11 Habits That Drain Your Lifeforce Away (That Are Sadly Very Common)

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Do you feel exhausted and despondent often?

If so, there are likely a number of things draining your lifeforce.

Although external factors play major roles when we feel drained, our daily habits can also contribute to this feeling.

By the time you finish reading this article, you’ll have a better idea of which of your day-to-day activities may be depleting your life energy, as well as tips on how to plug the leaks they cause.

1. Focusing on negativity (perceived or real).

When you wake up in the morning, do you feel positive and optimistic about the day that’s about to unfold? Or do you immediately expect the worst and brace for the sh*t that’s coming your way?

If you focus on the negative from the moment you wake, then that’s what you’re bound to experience.

That doesn’t mean you’re responsible for any awful things that happen to you, nor should you have to force positivity if the world around you is falling apart.

Rather, try to feel gratitude or positivity for at least one small thing as soon as you crack your eyes open, even if it’s that you’re looking forward to hugging your dog or drinking a cup of coffee.

2. People-pleasing.

The Greek playwright Euripides once wrote: “Who dares not speak his free thoughts is a slave.”

Those who hold back from being authentic with the people around them and instead perform and pander so as to be held in high regard end up doing themselves an immense disservice.

Few things are as draining and detrimental to one’s well-being as behaving like a sycophant in order to keep other people happy.

If you’re in a position where you have to behave like this, either because it’s part of your job (like in retail or other customer service) or because you have a precarious living situation and you want to remain housed, put feelers out to improve your situation.

A small pay cut or a shabby, one-room flat of your own are far preferable to being perpetually drained by never being able to be your true self.

3. Using unhealthy coping mechanisms.

We live in very interesting times, and a lot of people are using unhealthy coping mechanisms to deal with them.

One of the most common ones is the combination of disassociation and distraction. Some people scroll on their phones for hours or watch full seasons of insipid shows, while others may rack up countless hours on their game consoles.

Another coping mechanism that often goes hand in hand with these is substance abuse. Alcohol and drugs can certainly numb a person, and many people choose to indulge in at least one of these.

Essentially, their goal is to stay engaged in something pleasurable in order to avoid all the negativity around them.

And while these do work effectively in the short term, they’re also draining your life energy as well as wasting precious hours that you’ll never get back.

4. Negative self-talk and self-criticism.

How much time would you say you spend talking poorly about (or to) yourself?

If you add up all the times you’re self-critical or otherwise cruel to yourself on a daily basis, you’d likely be shocked at how poorly you treat a person who should be loved and supported instead.

Remember that you don’t “have” a life force: you essentially ARE an energy force that’s propelling a vehicle of flesh and bone around so you can enjoy great meals and learn from this whole earthly experience.

Therefore, every time you’re awful to yourself, you’re literally injuring your energetic self.

Imagine this like turning down the brightness on your devices notch by notch. What was originally bright and luminous ends up being dimmed with every criticism or condemnation.

5. Adhering to unrealistic perfectionism.

Perfectionism can manifest in several different ways. Although some people turn their perfectionist tendencies toward their physical appearance, it can also take the form of intense anxiety about potential failure at school or work.

Perfectionists thrive on praise and acknowledgment of stellar achievement, and the anxiety about falling short of the mark and potentially letting someone down can drain their lifeforce beyond measure.

Anxiety hyper-stimulates people’s nervous systems, leading to adrenal fatigue and overall exhaustion.

It may be easy for some people to suggest that you simply don’t worry and that everything will be okay, but there are countless very tangible reasons why you may be feeling intense anxiety.

Perfectionism, at least, can be counteracted. You can be gentler and more compassionate toward yourself, and recognize that not only is it okay to make mistakes, but that you’ll learn from them.

And furthermore, there isn’t a person on the planet who’s “perfect.” We’re all perfectly flawed beings doing the best we can, and we can’t expect anyone else to be perfect either.

6. Engaging in unnecessary arguments.

A lot of people waste an extraordinary amount of time arguing and bickering over things that don’t matter all that much.

We all have a limited amount of energy to work with on a daily basis, so why waste any of it arguing about insignificant or unimportant matters?

Think of all the things you gripe about regularly, or that you end up arguing with others about. How much time do you spend trying to explain to other people that their viewpoints are flawed? Or standing your ground on a stance that doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things?

If you find yourself getting caught up in an argument, make a conscious choice to disengage from it and go do something more worthwhile.

Winning an argument that doesn’t matter isn’t going to change the world. Even if you’re technically correct, what did you achieve by “winning” this?

7. Not upholding boundaries about how others spend your time.

If you’ve ever found yourself in a position where you felt forced to sit and listen to someone drone on about a topic you didn’t give a damn about, then you likely remember how drained you felt afterward.

