ROCHESTER, Minn. — Right after the coffee shop, the next place where you are likely to find the highest population density at an airport is the charging station. Three out of four people suffer from low cellphone battery anxiety. Their concern is real: By 6 p.m., the average charge drops to 40% and down to 20% by 10 p.m. Only about 1 in 10, though, carry a backup battery or a charger.
I am one of those with low cellphone battery anxiety. I like to leave my home with a 100% charge, and whenever I have an opportunity, I keep recharging the phone, so it stays above 90%.
Once at an airport, as I stood, feeling tired, waiting for my cellphone to charge, I thought of ways to keep my own energy above 90% most of the day. Here is the core idea that I have implemented:
- Find moments during the day when you can completely let go of planning or problem solving and are in a state of acceptance, and
- Fill those moments with thoughts and feelings of gratitude and compassion.
Ideally, if you can simultaneously accomplish both, that will be ideal. But if that is a bit difficult, at least one of them will help.
Three simple ideas that you can implement most days are:
- Take a short stroll in which you send silent good wishes to as many people as you can.
- When filling your cup of water, remind yourself of the blessings that fill your life.
- Connect with someone who feels lonely and unloved.
In addition, there are several simple moments that you can use to recharge your battery by engaging slightly differently. Eating with full presence, watching old family pictures and videos, a random act of kindness, immersing yourself in your favorite music, reading an uplifting book, and more. The key is to pre-emptively and periodically recharge your brain before it starts getting depleted.
You can be successful and wealthy and still be miserable, but you can't be grateful and compassionate and simultaneously be miserable. While our brain needs the physical food of oxygen and glucose, it also needs the emotional food of gratitude, compassion, and meaning, made possible by deeper presence. Keep your mind fully charged today with this “real” food.
Dr. Amit Sood answers your questions about stress, resilience, happiness, relationships, and related topics in his column. Email email@example.com.