Where You Put Your Energy

Where you put your energy can make a big difference on your healing.

Jonathan Arenburg
Jonathan Arenburg

Jonathan is a mental health blogger, published author, and speaker. He has appeared in numerous newspapers and has been a guest on many podcasts.

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As I roll up to the coffee shop not far from my hometown, I feel a wave of fear come over me. Is it going to be noisy in there? Or will it be absolute chaos? While I feel like I’m being held down in my front seat of my car, I decide that I value my good friend (who is waiting inside) too much to simply drive away.


Since 2016, this is pretty much how I’ve lived my life. Long sabbaticals away from the public, far removed from the noise and chaos. However, I refuse to be a slave to PTSD.

As I’ve said many times before, we get to choose where we put our energy. Regardless of what we have in the tank, it can still be used to propel us forward. The important question is: “Do I put what limited energy I do have into constant rumination, angst and fear? Or do I maximize it on living?

While I know that we can’t always bust through the fear and anxiety of, let’s say, the outside world, I have found that I can ill-afford to be torched by what goes on in my head either. Therefore, if both are dire, I might as well make the best of it.

So, I set goals and I commit to doing what I’m doing tonight. For example, I have a short list of people that I will muster up my limited energy for. Which is why I am sitting in this parking lot this evening. I’m meeting a very close friend who is worth the torment of the surrounding goings-on. I make time for the people on this list even when I don’t feel like it.

How to best manage your mental illness.

Consequently, however, it often makes how I am feeling, worse. But as I have come to learn in my life, understand that being uncomfortable is part of life. Therefore, it should be dealt with, not avoided. For me, this is so fundamental to my survival.

As counterintuitive as it sounds, placing your limited energy into what makes you uncomfortable can enrich your life and help you on your own road to mental wellness. How? Well, I frequently look back on moments I spent with friends, family etc, with fondness and with a sense of accomplishment.

For a moment, I beat my anxiety and the symptoms of PTSD. And because I chose to put my energy into something as amazing as a coffee with a great friend, I, for that moment in time, felt the illusive feelings of normalcy.

So, where will you put your limited energy?

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Jonathan Arenburg

Jonathan Arenburg is a mental health blogger, S speaker, writer, and published author; He is also the host of the mental wellness podcast, #thewellnesstalksHe has also appeared in the i'Mpossible's Lemonade Stand III. He has also been a contributing writer for Mental health talk, a column in his local paper. In addition, he has also written for the mental health advocacy organization; Sick Not Weak.Jonathan has also appeared on several mental health-related podcasts Including: A New Dawn, The Depression Files, Books and Authors, and Men Are Nuts. Since being put off work because of PTSD, Jonathan has dedicated his time to his mental wellness journey while helping others along the way.Educated as an addictions' counsellor, he has dedicated most of his professional life of eighteen years, working with those who have intellectual disabilities, behavioural challenges, and mental illness.He has also spent fifteen years in the volunteer fire service helping his community.His new book (2021), “The Road To Mental Wellness,” goes into detail about his life-long battle with depression, anxiety and more recently, PTSD. In it, he hopes to provide insight on how mental illness cultivates over a lifetime and, if not recognized and treated, how it impacts the entirety of one's life; right from childhood into the adult years. Jonathan lives with his two children in Nova Scotia, Canada.

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