Frequently Asked Questions

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What is emotional energy?

We all know what energy is. It's having fuel in your tank for doing what you have to do, what you want to do. It's being able to go the extra mile. It's having a lot to give. It's not feeling like you have to push yourself.

Emotional energy is the emotional part of this. It's an aliveness of the mind, a happiness of the heart, and a spirit filled with hope. Emotional energy has a specific feel. It's a sense of being up, happy, forward looking, resilient, feeling young, feeling open, feeling your juices flow, being in touch with the loving, creative, generous, hopeful parts of yourself. People who have emotional energy give to the people they love, rise to difficult occasions, and are able to make decisions to change the parts of their life that aren't working for them. Emotional energy means you can ride out any storm and your core of grace, happiness, and strength won't be touched.

We all know people who seem to make the world work better: they're people with high emotional energy.

Physical energy is limited under the best of circumstances. But emotional energy is potentially unlimited. And unlike physical energy which runs down as we get older, emotional energy can increase the more you learn what works best for you. When you increase your emotional energy, it's amazing how your dreams become realities. And that's because obstacles lose the power to stop you.

It's one thing to be able to get through the day. It's another thing to feel eager to go through your day, and feel fulfilled at the end of the day. That difference is emotional energy.

It's part of our nature to be full of emotional energy. But think of what happens to us as we live our lives. We carry enormous burdens of fear, stress, discouragement, anger, overwork, a sense of meaninglessness, a feeling of falseness and inhibition. But like very obese people, we adjust to the emotional weight we have to carry. It's painful and debilitating, and it makes life a constant struggle, but we can go on.

And we do waddle along, ashamed of ourselves for how hard it feels, until there comes the straw that breaks the camel's back.

It can be any frustration, discouragement, or difficulty. Maybe you look at photos that were just taken of you and you're shocked at how old you look. Maybe someone at work gets a promotion that you'd wanted. You have a fight with someone. Some stupid magazine declines to publish your poem. You sprain your ankle. You lose some money. Your boss is bugging you. You're not getting along with someone in your family. There are a thousand and one causes of emotional fatigue.

Emotional energy is what we need to keep going happy and hopeful through all the difficulties and opportunities life has to offer.


What is the difference between emotional and physical energy?

Energy's what you need to tackle something you want to do and carry it through. New research shows that for the average person only 30% of their energy comes from physical sources. A whopping 70% comes from emotional energy. If you can't do what you want to do in life, or if it feels very hard to do it, it's more likely that what's lacking is emotional energy than physical energy.

But emotional energy is even more important than that. If people are already doing a good job of taking care of their physical energy through diet, exercise, and so on, then 100% of any extra energy will have to come from emotional energy.

Sometimes it's hard to tell how much of our fatigue is physical and how much emotional. Either way we drag ourselves around, feeling we have to push ourselves. Everything feels like a burden.

Perhaps the best way to tell the difference between emotional and physical fatigue is to eat some healthy food and have a good night's sleep. If your problem had been physical fatigue, your problem should be gone. If your problem is emotional fatigue, you'll still feel drained.

But emotional fatigue also has a feeling of its own. You feel emotionally fragile. Anger and discouragement and fear always seem to lie just below the surface and keep bubbling up. You feel filled with discouraging words, a sense of disappointment, a sour, bitter attitude towards people and events.

Whichever form of fatigue you're experiencing, that's what's most important for you. But for the overwhelming majority of Americans today, emotional fatigue is far more common and goes far deeper than physical.

So the need for emotional energy is paramount. It's so important that it turns out people can accomplish a tremendous amount even though they're physically fatigued, as long as they have a lot of emotional energy. While I was working on The Emotional Energy Factor, I discovered that I was suffering from severe hypothyroidism. When I was at my physical worst, when my thyroid levels were so low I shouldn't have been able to function at all, just learning the secrets of emotional energy kept me chugging along just fine. But without emotional energy, all the physical energy in the world won't let you accomplish very much at all: witness all the physically fit people who do nothing and go nowhere.


How do I know I need more emotional energy?

Most people feel down from time to time, and lots of us feel we have to push ourselves even to do the things we want to do. Unless you're confident that you're filled with emotional energy, you probably need more. Most people do.

But how can you tell how big a problem low emotional energy is for you?

