Jeffosophy: a collection of possibly useful things I have learned over the years.



The Dancers - painting by Jeffrey
The Dancers - you can see more of my artwork at 


Rediscover Your Childhood Energy

Look at a group of kids interacting on a project. Chances are that they are running around, interacting with each other, laughing and moving continually. If you could tap into that energy, you could probably power a medium sized town. Now, look at a group of adults interacting with each other on a project. Chances are, they are sitting around a conference table, interacting solely by speaking, barely moving and only laughing when someone tells an in joke. If you could tap into that energy, you could barely power a reading lamp.

What happened to that childhood energy? Why are children bursting with energy while adults become tired just thinking about all the things kids do? I believe that as we grow older, we learn to repress that inner energy and doing so does bad things to us.

Fortunately, there is a simple solution: be more active!


Repressed Energy Must Go Somewhere

As an individual grows older, she is taught to repress her inner energy. From primary school, she starts sitting at a school desk for ever longer periods of time. By the time she is a teenager, she is probably not even allowed out  into the school yard for free play and instead is obliged to follow the rules of gym class. Even if she has free time she is expected to act like an adult and acting like an adult generally means sitting still and being serious. (Note: by this definition, I only act like an adult on a part time basis.)

What happens to that childhood inner energy? I believe two things happen. First, unused energy leads to inner stress which harms the immune system and can lead to unpleasant illnesses. Secondly, it is converted into fat and thus leads to weight gain.

What this means is, if you are feeling stressed, out of shape and less healthy than you should, it may be because you are repressing your inner energy rather than expressing it. If so, it is time to change. It is time to tap back into your inner energy and live a fuller, happier and healthier life.

Here are some things you can do to tap into that inner energy.



Walk as much as possible.

Almost every day, I take a walk of about an hour (and occasionally much longer). On days when I do not take a walk, I either take a long bike ride, swim or am seriously ill. Even, then I often get out for a walk. And I do not just walk alone. Some of my closest friends are likewise keen walkers and we often meet up for a long walk in the countryside to catch up, help solve each other's problems and just enjoy the companionship.

Talking with a friend while walking is somehow different from talking over drinks or a meal. The physical movement , the changing scenery and the activisation of your inner energy inspires freer thinking - and hence conversation - than does sitting at a table and enjoying a glass of wine. Likewise, walking alone is meditative, relaxing and energising. It is an opportunity to think about life, problems, solutions and more.

For this reason, I consider a daily walk a productive part of my working day. Walking provides inspiration that leads to insights, solutions to problems, ideas and more. Problems that seemed intractable at my desk seem solvable when I am on a walk and my mind - charged by inner energy - thinks freely, seemingly capturing ideas that float in the air around me. I can solve more problems and devise more ideas in a 45 minute walk than I can during a day spent sitting at my work desk. Moreover, I feel healthier and less stressed as a result of the walk. Incidentally, I always carry a small notebook and a pen with me when I walk. That way, I can jot down the ideas and thoughts that strike me when I am afoot.

I live in the countryside, so my walks are mostly for pleasure. If you live in a town or city where shopping is nearby, make it a habit to walk to the shops. If shopping is a bit further away - as it is for me - make it a habit to bicycle to the shops.


On Your Bike

Speaking of bicycles, I suggest you consider yours to be your primary means of local transport. If you haven't got a bike, then get one and use it regularly. For any journey under about 20km (about 12 miles), my first choice of transport is my bike. If you are not used to bicycling, start with shorter journeys -- say, up to 5km each way -- and build your bicycling legs up.

When you use your bike as transport, not only do you burn off your personal energy, but you burn calories, build muscles and do your bit to counteract climate change. If you bicycle during rush hour, you'll probably notice that you are moving faster than the cars participating in traffic jams. Moreover, if you look at the drivers stuck in those traffic jams and then look at fellow bicyclists, you'll probably notice that the latter tend to look slimmer, happier and healthier than the former. Would you like to be slim, happy and  healthy? Of course you would! So, get on your bike!

Of course, you can also bicycle for pleasure. It's a great way to get to know your neighbourhood. If you live outside of a city or big town, chances are there are some picturesque country lanes in your area. A bike is the perfect means for exploring them.


Dance Wildly and Freely

Feeling stressed from work? In part, that is because you have been repressing your energy by sitting at a desk or conference table all day long. Once you leave your desk, let that repressed energy out. Let it free. Dance by yourself, with your partner, with a friend or with anyone. Dance wildly and freely and feel your inner energy flow. Soon, the stress will dissipate in the dance. Sure, many of the emotional reasons behind the stress will remain. But the physical pain of stress will fade. You will feel way better. You may even feel better able to tackle the emotional reasons behind the stress.

You can even combine dance with other activities. I sometimes put on music and dance while I cook or paint or do anything at least mildly physical.

And, I am an uncoordinated dancer. You can surely dance better than me.


Play Actively with Your Kids

If you've got younger children (or grandchildren), play actively with them. Run around, jump together on a trampoline, chase each other, bicycle, explore a nearby wood. Laugh. Play! Your kids will love it, you'll benefit and your kids won't stay young forever. Before you know it, they'll be teenagers and then young adults. And, years from now, you are far more likely to regret not having played enough with your kids than you are to regret having played too much with them. So, put aside work, social media and adult things and play with your kids. Actively and frequently.


