Poll Do You Use More Energy Than Necessary Doing Small Tasks?

Discussion in 'Symptoms' started by Cort, Jun 30, 2015.


Do you feel you use more energy than you need to doing small tasks?

  1. Definitely yes, I use much more energy doing tasks that I used to

    18 vote(s)
  2. I think I use somewhat more energy than I need to

    7 vote(s)
  3. No I don't

    1 vote(s)
  4. Not sure

    2 vote(s)
  1. Cort

    Cort Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising Staff Member

    I've noticed for years that I use more energy to do small tasks than necessary. My hands will grip small objects really tightly that they don't need to grip tightly. When I move something I put my whole body into it instead using just the muscles I need. The fine, more delicate muscles it seems don't get much action.

    I assume in my case this is partly due to muscular tension. My muscles don't seem to want to relax. I feel that must increase my energy demands dramatically.

    I recently saw a video of a person with myofascial pain syndrome who experienced the same thing. She felt she used much more energy to do small things than was necessary.

    How about you?
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2015
  2. Katie

    Katie Active Member

    I like the photo with the ball and chain around the ankle. That's how I feel, weighted down, slow, clumsy. There are times I can't do light housework like putting the dishes in the dish washer or cleaning up after dinner. I definitely can't cook any longer.
    So, yes, I feel I have even less energy to do small tasks.
    I've been instructed in mindfullness mediation, body scan and autogenics-which I find very helpful to get me to sleep. I also practice autogenics in the afternoon to help release pain and relax me, which in turn gives me more energy.
    It's so easy to get into a pattern of pain, anxiety (from the pain), muscle contractions which lead to decreased O2 to the muscles which in turn increases the build-up of lactic acid which in turn causes more pain, anxiety etc.
    I find that I can distract myself with reading, watching sports or whatever else I like doing but if I don't pay attention to my body then most often I find that I've been tense without realizing it, which causes me more pain and less energy.
    Since I've been actively doing some kind of meditation my pain has definitely decreased.
  3. Cort

    Cort Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising Staff Member

    That's good to hear. I relate to that tension being present without realizing it. It seems to be a core part of the illness for me. I've got to believe as well, given the burning muscle pain I experience, that lactic acid must play a role.

    I had never heard of autogenics before. It sounds interesting!

    Katie likes this.
  4. Tami

    Tami Active Member

    I think I misunderstood the question. I said I didn't use more energy than was necessary on small tasks. The reason I said this was because over the years I've learned to do tasks using the least amount of energy. For instance I no longer fold sheets, I sort of wad them and stuff them in the linen closet. I don't fold certain laundry items--energy saving steps like these I've learned to live with--a "good enough" mentality which helps save my energy.
    But in terms of small things taking my energy and causing increase in symptoms...yes, they certainly do.
    San Diego, nananan and Katie like this.
  5. Tami

    Tami Active Member

    "I like the photo with the ball and chain around the ankle. That's how I feel, weighted down, slow, clumsy."

    Thanks for sharing; I've never heard anyone talk about this and it's something I experience. I'm tall and have a large frame, but I know my shoulders aren't really the size that they feel--like a football player.
    Haven't heard of autogenics, will look it up.
  6. Katie

    Katie Active Member

    The word autogenics sounds like new space age treatment. However it is super easy and easy to get into a pattern. The purpose is to calm down the nervous system, relax our muscles and mind. It only takes a few minutes to do (? 10 min) and it's amazing.
    Here it is in a nut shell: Lie down or be very comfortable in a chair.

    Take 3-4 relaxing breaths. Do a quick body scan to determine where you have increased muscle tension
    Next you go from limb to limb, shoulders, jaw and respiratory and cardiac; repeating 5-6 times: Do not tighten your muscles before you relax them, this just increases the nervous system activity, not calm it down.

    My right arm feels warm and heavy: this may take practice to feel your arm getting a bit warmer and heavier-repeat 5-6 x
    Next you repeat x 1: I am at peace

    My left arm feels warm and heavy: 5-6 x
    I am at peace
    Next your shoulders, jaw, right leg, left leg, right foot, left foot with repeat of I am at peace in between each segment.

    After this comes your breathing:
    My breathing is calm and regular x 5-6
    I am at peace.
    I breathe comfortably and naturally x 5-6 x
    I am at peace
    It breathes me. 5-6 x
    I am at peace

    Next comes cardiac:
    My heartbeat is calm
    I am at peace
    My heartbeat is calm and regular 5-6 x
    I am at peace.
    My heartbeat is calm and strong 5-6 x
    I am at peace.

    My abdomen is slightly warm.
    My abdomen is pleasantly warm. 5-6x
    I am at peace.
    My abdomen is warm. 5-6 x

    Now pay attention to a specific muscle group that may be painful
    or extremely tense and then begin repeating to yourself:

    • Warmth dissolves the pain.
    • I am at peace.

