Better Balance, Better Focus, More Energy — Here’s How

In your previous tip, I discussed the two ends of the energy type
continuum: the Type A and the Type B.

Of course, only some people are completely one type or the other.
Most fall somewhere in between. But you probably tend toward one
type over the other.

It’s funny that I started off on this topic late last week, because
this one is really hitting home with me this week. Maybe I
intuitively tuned into the subject of energy because I knew I
needed to marshal more than the usual amount of energy this week.

You see, I’m traveling and have been in some pretty tense – and
long – business meetings for two days.

Now, as I write you, I’m sitting at the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport,
getting ready to head to Miami to participate in and speak at a

I will finally arrive home about 12:30am Saturday morning.

Traveling can sap your energy. Being away from home and routine,
keeping an unusual schedule, meeting or exceeding expectations in
terms of participation and performance….

Don’t get me wrong. I love to travel. But I hate being away from
my family on trips like these, and I can’t wait to get back into
the arms of my love, and give my son a big hug and kiss.

In the meantime, I’m at the midway point of my trip and therefore,
will write some more about managing your energy. Not only to
remind myself of its importance…but because I know it will help
you too.

Recognizing your energy type can help you better manage your
performance, whether athletic, at work, or staying busy with

As an example, my kickboxing instructor/coach taught me quite a
bit about ring management and energy management. He said that the
two were intertwined.

In terms of energy management, he used to hate watching boxers
or kickboxers come out and “showboat” in the first round. These
guys would come out and throw every punch and kick in their
arsenals, trying to score early and perhaps impress the judges.

Trouble was, by the end of the second round, they were exhausted.

Not only had they wasted a lot of energy, but they had not succeeded
in analyzing their opponent, using feints, fakes and different
defenses or counters to see how they responded.

A better way to start is to fight within yourself and follow your
plan, your strategy. Of course, you have to be prepared for the
other fighter to be aggressive, and you have to be able to alter
your tactics if necessary.

But, if you have conditioned well for the fight, and you manage
your own energy during the fight, you will have the gas to do what
you need to do, all the way to the end.

I learned that you can apply this concept to your work and personal

Getting back to the energy types:

Type A’s are outgoing, energetic, and usually have a lot of drama
going on in their lives. They are energizing and often inspiring
to be around. However, they can use more energy than required and
burn out.

Type B people are more introspective. They appear more calm and
organized. They are very steady. However, they may waste energy
through over-thinking and worrying.

If you are a Type A, here are a few things you can do to better
manage your energy and avoid burnout:

-Slow your breathing. Take a minute or two at regular intervals to
breathe slowly and deeply. Connecting to a slow, steady breath will
slow your heartbeat and signal your nervous system to relax.

-Practice calming techniques. For example, visualize a successful
outcome of the situation that may be causing you stress. Or practice
the combination of breathing, movements and stretching you can find
in any of the Best Breathing Exercises programs.

-Eat more dietary fiber. Type A’s tend to produce more stomach acid.
The additional fiber can help soak up that extra acid.

-Build steady state activities into your life. You tend to work and
talk in short bursts of high energy. Balance that behavior by adding
in more slow, steady activities. Walking is a great choice. Not only
can you create a soothing rhythm with your pace, but you can also
take the time to relax and let any problems or issues be worked
around by your subconscious. (I often come up with solutions to the
most vexing problems after I have finished a run.)

These practices can help you balance your energy and increase your
efficiency and performance levels, while avoiding burnout.

If you are a Type B, here are a few things you can do to better
focus your energy:

-Schedule yourself. Get yourself into a routine in which you do
things at a specific time, every day. Wake up at the same time, eat
meals at the same time, exercise at the same time…you get the

-View worry with some perspective. Everybody worries. After the fact,
you realize that the worrying was far worse than the outcome. It’s
estimated that over 75% of what we worry about never comes to pass.

The best way to get past worry is to (1) contemplate and embrace the
worst case outcome. Often, while bad, it’s something you can deal
with. And (2) get busy and take action to start dealing with the

-Stop procrastinating. Worrying about the outcome and being a
perfectionist are the two primary reasons for procrastination.
(Laziness sometimes contributes too, but far less frequently than
you might think.) Not moving forward on something you know you need
to get done causes more stress and a decrease in performance. So
begin that project, even if you just do a small part of it.

-Change up your workouts by including intervals of activity, instead
of always doing steady state activities.

By restructuring your work and personal life so you move forward in
short, energetic bursts, you can better balance and focus your

You Can Do It!


P.S. No matter what your energy type, you can make the best use
of your energy and personal resources when you are healthy and feel
good. And the fastest way to feel better and get healthy is to invest
in, and put to use, the strategies, principles and information from
any of the programs at the Best Breathing Exercises website.

Copyright, Karen Van Ness, 2011

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