Based on my research I've identified four levels along the continuum from total emotional energy to total emotional exhaustion. What level do you think you're at? You be the judge. Few people perfectly fit the textbook example of one level or another. But if you feel that one level describes you better than the others, that's where you're at.

Level 1: You're full of emotional energy.

You're at this level if


Level 2: You're somewhat emotionally fatigued.

You're at this level if



Level 3: You're on the verge of emotional exhaustion.

You're at this level if


Level 4: You're emotionally exhausted.

You're at this level if

What do you do about your level of emotional exhaustion?


If you're at level 1, congratulate yourself but don't be complacent. You're not there by chance. You're there because there are things you do to keep yourself there.

If you're at levels 2 or 3, you already know that your life doesn't feel as good as you'd like it to and getting through your day feels harder than it should. You should know that this state will not get better all by itself. You need to do things to increase your emotional energy.

If you're at level 4, you know you're in a bad way. The good news is that there's plenty you can do to feel more emotional energy than you've ever imagined feeling. If you do the things that give other people emotional energy, you'll have it too.

Whatever your level, you'll be surprised at how quickly you can get back up to the highest level of emotional energy you've ever reached in your life. Always remember this. It's natural to be filled with emotional energy. Just think about how most children are most of the time. We don't say that only children can be healthy. Why should it be only children that show the hum and spark of emotional energy?


Where does emotional energy come from?

It used to be thought that emotional energy was just something you're born with, and so there was nothing you could do about your emotional energy.

We now know that having emotional energy is like being physically fit. You're fit because you do things to keep yourself fit. Well, in the same way, if you have emotional energy it's because you do specific things to give yourself emotional energy. These are all things anyone can do.

My book, The Emotional Energy Factor, will show you exactly what to do to give yourself all the emotional energy you need and want.


What can I do to give myself more emotional energy?

My book, The Emotional Energy Factor, is filled with everything you need to increase your emotional energy, based on who you are and the kind of life you lead.

The solutions in my book are based on extensive research into what everyday men and women living in the real world have found actually works to maintain a super-high level of emotional energy.

Also check out the different areas of this site for more helpful information.

It's time we all knew these secrets. And that's why I've written this book and created this site. The more of these secrets you use, the more emotional energy you'll have. No more feeling low energy. No more feeling held back because you don't have the energy you need to make your dreams come true. No more feeling helpless when you try to think of ways to get more energy.


Why is emotional energy important?

Emotional energy is important for exactly the same reason that physical energy is crucial. It gives us what we need to make the extra effort.

We all know what it's like to feel so tired we can't get out of bed. What's been less obvious to us is the way emotionally we drag ourselves around, unable to make an effort. It's hidden partly because of our amazing ability to push ourselves. We go through the motions, just like someone with energy, but you can see the true emotional exhaustion in all the little flare-ups of anger, in the lack of creativity, in the narrow task focus, in the selfish, bitter feelings. And this cannot keep up for very long.

Everything worth doing that's at all difficult gets lost without emotional energy. Marriages fail because people run out of the emotional energy necessary to reach one more time across the divide of anger and silence. Books never get written because people run out of the emotional energy necessary to imagine boundless possibilities and then select just one. Organizations fail because the people in them run out of the emotional energy necessary to hang in there in the face of all the obstacles and keep trying. And without emotional energy just keeping on keeping on feels dull, flat, stale, and empty.

So emotional energy can never be neglected. But the most exciting news about it is that it's not a given. No matter how much emotional energy we need, there's always something we can do to get it.


What is an emotional energy booster?

We're used to the idea that physical energy has a number of different ingredients: sleep, exercise, healthful food, vitamins, not being sick. Well, it turns out that people who have emotional energy have it because they continually do things to give themselves the ingredients of emotional energy. These ingredients are the emotional energy boosters. There are 25 of them, and all are included in The Emotional Energy Factor.


Isn't emotional energy something you're just born with?

It used to be thought that some people are born with emotional energy and others are born without it. But this is not true. What we now know is that having emotional energy is like being physically fit. No one is born fit. People are fit because they do things to make themselves fit, and they keep doing these things. It's the same with emotional energy. Everyone can have more, and everyone can reach a high level. You just have to do the things that give people emotional energy, and you have to keep on doing them.

