Random Tip #10: Raise your caregiving energy

Have you ever noticed that your emotions directly affect your energy level and how quickly you become drained? What if there was a healthy way to raise your energy without downing countless cups of coffee or caffeine- and sugar-laden energy drinks?

I use a tool I first discovered through Esther and Jerry Hicks, authors of Ask and It Is Given and other spiritual books and CDs. It’s called the Emotional Guidance Scale, and it provides a path to raise your energy and vibration no matter how much or little you have.

The scale distinguishes the full range of human emotions–from joy to despair–into 22 points from highest to lowest. Think of it as the fuel gauge of your emotional state and energy. As you may know, an estimated 40% to 70% of family caregivers have clinically significant symptoms of depression (one of the lowest attributes on the scale at No. 22), with approximately a quarter to half of these caregivers meeting the diagnostic criteria for major depression.

If a person is depressed, or anywhere close, she simply does not have immediate access to the highest emotions, including joy, freedom and love. It’s as if his emotional fuel tank must be filled gradually, as he moves upward from depression toward joy, passing through anger, pessimism and hopefulness. So how do you use the Emotional Guidance Scale to your benefit?

First, estimate where you are on the scale in this moment. For example, I can remember a time when I felt angry with Sue (No. 17 on the scale), even though my anger resulted from a behavior pattern that I attribute to the cognitive impairments she suffers as a result of multiple sclerosis. Although I desired not to remain angry about the situation, I couldn’t make the jump for joy, or even for optimism (No. 5). So I looked up the scale just slightly from my feeling of anger to identify an emotion that I felt was attainable in the moment. I chose boredom (No. 8). At least I could imagine feeling bored with this situation because it happens over and over, and over again. In my anger, after I consulted the Emotional Guidance Scale, I sat calmly, allowed myself to feel my anger fully, then I literally “chose” to become bored with the whole thing. Pretty soon, that’s exactly how I felt.

When the situation came up again after that, I again had to make the choice consciously to move from anger to boredom. But before long, I began going straight for boredom; my anger had dissipated.

From my new vantage point, I was able to look up along the scale again, repeating this process to move from boredom (No. 8) to hopefulness (No. 6). And so it went, all the way to the top.

It works, if you choose to work it. Give it a try and let me know how it goes for you.

Jay Kraker

About Jay Kraker

* Author, speaker, marketing and communication professional, Reiki practitioner * Primary family caregiver since 1992 * Interests include great friends, tennis, jazz, Internet marketing, reading, movies * Lives in Houston, Texas

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