The Emotional Account
By Pamela L. Tippit
Most of us are familiar with the feelings of overwhelm, stress, anxiousness or the term “my plate is full.” But are you familiar with your emotional account? Not really? You are probably more familiar with it than you realize.
Since we are all familiar with checking our bank accounts, understanding your emotional account is quite easy.
Why do you check your bank account anyway? Usually, it's to determine if you have funds to do all the things that you need and want.
Our emotional account follows the same rules, but instead of money the currency is time, energy, and effort. You might ask, how will I know if I have run out of emotional currency? I cannot see it like I can see actually money.
This is true, but we can feel it. Often, when we run out of emotional money we are having trouble sleeping or sleeping too much, our energy levels are off, we may be confused often or forgetful, we may become easily irritated or frustrated or we could even have physical symptoms such as headaches and stomach aches.
1. Know where your time, energy, and effort are going. It sounds simple. However, it is easy to lose track if you are not paying close attention.
For example, saying yes to offering time and energy to help a friend or at every one of your child’s school events or listening to a friend’s problems on the phone when you have been problem solving all day at work and home can easily put you into overdraft if you already were low in the first place. If you understand that you are running low on your time, energy and effort, it may help you to say no when you need to and conserve those resources. Hopefully, you would think twice before spending $100 if you only had $20, correct?
2. Does your time, energy and effort have a job? If it does not, it's time to invest…in self care and give back to yourself.
3. Giving your time, energy and effort to others in hopes of a ROI (return of investment)?
This is one of the main reasons that we overdraw our emotional account. We assume that if we give ourselves freely, that people will respond similarly. I cannot tell you how many times I sit with people who are depressed and frustrated because of this. I used the word assume for a reason. Just because you have a “servant’s heart,” are a “giver” or a “nurturer” does not mean that anyone else has to be or will be any of these things or that others have to reciprocate our behavior.
Do not assume ROI, check your emotional account and spend wisely.
A good question to always ask yourself before spending your valuable time, energy, and effort is “Do I know where my emotional money is currently going?” “Do I have any emotional funds to spend?” and “Can I save my time, energy, and effort to meet my own needs instead of looking for someone to invest in my account?”