If your car runs out of gas it will come to a complete stop. It doesn’t matter what kind of car you have, where you are going, or what your schedule is. The same phenomenon impacts you. If your emotional tank runs dry, you come to a stop.

There are a variety of factors which drain your emotional tank. Working long hours at a job you don’t like, high pressure at work, family issues, financial stress, changes in relationship status, loneliness, substance abuse, and work/life imbalance, are some of the contributing causes.

A wide assortment of symptoms are possible from an empty emotional tank. Lack of motivation, sleep issues, irritability, physical and mental fatigue, headaches, anger, pessimism, mood swings, anxiety, and inattentiveness, are just some of the potential problems.

Making sure your emotional tank doesn’t run dry is clearly a worthwhile endeavor. If you do hit empty occasionally, you can mitigate the impact by replenishing it as soon as possible. The time and effort required to take care of yourself is minuscule compared to the many benefits you experience.

Here are some steps you can take to prevent your emotional tank from running dry. Whenever possible, eliminate or reduce whatever stressor is draining your tank. Even if you can’t eliminate it, you can remove yourself from the situation. And if you aren’t able to disconnect yourself physically, you can detach yourself mentally.

This is accomplished by not reacting to other’s actions. By so doing, you protect your emotional tank. The strategy is simple; when someone acts, don’t react or join in. Maintaining a sense of detachment from emotionally depleting stressors is a prudent self-preservation strategy.

Stress drains your emotions. Exercise is a great stress reducer. You don’t have to be a gym rat to benefit. Any physical activity is effective. Walking is one of the best exercises you can engage in. The more exercise you get on a regular basis, the lower your stress level will be.

Maintain a healthy work/life balance. When you leave work, leave your work there. Don’t bring it home. Devote your time at home to family and friends. Meaningful interpersonal connections replenish positive emotions.

Stop worrying. It’s a lot of activity which accomplishes nothing. Instead of worrying, take positive action. Let go of the past, it’s over. Prepare for the future by taking action today. Releasing worry takes a lot of weight off of you.

Burnout saps your emotions. Many aspects of life are draining. Taking breaks and having fun recharges your emotions. Engage in enjoyable activities. You never need to feel guilty about taking care of your own needs.

Overload and over commitment cause burnout. Learn to say NO to those requests for which you lack time or desire. Decline politely and respectfully. Nothing is gained by being rude.

Appreciate all you have. Cultivate an attitude of gratitude. Keep situations in perspective. Look at the big picture. Focus your energy on what’s really important to you. Avoid becoming distracted by trivial issues.

Reject any type of substance abuse. It destroys your emotional tank, accelerating a situation’s decline. Take advantage of the many positive forms of stress reduction available to you. Your goal is to improve circumstances.

Use positive self-talk to enhance your emotional state. Your mind believes what you tell it. So, tell yourself all that you can and will do. Tell yourself you will be alright. This is a simple, yet powerfully effective strategy.

Utilize the approaches listed above to ensure your emotional tank doesn’t run dry. If the level begins to drop, take corrective action immediately. Make filling your emotional tank a regular habit.

“Dare to Live Without Limits,” the book. Visit www.Bryan

Golden.com or your bookstore. Bryan is a management consultant, motivational speaker, author, and adjunct professor. Email Bryan at bryan@columnist.com or write him c/o this paper.

Banner Independent Editor

Managing editor of the Daily Corinthian’s sister newspaper, Booneville’s Banner-Independent, Brant Sappington has been a member of the Daily Corinthian family since 2001.

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