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Wanna know what’s draining you? Do a self-audit.

Wanna know what’s draining you? Do a self-audit.

Misc - What's Draining You

We usually think of audits when it comes to our finances or our taxes. Audits serve the purpose to bring clarity to the area of focus.   Some people even get energy audits of their home to determine where the energy leaks are so they can make changes and reduce their gas and electric bills.

We forget sometimes that we, as human beings, need energy to operate at our optimal capacity. We are not machines. If you are feeling tired or drained by life, you may have an “energy leak” causing you to not be able to function as your best self. Instead of generalizing and saying, “I’m so tired and drained.” – identify the cause by doing a self-audit, so you can make specific changes for increased energy. How good we feel depends on how much energy we have in our personal “fuel tank.”

While machines may run on a single source of energy, human beings need four types of fuel sources (physical, emotional, mental and spiritual fuel) to feel balanced energetically. Each one impacts the other and no one area can sustain the whole body.

Your self-audit

Physically: Am I getting enough sleep? Am I eating well and often? Am I exercising? Has the pace of my life gotten out of hand because I take it all on? Am I taking breaks when I need them? Am I drinking enough water?

If you don’t eat well, you deprive your brain of what it needs to be mentally sharp. If you don’t take breaks, you weaken your ability to stay calm under pressure. If you don’t move your body and exercise, over time you will not only get weaker, you will be more vulnerable to getting sick. Sleep is the most important of all. Without enough sleep, you negatively impact almost every area of your ability to operate optimally.

Emotionally: Do I feel tired after talking to certain people? Am I holding on to wanting things to be a certain way that I have no control over? Do I have guilt, resentment or misunderstandings that I hold? Do I tend to focus on all the things that are not going right and feel frustrated?

Although we think we are rational, so much of what we do is run by our emotions. When we feel better – energetic, happy, and positive, we do so much better in all areas of our lives. We naturally have a “negativity bias” – a default inclination to focus more on what is wrong in our lives versus what is right.   If you don’t address your emotional needs, or find new ways to see challenging situations, your overall energy will suffer.

Mentally: Do I worry about the outcome of things more than I need to? Do I over think every decision? Is every last nerve stressed because of all I’ve got on my plate? Do I get distracted a lot from my goals? Have I lost my focus?

Keeping our focus on what is important is something that is harder and harder to do in this day and age. We are learning now through science that the ability to control our attention and put our focus where we want it to be is like a muscle that gets stronger as we train it. The more focused you are, the more you can do. The more you make the choice to look at things from a broader perspective, the more centered your mind can become.

Spiritually: Have you lost your reason to wake up in the morning? Does your life have a sense of meaning and purpose or did it get lost somewhere along the way? Do you feel that what you do matters and really makes a difference in your life and the lives of others? Are you overly focused on helping others, forgetting to fill your own cup with what you need?

Spiritual energy is important. Life without meaning is not worth living. When we have meaning and purpose, we have a lot of energy and more focus in life. When we believe what we are doing matters, we feel great.


We underestimate how much these four sources of energy influence how we feel on a day to day basis. As you were reading through the four different areas, you might have noticed one area stood out more than others. If so, make it a point to do what it takes to get yourself realigned. Whether it is to get more sleep, talk to a professional, or stop saying “yes” when you really mean no, it’s up to you to make the choice to put yourself first. Only then will you truly have the energy to do the things you really want to do.

Alice Inoue

Alice Inoue is the founder and Chief Happiness Officer of Happiness University. She is an expert life guide, and author of five nationally award-winning books on life wisdom, self-growth and happiness. She has two columns, one in MidWeek titled “A Mindful Moment,” and an award-winning column in the Sunday Star-Advertiser called “Go Ask Alice” that offers pertinent life guidance. Through Happiness U, she helps both companies and individuals develop positive mindsets in order to live more inspired in both their professional and private lives.

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