    At this point you may also wish to shift your attention to another muscle group and begin repeating the formula “warmth dissolves the pain.”
    • My entire body is comfortably relaxed.
    • I am at peace.
    Then the last area is your forehead. Somehow the cooling aspect seems to lull me right to sleep
    My forehead is slightly cool.
    • My forehead is pleasantly cool. x 5-6
    • I am at peace.
    • My forehead is cool. x 5-6
    • I am at peace.
    • My entire body is comfortably relaxed. x 5-6
    • I am at peace.
    This is taken from the book: Autogenic Training; A Mind Body Approach: by Micah Sadigh
    I think I have the above training laid out as in the book. It looks like a lot to "memorize" but I wrote it down and took it with me the first few times until I had it down pat. Please read the book (avail @ Amazon) as there is much more information on the physiology of this method.
    San Diego and Tami like this.
  7. Cort

    Cort Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising Staff Member

    It al
    lt all sounds good...I take it you can get into a state of deep relaxation - a state I probably haven't experienced for decades. How long do the effects last for you and do you notice your overall level of arousal getting reduced?

    I'm going to put your description as a resource by the way :)
    Tami likes this.
  8. Cort

    Cort Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising Staff Member

  9. Tami

    Tami Active Member

    Thanks for sharing this Katie! And for the book recommendation. Appreciate it!
    Katie likes this.
  10. Cort

    Cort Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising Staff Member

    I have to keep tell my body it's relaxed.....Hopefully it will listen :wacky:
    Katie and Tami like this.
  11. Katie

    Katie Active Member

    I've noticed a big difference in my over-all excitability/level of arousal. I definitely feel generally more calm, less pain and more energy. It takes practice but if you go through the "program" 2-3 x a day it won't be long before you feel your body relaxing and notice more quickly when your body is tense. In the past I set my timer for 20 minutes throughout part of my day, I would stop what I was doing and do a "body scan" to see where the tension is located. I would do deep breathing and release my tension with each breath. Combine this with autogenics. At first doing body scans was scary, my body hurt and I'd rather not feel the hurt, immersing myself in a project (reading, writing, art etc) it's easy to become unaware of my body and when I do it is usually tense due to the pain I'm trying to ignore. The muscle tension leads to much more pain and exhaustion. Autogenics breaks this pattern. I'm not cured but do feel improved and I'm thankful for that.
  12. Patty May

    Patty May Member

    This sounds like a relaxation technique that I tried in the 1980's. I couldn't stand the voice on the tape, so my p.c.p. at the time recorded it in his voice. Nice, nice guy; he really tried to help me!! It does help you to get relaxed and sleep. I forgot all about that tape until I read this.
    San Diego and Katie like this.
  13. Katie

    Katie Active Member

    Yes, I used to do a similar one in the 80ies also. Loved the voice but lost the tape! So, yes, this is similar but the book (Autogenics) gives a good over-view of what this type of meditation is doing physiologically to "calm our nerves" and relax our muscles. Give it a try. When I was introduced to it, I kind of rolled my eyes, basically saying to myself "I already know how to meditate more than one way, why should I learn another". But I gave it a try and seems to work for me and I like the repetitions.
    Patty May likes this.
  14. Cort

    Cort Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising Staff Member

    Yes...it is scary when you confront the tension and pain at first. That has stopped me in the past. Thanks for mentioning that.
    Katie likes this.
  15. Tammy7

    Tammy7 Well-Known Member

    Interesting observation about using more than needed energy for small tasks. I have noticed for a long time now that I tend to do things also in a hurried fashion. It's almost as if I can't do it in a normal calm way...........I have to remind myself to do things more slowly and calmly. My body can feel so wound up sometimes that doing things in a normal way feels robotic.
  16. Cort

    Cort Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising Staff Member

    I couldn't have said it better....
  17. San Diego

    San Diego Well-Known Member

    My brother recently visited for several days, and he noted what an “efficiency expert” I’d become. Cutting corners had become so automatic that I no longer recognized my own patterns of energy conservation.

    Everything I do, from propping my hand on a pillow when using the TV remote, wearing only flip-flops, and sitting with my limbs completely relaxed, is based on using as little energy as possible. Prior to illness, I didn’t realize how much energy it takes just to sit upright. Now, if I’m not totally relaxed when I sit, my limbs will begin to shake as they quickly wear out.

    “Good enough” is my motto!

    This must have been popular! I did it too, with a focus on mentally rehearsing my sports technique. My key phrase was “Let go”. Suprisingly, my body still remembers what that phrase means. Might be time to pull this one out of my tool belt again. Thanks for the reminder, @Katie!
    Tami and Tammy7 like this.
  18. Tami

    Tami Active Member

  19. Tami

    Tami Active Member

    I remember when "Good enough" became my motto. Sounds simple but it was a life changing realization. I simply can't do things the way I used to.
    Most everything I do, automatically now, is to conserve energy and decrease severity and incidence of the various physical and neuro symptoms. You made me think about this, thanks!
    My muscles do the same thing if I'm not positioned with the support I need; also with frequent episodes of dystonia.
    Mind's not working well, but wanted to say I enjoyed your post.
  20. Cort

    Cort Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising Staff Member

    That's a great realization....
    Tami likes this.