Regenerative spaces are the places, activities, and levels of stimulus that regenerate a person’s mental and physical energy. Each personality type has different regenerative spaces, and, within that, each individual has their own unique regenerative spaces.
When we are acting out of character for too long we become drained, stressed and tired. And the more drained we are, the less mental, emotional, and physical energy we have, the less patient we are, and the more we begin to function from the pitfalls of our personality.
Finding the time and space to regenerate according to your personality type and unique interests will allow you to balance yourself and function with 100% battery. This means more mental clarity, more energy, more flexibility and creativity, more productivity, and all the health benefits of being relaxed and happy. It also means that you will be able to step into other personality types more frequently without getting as drained.
Think of it like the battery on your smart phone. When the battery is critically low, your phone may start slowing down or lagging, and it won’t be able to perform certain functions such as flash photography or video conferences, and having several apps open at the same time will kill the battery in no time. However, when your phone has 100% battery you can multitask on it as much as you’d like. You can watch a movie, text your friends, and have several apps open in the background. This is the way your internal battery works too – the more it’s regenerated, the more you’ll be able to do.
There are measurable health benefits to aligning your life choices with your personality. Both your mind and body need to regenerate, ideally every day. And the more you are in your element at work, in your relationships, and throughout your daily life, the more your life will regenerate you. The more your lifestyle takes you out of your element, the more of a conscious effort you will need to make to regenerate regularly.
So, what kind of regenerative space does each element and each person require?
Our regenerative space depends very much on our optimal level of stimulus. As a general guide, the more extroverted a person is, the more external stimulus they require, whereas the more introverted a person is, the more they need to reduce external stimulus to regenerate. Ambiverts are in the middle of what we call the energy scale – a middle point between extroverted and introverted – which means that often they need to regenerate on both sides of the scale; they need a mix of high and low stimulus.
Examples of high stimulus (for extroverts) include loud music, dynamic debates, adventures, chaotic environments, lots of movement such as sports or theme parks, and high levels of social interaction, challenges or joking around.
Medium levels of stimulus (for ambiverts) include quality time with loved ones, relaxing outings with family or close friends, harmonious excursions, and intimate social gatherings at home.
Examples of low stimulus (for introverts) include relaxing music (note that high-tempo or loud music can be relaxing for an introvert if it is the individual’s preferred genre or artist), watching tv or reading alone, silent time with trusted individuals, daydreaming, working alone on personal projects and hobbies, time to contemplate life, and intellectually stimulating conversations.
Note that operating outside of your element for long periods of time will have draining effects, unless you are working on your passion project. (This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t step out of your element – it just means be conscious of it when you do, and regenerate before and after doing so!) When you find a project that you are passionate about you liberate great amounts of energy – like adding an extra battery. Thus your passion project can be a great addition to your regenerative spaces, and allow you to take on even greater challenges in life.
This is also why each individual has unique regenerative spaces. While a sporting event may be the ideal level of stimulus for extroverts in general, a person who is passionate about sports (whether introverted or extroverted) will reap much higher regenerative benefits from it than someone who is less interested in sports.
Thus, you should start identifying what the ideal level of stimulus is for you to proactively recharge your own battery.
Note that some of us have primary and secondary elements on different sides of the energy scale– meaning we have possibly opposing regenerative needs (such as a need for both high levels of stimulus and low levels of stimulus). In that case you should make sure to regenerate with both types of stimulus – otherwise one side of your personality could end up draining the other.
Your objective should be to take both your mind and body to your regenerative space. For a regenerative space to be truly effective, you have to disconnect from work, family, drama, responsibilities and whatever else might be draining you. Your mind and body need each other to be fully functional, so it is no use to regenerate your body without regenerating your mind or vice versa. This means you also need to set aside the guilt and mind chatter that distract you from maximizing this precious time. You have to recognize that regenerating mentally and physically is an important investment in your health, productivity, relationships, and wellbeing. That means that if you’re an extrovert, going to parties or out on adventures once in a while is not a waste of time. And if you’re an introvert, taking time off to read for pleasure or watch your favourite TV show is not a waste of time. It is only a waste of time if you are getting stuck there and it is not actually regenerating you. And if that’s happening, guess what? The most likely cause of you being “stuck” in your regenerative space is that either your mind or your body is not fully in it. Watching TV for a week will not help if you are feeling guilty and unproductive, and stressing about all those unanswered emails. Partying every night is not going to help if your mind is stressing about family responsibilities and those unpaid bills. Likewise, watching cat videos all day is not going to help if your body is trapped in the office all day every day.
This is true for all types: if you are not allowing both your body and mind to disconnect and fully regenerate, you will not get the full benefit. And the more often you do it, the faster you will regenerate. (Think of charging your phone at 80% battery vs 10% battery – it takes much longer to reach 100% from a lower starting point.) Find out how to recharge throughout the day – even in little ways – so as not to have to disconnect fully from the world when you are drained to the point of exhaustion.
So get regenerating! The more aware you are of your regenerative spaces, the more diverse they are, and the more proactively you incorporate them in your daily life, the more you can reap the benefits. Allow yourself and others to have and enjoy your regenerative spaces. This will make everyone’s life much richer, and will help bring out the best version of you and the people around you, meaning more kindness, more stamina, more tolerance for differences, more mental clarity and better health for everyone involved.
Let us know in the comments, what are some of your regenerative spaces?