How To Get Your Energy Unstuck

The psychological establishment vilified him.

Wilhelm Reich, the psychiatry-enfant-terrible of the mid-20th century, based his framework for understanding human behavior on the notion of blocked energy. Reich believed that folks who experienced significant challenges in life did so because their energy “got stuck” sometime during the early stages of life. “Getting well” meant getting rid of body armor and getting the energy moving again!

Reich was ahead of his time.

Think of a work day when nothing seems to flow. A specific project frustrates the heck out of you. A certain personality drives you bonkers. Ugggh. Circumstances can easily conspire to make our bodies very tight. Yep, stuck. Chances are, what is actually stuck that day is our energy. Good news. No early-childhood-trauma-work required here. Instead, when you notice that your energy is stuck, ask yourself: Do I need to plug in? Plug out? Re-plug?

Plugs are a marvelous metaphor for conducting an energy switch. After all, we plug into a wall socket to behold light. We unplug to make light disappear. We re-plug to shine light somewhere else. Yes, you get the idea. So here are our 3 plug-check basics:

  • Plug In: You’re bored at a meeting. Choose to plug in. Commit, even if you’re not interested. You’re distracted in a conversation and do not feel engaged. Choose to plug in. Commit to that conversation, in that moment, with that person. Commit fully. Your energy will immediately reactivate.
  • Plug Out: You’re hitting the mental wall because you’ve stared at the computer screen for too long. Choose to plug out. Stop. Take a break. Look at the window. Get out of your seat. Move. Get a snack. Have a drink (the non-alcoholic kind). Stop. Plug out so you can plug in again. 
  • Re-plug: You’re getting irritable because a colleague is droning on and on about the same old crap. Choose to re-plug. Switch your focus. Instead of fixating on the whiny voice or the repetitiveness of the argument, focus on something inviting. The smile of another colleague. The sun that’s peering through the trees outside the office window. The picture of your daughter that sits on your desk. Stay in the moment, but plug into what energizes you, not on what drains.

Energy is always available to us. It is the gift that keeps on giving. You and I are responsible, moment by moment, for allowing it and directing it. When you feel your energy getting stuck, consider your options. Do I need to plug in? Plug out? Re-plug?

Make a choice. Energy will do the rest. Sweet.

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Achim Nowak is an author, speaker, C-Suite coach, international authority on personal presence. His book "The Moment: A Practical Guide to Creating a Mindful Life in a Distracted World" (New Page Books) has just been published. His previous books have become prized resources for entrepreneurs and Fortune 500 executives around the globe. Achim and his work have been featured on 60 Minutes, Fox News, NPR, in The New York Times and The Miami Herald.