have a million things to do and believe things will never change? How many of these thoughts and emotions have you had before you climb out of bed? At a time when you’re supposed to be rested and ready to venture forth, you’ve already begun spending precious energy and your day has barely started. (See Recommendations)

It turns out, researchers at the Institute of HeartMath and elsewhere have shown our thoughts and feelings are as important or perhaps more so than the food and drink we consume. It is our mental and emotional diets that determine our energy levels, health, and well-being—to a greater extent than most people realize.

“As human beings we all want to be happy and free from misery. … We have learned that the key to happiness is inner peace. The greatest obstacles to inner peace are disturbing emotions such as anger, attachment, fear and suspicion, while love and compassion and a sense of universal responsibility are the sources of peace and happiness.”   –Dalai Lama

The processes by which the body’s systems are maintained, repaired, and regenerated, though biologically complex, are easily grasped intellectually: When we have negative emotions such as anger, anxiety, and dislike or hate, or think negative thoughts such as “I hate my job,” “I don’t like so and so,” or “Who does he think he is?” we experience stress, and our energy reserves are redirected. Processes that break down the body’s energy stores for immediate use are activated to confront our stressors at the expense of those that maintain, repair, and regenerate our systems. When our energy reserves are constantly redirected into the stress pathway, we frequently don’t have enough left for the normal regenerative processes that replenish the resources we’ve lost, repair damage to our bodies, and defend us against disease. Over the long term, stress depletes our bodies’ systems and can severely damage our health and age us faster, mentally and physically.

In contrast, when we activate the power of our hearts and intentionally have sincere feelings such as appreciation, care, and love, we allow our heart’s electrical energy to work for us. Consciously choosing a core heart feeling over a negative one means instead of the drain and damage stress causes to our bodies’ systems, we are renewed mentally, physically, and emotionally. The more we do this the better we’re able to ward off stress and energy drains in the future. Heartfelt positive feelings fortify our energy systems and nourish the body at the cellular level. At HeartMath we call these emotions quantum nutrients.

“We live in deeds, not years; in thoughts not breaths; in feelings not in figures on a dial. We should count time by heartthrobs. He most lives who thinks most, feels the noblest, acts the best.”  —Aristotle



A HeartMath Tip: Take a few minutes with this simple Asset/Deficit Balance Sheet to track your emotions and thoughts to see where you’re spending your energy.

  • On the top half of a sheet of paper, write “Assets.” On the bottom half, write “Deficits.” As you make your lists, be prepared to consider the effects on family, work and personal balance, and the negative consequences of each event.
  • Under Assets, list the positive events, conversations and interactions of the past few days, things that made you happy and gave you energy. Write how each asset, including ongoing ones – the quality of interactions with your friends, family, working environment, etc. – made you feel.
  • Under Deficits, list issues, conflicts and events in the period that were negative or draining, including conversations and events that turned from good to bad, for whatever reason, and how they made you feel.
  • Now, step back and, from the heart, note which deficits could have been neutralized or turned into assets at the time and still could be turned into assets, look for repeating patterns and write your insights and conclusions.

Adapted from the Asset/Deficit Balance Sheet available in various HeartMath materials, including the book The HeartMath Solution, by Doc Childre and Howard Martin, with Donna Beech.

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