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8 Ways You're Wasting Your Emotional Energy

Padhia Avocado
August 25, 2014
Padhia Avocado
Written by
Photo by Getty Images
August 25, 2014

There are many obvious things that cause fatigue such as stress, a lousy diet, or a hormone imbalance, but there are also many subtle factors that can cause a deeper type of depletion: emotional fatigue.

If you're feeling exhausted, here are a few things to consider that might be contributing to that feeling:

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1. You're non-confrontational.

Trying to maintain harmony is admirable, but if the cost is stuffing down your feelings and internalizing them, what you're doing is the emotional equivalent of taking the trash from outside your home and bringing it inside.

2. You're ignoring that little voice inside you.

Your heart is like a compass that tells you what direction to steer in order to live your life at its full potential. Unfortunately, our logical voice is often much louder than the gentle whispers of our intuition, and so that's the voice we usually wind up listening to.

The result of that is that we find ourselves in situations — or even worse, we build a life around choices — that logically make sense, but don’t feel quite right and don't bring us the deepest happiness possible.

3. You ruminate instead of taking action.

Maybe you think over and over about a conversation that hurt, or you play out possible negative outcomes until you feel doomed. This is a surefire way to feel drained and powerless. You're using a great deal of energy, but not actually moving forward emotionally or physically.

To break out of that cycle, take action. Often we're afraid that we won't make the “right” decision, so we do nothing. Instead, think of it as a stepping stone to a place ahead of where you currently are that will give you new information that you can use to take more actions.

4. You stay in relationships and friendships out of fear of being alone.

Clutching to people out of fear of being alone is a stressful, and therefore exhausting, way to live. It causes us to accept relationships with people who do not lift us up to a higher place, protect us in subtle emotional ways, or help us grow.

Being alone is not a bad thing, it actually creates a void in which you can discover really important things about yourself that you would not have the chance to realize otherwise and also to intentionally fill that space with things and people that revitalize you.

5. You haven't resolved old pain.

Often, we judge our pain and believe we are not entitled to it, or that we're silly for feeling it, because the event occurred a long time ago, or it wasn’t that bad compared to what's happened to other people. Pain doesn’t work like that. You can't talk yourself out of it. Pain resides on a deeper level, and it must be treated with compassion in order to heal. Eventually you can clear the emotional space for lighter feelings such as gratitude.

6. You aren't clear on how you feel or what you need.

Without this clarity, life is draining. Things may feel painful, but you’re not really sure why, and therefore can’t change them. Without clarity on what you need and what you stand for, it's easy fall into a pattern where you feel pushed, pulled and dragged around. When you figure out your truth, it's easier to make choices that steer you toward the life you want, and you don't waste energy trying to decide what to do.

7. You have not set good boundaries.

Boundaries are actually the walls which contain our energy. When you don’t define them, other people do that for you. As a result things continually happen to us that feel invasive and draining. Tell people what you don’t like and what you actually want instead.

8. You are driven by "shoulds."

Every time I watch a documentary about someone who has accomplished a lot, I am struck by the same thing: they didn’t really fit in anywhere in life and so they built a life that fit.

Living the way we think we “should” is draining on the soul because it's constricting, like wearing clothes meant for someone else. When you create a life that encompasses all of your gifts instead of suppressing them, you feel lighter and more energized.

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Padhia Avocado
Padhia Avocado

I am an artist, a writer, and a life coach, but also a flawed human with a difficult past. I share my story in hopes that I can inspire others to overcome the things that prevent ease of being. The truth is, I spent most of my life wanting to die because I didn’t understand how to live. I had no resources or skills for living an emotionally healthy life. I left home at an early age and spiraled into a deep depression that eventually consumed me. Seeking professional help, I was put on all kinds of medications. I was told to accept that my life would be about coping, yet I just never could fully accept that my fate was a lifetime of suffering.

About six years ago, I got off all the meds and addressed everything that shaped me into the dysfunctional person I had become. I broke apart as a human in ways I could never explain. Standing there in the rubble of my life, I had only one choice… to build a new one. I use all of those experiences to help others make it to the bright side as well, as a life coach specializing in helping people find their way to freedom from darkness to a baseline state of happiness with peaks of joy. You can read more about me on my blogs: and I am also a Partner at The Angry Therapist. Connect with me on Instagram @unfukyourself