Have you ever checked your bank statements and felt satisfaction when you spot a deposit? That’s a feeling many of us can relate to.

 

Your Body Budget: How It Works 

The book cover Book cover for Similarly, your brain operates its own “account” – the body budget. This concept is presented by neuroscientist Dr. Lisa Feldman Barrett in her books, “Seven and a Half Lessons About the Brain” and “How Emotions Are Made.”

Much like monitoring a bank account, your brain consistently tallies up deposits and withdrawals, ensuring that your body’s energy remains positive and vibrant.

Wouldn’t it be great if your brain could send monthly statements of your body energy? Such a tangible reminder would help you be more conscious of maintaining a healthy balance.

Just as you’d monitor a bank statement, it’s essential to pay attention to the signals your body sends. While a positive mindset is a very important tool in maintaining your body-energy account, it’s not the only one. Tangible, physical actions are equally critical in ensuring your body energy remains abundant and vibrant.

Think of it this way: a mindset is like the online banking app that helps you monitor your account and make wise decisions. But to truly ensure your “body account” stays robust, you need to make physical “deposits.” Based on Dr. Barrett’s insights from “How Emotions Are Made,” here are some methods to consider:

 

Trinity of Wellness

Three foundational pillars are crucial for maintaining a balanced body energy account:

1️⃣ Diet: Eat healthily. Fuel your body and brain with nutrient-rich foods for optimal function. 🥬

2️⃣ Exercise: Exercise regularly. Beyond physical fitness, exercise can boost your learning and mood. 🏃‍♂️

3️⃣ Sleep: It’s essential to ensure you get adequate rest. Sleep revitalizes you physically, but also sharpens cognition and balances emotions. 😴

 

Skimping on these essentials is akin to building a mansion on a shaky foundation. No matter how grand the design, without a solid foundation, the structure is at risk.

This reminds me of a personal lesson from wheel pottery. Just as a mansion needs a firm foundation, a pottery piece spun on a wheel requires centered clay. If I neglect this crucial first step on the wheel, my piece will never be straight.

 

Tailoring Your Body Energy Boosters: What Works for You?

With these cornerstones in place, Dr. Barrett suggests additional strategies. While not all will appeal to everyone, these are just a few examples, and there are many more to consider.

 

👐 Embrace Physical Comfort:

The therapeutic benefits of massages, whether given by a loved one or a professional therapist, emphasize the healing power of human touch. Similarly, for some, petting animals offers a rejuvenating experience.

 

🧘 Yoga and Body Harmony:

Practicing yoga offers more than just improved flexibility. It can also help reduce harmful inflammation by diminishing the levels of proinflammatory cytokines, which are proteins that can trigger inflammation when released in large amounts.

 

🌳 Reconnect with Nature and Embrace Greenery:

The Japanese have a term, “Shinrin-yoku (森林浴),” which translates to “forest bathing”. This doesn’t mean you literally take a bubble bath among the trees (though how fun would that be?), but rather it emphasizes the therapeutic benefits of immersing oneself in nature.

While any form of physical activity, including simple walking, is essential for balancing your body’s needs, forest bathing amplifies the experience by tapping into the restorative power of nature. If you can’t step into a forest, even house plants offer benefits. 🪴

 

📖 Engage in Compelling Stories:

Immersing yourself in a gripping novel or film can provide a mental break. It diverts your brain’s default mode network, preventing over-rumination.

Moreover, a good cry from a touching story can also be beneficial for your emotional health.

 

🎁 Practice Generosity and Gratitude:

Do you often go Dutch during regular lunch dates with friends? Take turns treating a friend. Acts of giving and expressions of gratitude have mutual benefits for your emotional well-being.

 

🎨 Hobbies and Personal Passions:

Therapeutic hobbies, from knitting to pottery, offer valuable benefits for your emotional health. Such activities often lead to a state of flow, immersing you fully in the moment.

 

🗣️ Boosting Emotional Vocabulary:

As I discussed in another post titled “Feel More, Live Better: The Essential Guide to Emotional Words,” having a more nuanced vocabulary equips you with a deeper understanding and greater control of your emotions.

 

Call to Action: Balance Your Body Budget!

The intricate relationship between your mind, body, and environment isn’t merely a philosophical idea—it’s backed by science.

Adjusting your daily habits and surroundings can profoundly impact your emotional well-being. Remember, your brain is continually managing your body budget. To ensure optimal physical and mental health, it’s crucial to consistently replenish this budget. Avoid running it too low, as doing so can have detrimental effects on both your mind and body.

So, how do you make those vital deposits to your body energy account? I’d love to hear from you. Share your strategies and experiences in the comments below!