Less Screen Time − More Energy Time

When you are at home, reduce the amount of time you spend in front of screens − be they TV, computer, tablet or smartphone screens −  and increase the amount of time you move. Go for walks. Dance. Play with kids. Work in the garden. Run. Ride your bike.

Before long you will feel better, look better and smile more often. And you'll miss social media a lot less than you think.


At Work

Unfortunately, office workplaces seem designed to prevent you from acting on your inner energy. You are expected to sit at your desk and use apps to communicate with colleagues. In meeting rooms you are expected to keep your bottom firmly in a chair. Even training activities all too often involve sitting in a chair, watching a long PowerPoint presentation and desperately trying to stay awake. This is the exact opposite of exploiting your inner energy.

Nevertheless, there are ways you can burn off your personal energy. Make it a habit to get up out of your chair as often as possible. Need to communicate with a colleague? Don't email. Don't call. Don't message. Walk. Walk  to her office or cubical or desk and pay a visit. Not only is this good exercise, it is also a great way to pass by, greet and occasionally chat with other colleagues whom you seldom see. Not only is such chatting pleasant, it's a great way to maintain your network of colleagues. I know. When I worked in a large organisation, I almost always walked to people's offices (or desks) to talk.

Need to meet with a colleague or two or three? Don't book a meeting room. Go for a walking meeting instead.

Visit the toilet often, even if you do not need to pee. Visit the water cooler often (which will facilitate toilet visits).

If you are a manager, walk around the office and check in with your direct reports − not with suspicion, but to show interest and support. Ask them how they are getting on and praise their work. They will appreciate your support and your body will appreciate using its inner energy.

Encourage your direct reports to follow your example and get out of their desks often.

If you are not a manager, stick a couple of files under your arm and go walking around your office from time to time. Better still, go for a daily problem solving walk. Research has shown that people think more creatively when walking and most people find it hard to think creatively at their desks. As a result, a daily problem solving walk is not only a good way to make use of your inner energy, it is also more productive than sitting behind your desk. Unfortunately, a lot of managers, especially insecure ones, will perceive walks as a waste of work time. It's a pity. I can find more inspiration and solutions to problems in a 45 minute walk than I can in a day of sitting at my desk.


Mental and Physical Health

Burning off your inner energy on a daily basis is a good for your mental and physical health. I believe that we all have inner energy and if we fail to burn it off, it creates feelings of stress and anxiety. Moreover, if we are eating calories while not being physically active, some of those calories are going to turn into fat. The result is likely to be stress and weight gain. Acting on inner energy helps alleviate stress - not only because physical exercise burns your inner energy, but because so many activities, especially walking, facilitate free thinking that leads to solutions to problems, ideas and reflection. And this sort of thing will leave you feeling more in control of your life, better able to manage your problems and being more creative.



When I start talking to people about taking walks and using a bike as a main means of transport, the most common response I hear is: "I don't have time for that." to which I reply: "bullshit". We all have time. We all have 24 hours each day. You just need to prioritise that time. What is more important, working over the weekend to demonstrate to your boss that you'll do pretty much anything she demands, or spending more time actively playing with your children? If you are spending time on Facebook, Twitter, Tic-Toc or any such social media, you certainly have time to go for regular walks. Moreover, walks can be productive. As I wrote earlier, I consider a walk an integral part of my working day. Not taking a walk would stifle my creativity and slow my problem solving.

Walking to colleagues' workspaces may take more time than messaging, but walking around your office brings you into contact with other colleagues and is great for internal networking.

In truth, you have plenty of opportunities to burn off your inner energy. You just need to prioritise being active and healthy over sitting at your desk all day long.


So, What Are You Waiting For?

Turn off your computer or put away your telephone and go for a walk or a bike ride or a dance or whatever you want as long as it burns off your inner energy.



Much of what I write on Jeffosophy is supported by scientific research - if not inspired by science. This piece is based on my personal experience and feelings. If you are suffering from severe stress or have health issues associated with weight-gain, please consult your doctor. She is, I certainly hope, far more qualified than me to help you.

Good luck.

One more thing...

Have you turned off your computer/phone yet?



* * *

Share your feedback, thoughts and/or questions

* * *

If you enjoyed this story, please share it. I would love for more people to discover our blog.

ShareFacebookTwitterLinkedInEmail    Follow meFollow me on Twitter

* * *

Return to top of page

* * *

My latest Articles

Rediscover Your Childhood Energy
Children tend to be full of energy that seems to disappear by adulthood. Learn how to rediscover it and recharge yourself. You'll feel better, more inspired and healthier


Deep Thoughts on Deep Fakes
AI tools make it possible to create convincing fake images and videos on order. This will have some interesting implications.


The Value of Comments Never Posted
When a social media post provokes you, I suggest you write a well thought out response - and then delete it.


Being Super Busy all the Time Is Impressive But Not Effective
We tend to admire busy people and look down upon the lazy. In fact, the lazy are often the most efficient and effective people.


Ukraine, Refugees and Why Ira Is My Hero
Russia's war on Ukraine is causing far more demage than statistics tell us. My partner, Ira, is doing her bit to help innocent victims of the war


All articles
Index of all the articles on this blog.


Return to top of page


My other web projects

My other web projects 100s of articles, videos and cartoons on creativity - possibly useful things I have learned over the years. reflections on international living and travel. - paintings, drawings, photographs and cartoons by Jeffrey


© 2021 - Jeffrey Baumgartner