Here are some areas where the heat might be increasing:
Too much negativity--Are you surrounded by family, co-workers, or friends who are constantly negative about things? If you find that you are leaving conversations feeling that your outlook is more negative and despairing, examine some of your relationships and see if you're exposing yourself to too much negative light. Relationships are wonderful and friends sometimes need counsel, but if it's a constant barrage, then measures should be taken to limit the exposure.
Energy Leeching--Are you the ear? The counselor? The go-to person for all problems? It's great to be the one others trust to help them resolve their issues, but make sure that you're not consistently leaving conversations exhausted mentally or emotionally. Just because the issues aren't yours does not mean that you aren't expending energy in trying to help someone resolve them. Sometimes friends are in dear need, sure, but if it's a constant siege of need, then it might be wise to examine how much you're helping and whether professional counseling might be better for that friend.
Time-slipping--In this age of constant exposure to social media, email, instant chats, Words with Friends, television, and other distractions, it's easy to lose an hour or two just "catching up" on things. As with relationships, these distractions aren't bad unto themselves; they become toxic when time starts to slip away and we find ourselves regretting the things we didn't do yesterday because there "wasn't enough time."
Now there are other ways in which the temperature can increase for us, but these three areas are based on my personal experience. A dear friend and wonderful husband helped pull me out of the water on more than one occasion. I kept jumping back in because I wanted to "help" or because I thought I was capable of "multi-tasking" but all too often I wasn't helping, I was enabling. I was deluding myself into thinking I could handle things. Cutting down on my exposure to these threats has led to a surge in my creative energy and a renewed focus on healthy boundaries with friends and family.
We are all creators, inventors, or leaders of some capacity. Even when we aren't currently working on a project, it's important to recognize if there are drains on our energy that are preventing us from pursuing new professional or personal goals. As Stephen Covey so aptly said, we have to take care of the golden goose if we want it to lay the golden eggs. Is your golden goose healthy?
Photo courtesy of DougDelaney.