The same goes for being informed about what your responsibilities will be on any given day, regardless of your own plans and intentions.

It’s usually young people who find themselves in these positions, as they’re dependent upon relatives for shelter and care. They have to acquiesce and take whatever’s doled out, or do what they’re told to do for the sake of not only keeping the peace, but remaining housed and fed.

As independent adults, we’re no longer obligated to tolerate this kind of behavior.

This is where healthy boundaries come into play: if you don’t establish sovereignty over your own life, then others will walk all over you and spend your time as they see fit.

As such, it’s up to you to guard your time and energy diligently so you don’t have your lifeforce drained away.

8. Procrastinating (including not getting to sleep on time).

As a general rule, most of us procrastinate on a regular basis. We put off doing what we should do in favor of what we want to do, which can lead to us being unnecessarily drained on a regular basis.

One of the worst ways in which procrastination can drain our lifeforce is when we don’t engage in healthy sleeping habits.

Maybe we just want to read one more chapter in our book or watch just one more episode of a favorite show. The next thing we know, we only have a few hours before the alarm wakes us for work.

Then, the awareness of the time constraint for minimal sleep will keep us awake, so we’re groggy and irritable all day, which then lends to staying up late again, and so on.

This procrastination can apply to any responsibility that we don’t want to do but that will add up the more we avoid it. If we wash a few dishes as soon as we use them, they won’t accumulate into an energy-destroying horror show, right?

Similarly, if we go to bed at a decent hour, we won’t risk exhaustion and depletion.

9. Investing too much time in unhealthy relationships.

When we spend time with people we care about, we often feel re-energized and buoyant.

In contrast, spending time with people who make us anxious, depressed, or angry will drain our lifeforce. These types of relationships may be chosen or familial.

If the people you spend time with on the daily are draining you more than brightening your world, then why are you investing time or energy into them?

Are you in your romantic relationship simply because it’s comfortable, even though it’s sucking your will to live? Do you spend time with relatives you despise out of a sense of obligation?

There’s no guarantee that you’ll have a real connection with the family you’re born into, and if they’re toxic toward you, then you’re better off going your separate ways.

Similarly, a healthy relationship that has soured over time will just keep getting worse. The temporary discomfort of a breakup is well worth your long-term peace and contentment.

10. Not having pastimes to keep you engaged.

There have been periods in my life in which I’ve spent a great deal of time waiting at airports, train stations, and bus terminals.

Most of the people around me spend the wait times staring off into space, playing on their phones, or simply pacing around waiting for the vehicle to show up that would take us on our way.

At times like these, having something with me to keep me engaged helped to save my sanity, and it may help you as well.

Maybe you’ll have a longer-than-expected wait time at the doctor’s office, or your car may break down and you’ll be stuck waiting a couple of hours for a tow truck.

Either way, if you have something with you that you can immerse in or work on, you won’t waste valuable life energy waiting for something, anything, to happen.

Take a printed book with you wherever you go, as well as something to keep your hands occupied. I always have cord on me to practice knot tying, and my partner always keeps small knitting projects in her bag.

If you always have something on hand to keep your mind occupied, you won’t waste any precious moments of your life.

As an aside, pastimes like these are also helpful if you’re feeling a lack of purpose in your life, or if the aforementioned anxiety is keeping you from being mindful. Use hobbies like this to center yourself, and to do something productive in the midst of a personal maelstrom.

11. Being overly sedentary.

Health practitioners have long advocated getting up and moving around if you’re feeling depressed, but recent studies actually support that suggestion.

It turns out that being overly sedentary can significantly impact our mental health. People who spend most of their time sitting, with very little physical movement, report higher levels of depression, anxiety, chronic stress, and fatigue.

All these things can drain your lifeforce by literally sapping your energy and making you feel lethargic. If you’re feeling lethargic, then you’ll feel anxious and depressed about your inability to do all the things you want to do. It can be a tiresome cycle.

This doesn’t mean you need to dive into doing HIIT or intense aerobics in order to recharge your energy! Simply try going for a walk or doing a bit of yoga once or twice a day to kick your metabolism into gear and release your endorphins and other happy hormones.


Keep in mind that your lifeforce is yours to protect and nurture, on your own terms and by your own hand. By being aware of the habits that may drain it, you can try to mitigate having your lifeforce drained by unhealthy actions—either yours or those of other people.

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About The Author

Finn Robinson has spent the past few decades travelling the globe and honing his skills in bodywork, holistic health, and environmental stewardship. In his role as a personal trainer and fitness coach, he’s acted as an informal counselor to clients and friends alike, drawing upon his own life experience as well as his studies in both Eastern and Western philosophies. For him, every day is an opportunity to be of service to others in the hope of sowing seeds for a better world.