But energy's a funny thing. The more things you do to give yourself emotional energy, the easier it is to do things to give yourself emotional energy! You're on an upward energy spiral, and this can keep going for your entire life.



How did you discover the emotional energy factor?

My work began with a puzzle. I'm sure this is something that's puzzled you too. We all know people who seem to have everything they need to have a great life and feel terrific, and yet they go flat on themselves. And we all know other people who are faced with every kind of challenge, and yet these people are always up for life and making good things happen.

I wondered what that X factor was that seemed to make such an enormous difference. And I wanted to know if there was a way to bottle that X factor!

My research and clinical experience soon showed me that this X factor was emotional energy. When people have emotional energy they can do anything, no matter what difficulties they face. When people don't have emotional energy they can't seem to do anything, no matter how easy things are for them.

That's when my research really began. I wanted to know where emotional energy comes from. And, since I'm a very practical person, I also wanted to know how you can get more emotional energy when you're running low.

The research took years. It mostly involved plowing through 30-years' worth of clinical case records and research interviews. Literally thousands of unique stories were screened.

I was looking for matched samples. In the end I selected 244 men and women of all different ages and backgrounds. For every low-energy person, there was a high-energy person whose life was remarkably similar. The key research question was, "Why would two people with similar levels of stress, similar amounts of frustration and discouragement, similar degrees of success, have very different levels of emotional energy?"

I talked to the people in my matched samples about how they led their lives. And I looked for what high-energy people were doing that low energy people were not doing.

The more people I talked to, the more I found that there were secret shortcuts to getting emotional energy that kept appearing over and over again in high energy people. And these shortcuts were available to everyone.

For example, everyone in both samples prayed, particularly when things got tough. But it turned out that there were striking differences in how they prayed. High emotional energy people had a secret for high energy prayer.

To take another example, people in both samples had things in their lives they were looking forward to. But there were striking differences in the kinds of things they were looking forward to. This might sound amazing, but high emotional energy people selected things to look forward to that would give them a hit of emotional energy just from having those events to look forward to.

One of the most important findings was that when two people have very different levels of emotional energy, it's no accident—in fact it's a direct result of what they do and how they approach their lives. People with high emotional energy took specific steps to get that way that anyone can do.

And that's good news for all of us. It means that if you don't have enough emotional energy, you can do specific things to get more. If you do have it, you can do things to keep it and get even more.


If I have physical problems, is the emotional energy factor important for me?

The bigger your physical problems, the more you need emotional energy.

Of course, if you're feeling low energy, you have to rule out physical causes. In my book The Emotional Energy Factor, there is an appendix which will give you everything you need to start the process of making sure that you don't have a physical problem, or getting help if you do have one.

But suppose you do have a physical problem. I'll assume you're doing everything you can to treat it. This is where emotional energy comes in.

Emotional energy can increase your total energy, even when your physical energy is minimal. I can't tell you the number of people with serious limitations on their physical energy—people suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome, hypothyroidism, and other energy-related conditions, as well as people recovering from other serious conditions—who have chugged along just fine, accomplishing amazing things, just because they did everything they could to keep their emotional energy high.

Emotional energy can make you feel happy and optimistic, with peace of mind, even in the face of serious physical difficulties.

Emotional energy can give you what you need to maintain your effort to fully recover, no matter how long a road you have to go down.


How big a problem in America today is low emotional energy?

It makes sense that emotional energy would be a big problem in America today. Drains on our emotional energy come up everywhere we turn. We used to be able to hop on a plane, but now we're searched and still we're afraid. Today we go to work and do our job and also the jobs of people who've left. We've lost our savings and are worried about the future. We're afraid we're going to lose our jobs. We worry about our retirement. War and terrorism are constant threats. We're concerned for our children's future. We're worried about the environment. Our relationships have difficulty thriving amid the stresses and pressures we all face.

And in fact, based on our research into the number of people with low emotional energy, and the degree to which they feel emotionally exhausted, there is an epidemic of low emotional energy. And data from the National Institutes of Health suggests that one out of eight adults is in a low-energy state. Reports indicate that the number-one question people bring to their family doctor is "Why do I feel so blah?"

You can see all this at home, at school, and in the workplace. But let's not overlook the most important news. We no longer have to feel we are victims of low emotional energy. We all can do things to increase our emotional energy.


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